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West Brom 2014

The day dawned bright and clear for the Football Aid West Bromwich Albion 2014 match at The Hawthorns and there was an air of excited anticipation from both players and spectators as kick off drew closer. Both teams put their heart and soul into the game and the spectators weren't left disappointed, with 10 goals and plenty more great saves and chances beside. It was another nail-biting match, with the outcome left unclear right until the dying minutes, but in the end both sets of WBA players went home happy with honours even 5-5 at full time.

Date: Monday 19th of May 2014
Venue: The Hawthorns
West Bromwich Albion (Home) vs West Bromwich Albion (Away)
Kick off: 10:00 am
Legends: Bob Taylor and Ian Hamilton
Match Officials: Phil Taylor, Vic Kelly, Gary Taylor and Phil Dawes

With the sun shining and temperatures already rising, spirits were high and banter was rife between the two teams as they waited to march out onto the pitch to face off. The Away side won the toss and chose to let the Home side kick off first and the teams immediately began a tussle for possession and although the ball made its way to either end the few chances created didn’t quite make it into goal-worthy action.

However when it came, the opener was a fantastic start to the day's proceedings. A foul from Home No 6 Baljinder Singh sent Away Striker Dave Taylor stumbling to the ground. Taylor unselfishly handed over free-kick responsibilities to No 7 Michael Lee and it was a good decision, Lee sending a fantastic curling effort past the wall and Home keeper Peter Brunton-Douglas, and intp the bottom left corner. This gave the Away team an early lead with only 10 mins on the clock (0-1).

This early success boosted the Away side and they created more chances on goal in the early stages. One such chance came from right back Fabrizio Galasso. He found himself up field after receiving a pass from Legend Ian Hamilton. Then, even though he was tackled, he made a run forward to the edge of the box and once there he let off a shot on goal that, even though it didn’t reach the net, really made keeper Brunton-Douglas work to keep it out.

The Away team’s persistence soon paid off though when great passing play from No 10 Emanuele Fratini and Fabrizio Galasso allowed No 6 Terry Rickeard to get in behind the defence on 19 mins. He went one on one with Captain and Keeper Peter Brunton-Douglas and showed great composure to dink a trademark chip over the keeper and into the bottom right corner of the net, puting his Away team 2 goals clear in the process (0-2).

The goal opportunities continued to come for the Away side as they put constant pressure on the Home team’s defence. This soon gave them a chance that couldn't be missed. A loose ball was picked up on the edge of the box by No 8 Marco Pignotta. He then ran around three defenders before passing it across the goal and to Away Captain Mark Clyne who fired the ball clinically into the open goal. With 35 mins on the clock the Away team were now 3 goals to the good and looking on course for the win (0-3).

However the Home team refused to crack under the pressure from their opponents and managed to strike back before half time. Centre-Mid Baljinder Singh received a long pass down field and fed the ball to a teammate. This allowed him to get into space on the wing where he received the ball back before sending a perfect cross that found the head of No 8 Chris Perry, the left mid proceeded to bullet a header into the back of the net. With half time approaching the Home team were right back in the game (1-3)!

The end of the half came without any further change in the score; despite both sides pushing for another goal and both teams welcomed the break with the conditions so hot on the pitch. After some important tactical discussions with Managers Bob Taylor and Ian Hamilton the teams returned to the field to battle it out for the win.

Half Time: West Brom (Home) 1 - 3 West Brom (Away)

Despite The Away team dominance in the first half it was the Home team who added the next goal just 4 mins after the break. A missed pass allowed No 14 Kevin Banks to secure the ball before passing it to striker Lee Blake. Blake was quickly closed down by a defender but he was able to offload the ball wide to a teammate. Blake then continued his run into the box before getting on the end of the low cross that came back into the box and firing the ball into the back of the net. The Home side were back in the game with just the 1 goal separating the teams (2-3).

The Home side soon began to outmatch their rivals and took control of the game. Their passing was fluid and the Away side soon had to resort to breaking up play with the occasional foul. This back fired, however, when a resulting free kick was in range of goal. Striker John Denley took it and sent it perfectly into the box for a team mate to head in. The ball did make it into the goal…but unfortunately it was the Away No 15 Andy Botley who put it in the back of his own net. This now put the teams on equal footing in the 59th min and the Home side did not look to be slowing down (3-3).

With the pressure of being behind now relieved the Home side excelled even more and remained firmly entrenched in the Away team’s half. This persistence hit pay dirt when an attempted Away clearance was hit back into the box to be collected by No 11 Lee Blake. He manoeuvred around two defenders to get off a shot that curled beautifully past the keeper and into the far right corner, giving the Home side the lead for the first time in the game right on the hour mark (4-3).

The Away side did not take well to this turn of events one bit and pushed back to try and equalise and they nearly did so when No 14 Roger Dale beat his man and carried the ball into the box. He laid the ball off to No 7 Michael Lee who passed to Striker Mark Clyne, whose chip just clipped the top of the bar.

This was followed by end to end play before the Home team answered in kind off the boot of Lee Blake once again. A cross came in which found the head of No 9 John Denley and then Legend Bob Taylor who had a crack at goal. The ball was kept out by a defender but was seized upon by Lee Blake who put it firmly in the back of the net for his hat-trick in the 75th min. Amazingly the Home side were now 2 goals ahead themselves (5-3)!

However this was not enough to deter the Away side and the fight in them was by no means diminished and this was evident a few mins later when a long ball forward from No 7 Michael Lee was picked up by No 11 Mark Clyne who out paced the two defenders closing in before unleashing a great shot while running at full pace. The keeper never had a chance as the ball found the bottom left corner of the net. Clyne's goal meant the Away side were now only one goal behind in the 78th min (5-4).

It was not the end there as the Away side refused to go down without a fight. Both sides continued to attack again and again but it was the Away side who secured the final goal of the game. Right-Mid Michael Lee sent a through ball down the right wing which was secured by the ever dangerous No 9 Dave Taylor. He sent a strong shot at goal which was saved by the Keeper but the ball game right back to him and the 2nd time round he made sure he found the net, levelling the scores in the 82nd min (5-5).

With the hot conditions taking their toll, neither team could quite get the upper hand after that and the scores remained level until the final whistle. Both teams had played exceptionally well and had showed great resolve to come back from the brink of defeat to earn a draw, and the final scoreline showed how well both teams had played and how evenly matched the game was. The watching Baggies fans gave the players a great round of applause as they left the field in search of something cool and refreshing!

Full time: West Brom (Home) 5 - 5 West Brom (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Lee Blake
Man of the Match Away: Fabrizio Galasso
Moment of the Match: Peter Brunton-Douglas (C)

Home Team: Peter Brunton-Douglas (C), Colin Griffiths, Bob Taylor, Mark Billington, Jonathan Hadley, Baljinder Singh, Mark Wilson, Chris Perry, John Denley, Gary Jones, Lee Blake, Kevin Banks, Mark Feehan, Steve Perry
Home Mascot: James Douglas

Away Team: Scott Franklin, Fabrizio Galasso, Ian Hamilton, Gary Thomas, Roger Dale, Terry Rickeard, Michael Lee, Marco Pignotta, Dave Taylor, Emanuele Fratini, Mark Clyne (C), Andy Botley, Tim Evans