West Bromwich Albion 1 - Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Brighton win 2-1 after extra time
Very brief thoughts on this one.
Low attendance probably down to COVID but we can’t discount the style of play and performances, nor our previous for treating these games like reserve matches. The club should’ve put very attractive pricing in place.
The starting 11 was stronger than perhaps many expected and you have to say that we did okay. A combination of Phillips, TGH and Bartley all doing well giving us a decent spine and, in my opinion, our whack ball largely spoiling the game - no complaints, we weren’t suddenly going to outplay Brighton. A couple of big opportunities were squandered by the visitors and we got in to HT at nil nil. Special shout out for one of our worst ever corner routines - a short pass to Grant who ran it out of play. Tremendous.
We then caught them cold with a bit of a smash and grab goal, Grant doing well on the right and Robbo just about bundling it home.
And we were okay until Kipre’s clumsy yellows. The player has to do better but 6 reds in 12 games is on the manager, his discipline and the high line/jeopardy/aggressive style.
We still might have coped and rode it out but Ismael again refused to change his system and seemed hell bent on making subs he’d planned before irrespective of how the game actually went.
At 80 minutes we were still 1-0 up and it was surely the time to go 4-4-1 with our senior experienced players digging in to try and get us over the line.
Instead he kept it 3-3-3, brought on 2 more kids and we collapsed. We could’ve conceded 3 in the last 10 minutes and the loss then in extra time was inevitable.
Players maybe get 10 chances for an FA cup run if they are lucky and with a scalp almost falling into our laps here we blew it. If I was playing I’d be wondering what the hell my manager was doing.
No marks, they all put the effort in and did as they were instructed. Quite a few did well and a couple were shocking quality-wise. TGH looks the best of the kids by miles.
So on we go, another loss, continued terrible run of form, questions about the managerial decisions. One player isn’t going to fix this.
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