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West Brom 2013

After a 5 year gap the Football Aid team were delighted to make a return to the impressive Hawthorns stadium on the morning of the 22nd of May, and the early start certainly didn't stop the players making it a hugely enjoyable occasion for all those Baggies fans watching. The teams went in at half-time with the game level at 1-1 and they certainly looked evenly matched, however with Legend Richard Sneekes pulling the strings the Home side pulled clear after the hour mark, with the game eventually finishing 5-2. Despite the final score it was a closely fought game throughout, with both sides playing some excellent football, however the Home side proved to be that bit stronger in the end.


Date: Wednesday 22nd May
Venue: The Hawthorns
West Brom Home vs West Brom Away
Kick Off: 10am
Legends/Managers: Richard Sneekes and Ian Hamilton
Match Officials: Phil Taylor, Gary Taylor, Phil Dawes and Vic Kelly

It was the Away side that got the game underway wearing the WBA change Red shirts with Dark Blue shorts, with the Home side wearing the famous Navy Blue and White striped shirts. Unfortunately, it took a while for the game to see its first real chance and this comes when the Home side released their No 9 John Denley, who had made a clever run into the box, the Striker fired off a low shot, however his effort was well held by Away Goalkeeper Richard Marsh. The Away side responded well and created a good chance a few mins later when No 11 Steven Roberts nutmegged the Centre Half Daniel Mortlock, before taking a rising shot that was well saved by Home Keeper John Goodrick, matching Marsh’s confident efforts in goal.

With 15 mins gone the Away side had the ball in the back of the net, but the whistle blew to rule the goal offside. The near miss came about after the No 11 Steven Roberts made a good run down the right wing and whipped a high ball into the box. The ball was played back across to No 9 Georgiou-Holden, who attempted a back-heel that was well saved before he turned and put the ball into the net, only to hear the referee blow his whistle.

Five mins later and the Home side provided the first goal of the game and it was Striker John Denley who was the scorer. The ball was whipped in from the right wing and the Centre Half Daniel Mortlock headed the ball up cleverly over the Defender to Denley who swept the ball home to give his side the lead (1-0).

Half an hour in and the Away side had a great chance which was created for them by their opposition. A poor pass back to Goalkeeper Goodrick allowed Steven Roberts to anticipate well and gain control of the ball on the Left Wing. The No 11 then played it across to his Captain Lee Blake, who instead of shooting layed it off unselfishy to Centre Mid Andrew Cooke, however his shot was well saved. Blake followed up the shot but his effort was also blocked and the chance was gone after the ball went out for a corner.

Just a min later and Blake got another chance when he escaped the Home back line and ran through on goal. The ball was played over the top, however Blake’s first time shot just rolled past the post and missed by a whisker. With all the pressure the Away side got the equaliser their play deserved. The Away Centre Half played a hopeful ball up to Centre Forward Steven Roberts and it looked like it was going to be collected easily by the Home Goalkeeper, who had raced out confidently to meet the ball. However what no-one expected was for the ball to take an unusually high bounce over Goodrick's head, allowing Roberts to go through on goal completely unopposed. The No 11 made no mistake, firing the ball into the goal and drawing his side level with just a couple of mins left until halftime (1-1). 

That was to be the last meaningful action of the half, and the teams went into their respective dressing rooms on level terms.

Half Time: West Brom Home 1-1 West Brom Away

The 2nd half was kicked off by the Home side and they only took 5 mins to regain their lead. After a cross was cleared by the Away defence it fell to the Home side’s Right Winger Craig Mellon, who floated a good ball into the danger area, it was headed downwards by No 2 Lee Waterfall, but he was denied by an outstanding save by Richard Marsh, who flung himself down to his left and got a hand to the ball much to Waterfall's disappointment. Unfortunately for Marsh, the ball fell straight to the Home No 10 Dean Thorpe (making his 5th appearance of the Football Aid season!), who made no mistake, side-footing the ball into the goal from close range to put his side ahead again (2-1).

The Home side's lead didn't last long though! Away No 5 Richard Leeson picked the ball up inside his own half, before he played a great ball over the Home defence to Michael Georgiou-Holden who had made an excellent run to get clear of the defence, the Away Striker showed great composure before sweeping the ball past John Goodrick into the net to complete a great move, levelling the scores again at two apiece (2-2).

Mins later and the lively Georgiou-Holden was in again, however Goodrick was wise to the danger this time and the No 1 pulled off a good save to put it out for an Away corner. With the game even again both sides were pushing for the goal that would put them into the lead and this led to numerous offsides for both teams, with Strikers trying to escape the high back line of the opposing Defence. 

However, it was the Home side who took the lead again through a wonderful solo goal from Legend Richard Sneekes. After returning to the field after treatment for an injury, the Dutch former Baggies star showed his class, picking up the ball on the left wing and gliding past two men, before entering the box from the left before cutting back and finishing easily into the middle of the goal, putting his side ahead again with 65 mins played (3-2).

The Home side managed to capitalise on their one goal lead by scoring another goal soon after. It came from a corner taken by No 11 Dave Taylor which was met by substitute Ian Blundell who had done well to get himself free in the box, the No 14's thumping header giving Marsh no chance in the Away goal. The goal doubled the Home side's lead and looked like ending any hopes of an Away comeback (4-2).

Taylor was involved again mins later, and it looked as though he was going to bag a goal for himself this time. After escaping the opposition’s offside trap Taylor went for a cheeky chip over the Keeper, only to see it clear the crossbar as well. However, within a min Taylor was involved again, creating a goal for his on form strike partner John Denley. A quick free-kick taken by Taylor just inside the Away side’s half caught out the Away side’s defence and Denley picked the ball up in the box before rounding the keeper with ease and putting the ball into the net to get his 2nd of the game with less than 20 mins left (5-2).

With full-time approaching the Away side desperately tried to get a goal back. With the ball out on the right wing the No 11 Steven Roberts nutmegged a defender before attempting to lift the ball over Goalkeeper John Goodrick and into the opposite corner, however his shot went just over. The Home side retaliated, with Dave Taylor unleashing a shot at the other end, however it was saved by Richard Marsh in the Away goal.

The referee blew his whistle for the final time shortly after with the Home side hanging on to secure an impressive 5-2 victory. It was a closely fought game of football, but one which the Home side just managed to win thanks to some excellent finishing. Nevertheless it was a valiant effort by the Away side, who played their part in making the game so exciting for all those watching.

Full Time: West Brom Home 5 - 2 West Brom Away

Man of the Match Home: Robert Thorpe
Man of the Match Away: Lee Blake
Moment of the Match: John Goodrick

Home Team: John Goodrick, Richard Sneekes, Daniel Mortlock, Robert Thorpe, Andrew Blocksage, Craig Mellon, David Harper, John Denley, Dean Thorpe, Dave Taylor (C), Ian Blundell, Lee Waterfall, Jamie Pennington, Colin Griffiths
Home Mascot: Ted Denley

Away Team: Richard Marsh, Nick Poling, Jason Shaw, Neil Geeling, Andrew Cooke, Lee Blake (C), Richard Leeson, M. Georgiou-Holden, Ryan Watton, Steven Roberts, Martin McLeod, Thomas Evans, Neil Wharton, Nathan McLean
Away Manager: Ian Hamilton
Away Mascot: Alfie Shaw