Hawthorns Halt

Terry Wills watches another brief Albion cup campaign.

If there is such a thing as a certainty in football the fact that Albion would once again self-destruct in the early stages of a cup competition would be high up the list.

Especially when they’re drawn at home to a lower divisions club – in this case Derby County, who followed in the footsteps of teams such as Reading and Peterborough to say “Bye bye Baggies”. Dreams of a trip to Wembley were well and truly scuttled until a leopard decided to change its spots for stripes.

Early on the signs were promising. Rondon missed an early chance and although Derby impressed with some attractive passing movements I felt confident that if we took the lead we’d go to win. Baggies Man of the Match Matt Phillips obliged; we were on our way to a place in the fourth round draw.

Alas – misguided optimism. Two goals in three minutes turned the game on its head and despite a non-stop barrage of attempts on goal and 15 corners the ball refused to enter the County net. We were out at the first hurdle again. In truth we shouldn’t have lost but no amount of groans and moans can alter the fact that on the day we simply lacked sufficient quality against a Derby side that’ll be pushing hard for promotion from the Championship.

Back to Greed League action this week with a trip to White Hart Lane to take on a rampaging Tottenham Hotspurs. Natural law and logical instincts denote that Spurs should run out winners, although they won’t need reminding that last season when they were in with a great chance of lifting the title Albion shocked them with a well-deserved draw. In truth although I feel Spurs will pocket the points Albion have an excellent record there, only beaten once in seven visits.

Fingers will be firmly crossed while watching another early televised tussle just hoping Tony Pulis’s side can do enough to prevent Spurs pulling off a double, beating Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion in the space of seven days.