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West Brom 2006

Football Aid Championship, Saturday 22nd April, The Hawthorns, att 150

WBA 5 WBA 4

It may have been FA Cup semi final day last Saturday but all eyes were on The Hawthorns and the West Brom leg of the Football Aid Championship. With Boro Legends, Graham Williams and Richard Sneekes forming a formidable management team to West Brom’s Home side and Bernard McNally joining Stan Jones to lead the Baggies’ Away team, the match proved to be a close run nerve jangler worthy of any Cup final!

The first half belonged to a dominant Home side who kicked off at a furious pace, causing panic in Away’s box early on. Stoic defence from Jones’ men kept them at bay until the 10th minute when midfielder Finn powered his strike past keeper Millington. However, celebrations were short-lived as the Away team swiftly retaliated with an aggressive counter attack that saw Denley’s header from 25 yards levelling the score line once more.

Unphased, Williams’ men increased the pressure on their rivals in search of a breakthrough. Their hard work was finally rewarded in the 25th minute after some stunning forward play, striker Bonning found the ball at his feet and confidently slotted the ball home.

Legend Sneekes joined in the fun with five minutes to go, sending a beautifully crafted curling ball into the bottom left of the goal to make the score 3-1 to a confident Home side at half time.

In the second half, Jones’ men burst out of the blocks and soon had the Home side back-pedalling. 2 goals within as many minutes from striker Saunders levelled the score line and brought Away storming back into the game. Suddenly, the home side were struggling to overcome stubborn opponents who looked in the mood to deal a damaging blow.

However, the Home side quickly rallied, their determination to win apparent. Sweeping attacks rained down on Away’s defence and the pressure proved too much as a messy clearance in the box resulted in a penalty to the Home side. Midfielder Bailey calmly stepped up and pushed the ball past an overworked Millington making the score 4-3.

Whilst Away continued to carry a threat to goal with plenty of promise in their build up play, their moves broke down in the final third and Home were quick to take advantage. In the 21st minute, their victory was sealed as midfield powerhouse Bergin slammed in their fifth and final goal.

Away stole back a consolation goal in the final few minutes of play when Alcock’s free kick blasted past keeper Mosely into the top right hand side of goal, making the final score 5-4 to a conquering Home side.

Man of the Match awards went to master of the midfield, Thomas Bergin and silky striker John Denley while Adrian Alcock won the Whyte and MacKay Moment of the match for his dazzling free kick and dedication to Football Aid, having travelled all the way from Amsterdam to play!

As Adrian Alcock commented after the match, “What a fantastic day! 5 stars to West Brom and the staff & helpers. Very well organised, pitch was perfect, great atmosphere and the weather was perfect. Big thanks to Richard Sneekes (a bit too fit if you ask me), Bernard McNally, who got the best out (away team) of us especially in the second half and the managers Graham Williams and Stan Jones, who’s stories and memories of games and players past were worth turning up just to listen too. A great day to remember.”

Photos for this event can be viewed at www.myeventpictures.biz or contact Russ on 07786 277 299 for further information.

A special thanks to Jack Launchbury who stepped in at the last moment to act as mascot to the Away team.