Hull City 2 - West Bromwich Albion 0
In my opinion there are a number of reasons why WBA will not reach the playoffs this season.
Welcome to West Bromwich Albion.
Dear oh dear. 3 points absolutely thrown away tonight against a poor team who were there for the taking even with our injuries.
The lineup made sense and for 30 minutes we were embarrassingly on top - many chances and situations but too many players were really poor in the final 3rd.
Then from a high ball with their first real attack Hull scored - O’Shea didn’t challenge or track the runner and their forward showed ours how to do it by blasting top corner.
The worry for me was rather than regrouping because it was a sucker punch, Coberan seemed to panic and went into tinker mode moving Walkace up top, Albrighton right and Swift left. Rather than hit them back we fell to pieces and from nowhere Hull might’ve gone in 2 or 3 up.
At half time I’d have got TGH on for Molumby or Albrighton to bring either legs (Albrighton) or final 3rd composure (Molumby) which were badly lacking.
We stayed as we were and right after the break first Dike and than Wallace missed huge chances to score.
Molumby picked up a booking… but stayed on and then after a decent Griffiths save O’Shea was beaten at a corner and we were 2-0 down.
The last 30 minutes were almost comical as we made subs and were both awful but created enough chances or situations to win it. Reach might’ve had a hat-trick, Swift, Dike and Wallace also failed to connect well enough or be composed enough. Even in the last 10 minutes with a ludicrous shape and set of players we had enough chances to draw.
A hugely damaging loss because Hull were so poor. They didn’t defend well or bully us. We gifted it to them. Missing out on promotion is going to be devastating financially so this is a painful one… feeling quite bleak given our injury list.
Devastated by the missed opportunity and the injuries but given the number it should be asked - are CCs methods too intense at times?
What a massively frustrating game. I think we did more than enough to win the game but as always it comes down to putting the ball in the net. We totally dominated for the first 30mins but lacked any composure in the opposition box. As soon as they scored (with their first shot of any sort) we went into panic mode and struggled to keep the ball.
Second half we created enough chances to win 3 matches but only managed to find the net once, unfortunately in the wrong end. Corberan tried to change shape and personal but I don't think we would have scored if we'd have stayed all weekend. Swift hit the post with a great free kick, Darlow made a string of decent saves and we fluffed countless opportunities.
It was a disappointing result but I thought in general the performance was OK. The side is a long way off Premier league standard and we will struggle massively if by some miracle we do get promoted so perhaps another season building in the Championship wouldn't be the worst thing. The real problem is off the field, we need an owner who shows some interest or we might not have a club to support at all.
Albion toothless: Tigers two
A lot of the commentary in the run up to this one centred around the lack of options Corberan had, although given the pedigree of Dike at this level, when at Barnsley, and Albrighton's showings on the left in the top flight, there'd be a good few who might consider this to be our first-choice starting XI.
Indeed, looking back to side that started in the 5-2 win over the Tigers near the start of the season, the changes - Griffiths/Button; Pieters/Ajayi; Albrighton/Diangana and Dike/Grant - would not make it too long a bow to draw to offer the view that this Albion was stronger than that one.
All the above based on "on paper" considerations from back in August, of course, but sadly, out on the grass, this Albion side could have played for a few more games and not scored and you'll forgive me for quoting from Brendan Clegg's report on that home game in which he noted: "We were on top but toothless".
Pretty much more of the same in evidence here, and indeed, had the game been one of the Rugby League variants, then Albion would have been turning the ball over after every sixth pass within a given possession having not really advanced all that far down the field, a lack of penetration more in evidence because of the extra lines across the field with which to compare where we had started to pass the ball to where it ended up.
When we did turn possession into position we found the Hull keeper in fine form, although of the two moments of note in the first half, his first save came after a defender's clearance - after Wallace had got in behind and crossed - bounced goalwards off an Albion attacker, whilst the second, following a really good touch from Albrighton as he pulled down a long pass and teed up Wallace, required a dive but the shot lacked power and precision and you'd like to think that our stopper would have stopped it too, Dike would get between two defenders short after that but with no end product.
Just after the half hour, we fell behind after a Hull striker got into the inside-left channel and drove the ball across Griffiths, and although he got fingertips on it, the ball powered into the inside of the right side netting.
Rather than coerce the Albion into playing the possession game at a higher tempo, the goal seemed to wake up Hull, although they were still only the one up at the break.
Straight after the restart another pull-back teed up Dike but his contact wasn't really much of a shot and so didn't really require much of a save and ten or so minutes later, Hull's goalscorer popped up in the inside-right channel and drove the ball across Griffiths, although this time he'd get enough on it to see it clear the goal area and be put out for a corner and, from that corner Hull scored their second, credited to O'Shea as an OG as he tried to jump with the player we was marking at the near post.
Hard to believe that the immediate substitution, that saw O'Shea move to right-back making way for Yokuslu to drop in at centre-back, after Cholabah had replaced Furlong, was designed to make us better at defending set-pieces, but that was the change.
After Swift had hit the post with a great free-kick from central and just outside the "D" around 65, Corberan changed things again, with TGH coming on for Molumby and Reach replacing Townsend, although to assume that those were like for like would be to miss the fact that Reach, nominally the left-back, would not only have a shot from 25 yards out and central that moved enough in the air to require Hull's keeper to make a good save, but also arrive on the penalty spot to get on the end of yet another pull-back, only to completely fluff the contact from less than half the distance to the goal.
The final substitution, with about ten to go, saw Rico Richards coming on for centre-back Pieters, but seemingly going out wide on the left, and I'm still not sure I have worked out who else went where.
The last moment of note, with about five to go, seemed to sum up the game perfectly, Swift arriving on the edge of the box, only to completely mis-kick what should have been a clean shot at goal.
There was one "it's the hope that kills you" ghostly echo, from this round of games and that is we still have a game in hand on all of the sides above us, and that it comes against Wigan, who have only just moved off the bottom after a draw with the Blooze, and that it also comes at home, where the Corberan effect, that seems to have evaporated away from home, is seemingly yet to wear off. Score enough against Wigan to win that one on Tuesday and we'll be four points off sixth, with the chance to score enough to beat Huddersfield, now bottom to play, at home, in the game after that.
So all we need to do is score enough to win rather than be, to quote Brendan once again, "on top but toothless"
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