Not having been to West Brom for a while I expected more to be honest given its reputation for an intimidating atmosphere. There were plenty of empty seats in the home stands though and distinct sounds of snoring at the kick off until Mulumbu, having caught Ledley and Kaboul in sympathetic slumber after ten minutes or so gave the home team the lead. The Hawthornzzz roused itself briefly in support of the Baggies before turning its ire on the Lee Mack lookey-likey referee Lee Probert who looked like a horse, and according to locals, reffed like a plate.
Probert’s first ‘controversial’ decision came when Aaron Lennon’s determined scurry into the box after twenty odd minutes was terminated illegally by Nicky Shorey. Adebayor made hard work of the resulting penalty but ultimately he ended up equalising from our first half decent attempt on goal. Brad Friedel kept us level after Walker had been found wandering and wanting by Mulumbu just before half time and there was much muttering during the interval about the lack of creativity and the ability of the Shane Long to get the better of Kaboul and King too often for comfort.
We kept possession better and upped the tempo after the break, forcing West Brom back for most the half. A host of near misses made it look like we were out of luck but at the moment you’re a fool if you doubt the character and positive mind-set of this Tottenham team. After 81 minutes one of many slick interchanges between Adebayor and Defoe ended with the latter bearing down on goal. The resulting edge of the box shot that whistled past Foster was driven as much by confidence as by foot. A fine goal that triggered mayhem in the away end and the clatter of tip up seats being vacated in the remainder of the ground. The goal had been coming, we had penetrated deep into West Brom territory many times and had been unlucky not to register before.
Adebayor’s late third came after we’d spurned yet more chances to make the game safe. Someone (Odemwingie?) had a header to make it 2-2 but it would’ve been undeserved if we’d conceded. The BBC website comments that we were flattered by the scoreline and refers to the see-saw nature of the game. I’ve no idea where their reporter got this from, one look at possession and attempts on goal stats should disabuse anyone of the notion that we weren’t completely dominant in the second forty-five. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t perfect by any means. The midfield lacked a creative edge, Bale was anonymous until he swapped wings and for a lot of the game Benny’s hair was the only thing outstanding in our defence – King, Kaboul and Walker got caught out far too often. However, we left the ground with euphoria and optimism thick in the nostrils.
As someone has already said, this is what it must be like to support Man United. Nine wins out of ten now and with Woolwich, Newcastle and Liverpool all drawing, we’ve opened a small gap in front of the chasing pack. Bolton at home on Saturday is our first home 3pm kick of the season and a great chance to keep the run going.
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