After last weeks capitulation against Reading and the previous weeks throw away against Burnley, WHU needed 3 points here to get back in the swing of things. Lucky for us, no one else had got a shift on in the league , and we started the day still in second.
I was really suffering with a cold, so it was a quick train up, no beer, and straight home. London was colder than Kent for a change so that didn’t help matters.
BFS had to change things, some enforced and some just had to happen, so we started with Carew, Cole and Piq on the pitch and then tried and trusted back 4 of , Flaubert, Tompkins, McCartney and Potts. Not a returning Steve Potts rolling back the years at 44 years of age, but his son Dan making his first team debut. Having seen nearly all of his dads career, that did make me feel very old.
The game got underway with the Hammers in charge, and it became clear that we were, size wise, way bigger than them. On top of the front line we also had Diop and Nolan in the middle.
I mentioned this to John, just as we got a corner, and guess what. DIOP header, one nil. That was about it for the half. We plodded on and they defended. Cole had a couple of chances, and maybe could of done better.
The second half started in the dark and even colder, both on the pitch and in the stands. Not a lot happened until a stray cat got onto the pitch, and provided the best entertainment of the day.
As the game wore on, Faubert , who was terrorising their no 18, got subbed, I assume for an injury, but was replaced by Landsbury. Then Carew, came off for the introduction of Sears. Both Fred’s on the pitch, set my spider sense off, but to be fair big Fred put a shift in. Actually, everyone did, and that was the difference today . We actually fought and got involved and got the benefits, eg a win when maybe a draw was a fair result (0 0).
In fact Sam fought too much when he got sent to the stands after he lost it at the fourth official regarding an incident in which he thought Sears was brought down in their box. As I was right on top of the incident, I have to say Sears fell because he had a small nudge after running 3/4 of the pitch with the ball.
We are level with Southampton, but Boro beat Cardiff to be only 2 point adrift. We must win the next 3 games to get back the gap we had 2 weeks ago.
Sam has done a good job with juggling the squad, and maybe having the big lads in will be enough for this season. However, Cole still doesn’t look fit, and Nolan was just about playing yesterday.
On a positive note, Potts got into his stride in the second half, and showed some good touches and distribution. But he needs to be tested, so we can seen what’s he is really made of. But he did enough for me to be the Mrben Man of the Match.