MFW Editor Gary and I have a semi-official agreement that I never write my regular piece for the Monday after a weekend match until I’ve read his article that appears as regular as clockwork early on the Sunday.
It’s a great system that works. But this time around this piece is created almost 24 hours earlier than usual.
Why? Because I’ve just got home from the game and I’m flippin’ steaming.
After a bit of ping-pong, Jordan Rhodes put us in front. Cool. Then in front of the Barclay, West Brom get an undeniable penalty. I’m not even waiting to see TV replays before writing, it was as blatant as somebody breaking into the cab of a London Routemaster bus and driving it to Brighton and dumping it.
Then very shortly afterwards Rhodes had his own chance from the spot. My auntie Gladys could have improved on that effort and she was dead before 1980. At that point the game turned irrevocably.
Three minutes into the second half came the Tim Krul incident. It might have taken a wicked one but it looked like it hit him on the right arm or shoulder and ended up in the net.
Then there was their third. What a mess. What were we doing? A smart finish from their lad – we could see it going in from 150 metres away, but it was totally preventable nonetheless.
Sure, we came back with arguably the goal of the game – what a wonderful pull-back – but that only spurred the Baggies on to get a fourth.
A bullet header from a fine cross got us back to 3-4 but a result for us was never really ever going to happen. It really wasn’t and not even the happiest of clappers truly expected it. Quite a few folks around me didn’t wait for the added five minutes, but I did and referee Mr Mason (otherwise excellent) had decided to whistle like a throstle during that period. Look at the WBA badge if there’s any confusion
We are too lightweight. Albion were not thugs – not at all – they generally snuffed us out where it counted, on the edge of their own box. Fair play to them and I must say for a neutral it was probably a great game of football to enjoy. I reckon I got my money’s worth anyway. No complaints really; at least we had a go.
I don’t expect us to hang on to a 1-0 for three-quarters of a game and, of course, at times we knocked it about wonderfully. But we got found out.
What concerns me is when the real destroyers come to town. We will be bruised out, believe me. I’m not going to name those few teams ‘cos we all know who they are. We will be crushed, whether the referee is good or not and (in my opinion) Lee Mason didn’t do too badly until injury time. At least the Premier League now has the pleasure of Simon Hooper – Jeez knows how.
Finally, I admire the good folks who have crowdfunded all the “lets up the atmosphere” stuff. Being in the Barclay as I have always been I couldn’t ignore that attitude if I tried. But when you’re in the Upper and see six and seven-year-olds ripping off truly pathetic cardboard pirate hats from their heads screwing them up and pelting our fans down below with them? I know it’s basically harmless, but do we truly need it?
Oh, and why am I steaming? We contrived to lose a game we could so easily have won.