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Sunderland 2-3 West Bromwich Albion (H)

I've stared at this blank page for a few minutes now, I better put something I suppose. That's my internal monologue by the way, not an impression of a Steve Bruce drawing up plans for how to turn around a football match.

I'm really lost for words as to what to put though, the game was finely balanced at half-time with us in the lead, about right I thought to myself, but in no way did I expect that sort of capitulation.

Well, here it is ladies and gents - a match report, of sorts. I'd say 'enjoy' but...

Steve Bruce promised to shake things up a little before the game, and he did with four changes from the team crushed at Manchester City last weekend. Nedum Onuoha, Kieran Richardson, Steed Malbranque and Ahmed Elmohamady all came in to replace Sulley Muntari, Jordan Henderson, Anton Ferdinand and Stephane Sessegnon.

Pop Bang Wallop what a start! Nine minutes on the clock and we have the lead. The sun is shining, I've got the Happy Days theme tune stuck in my head and life is good. Asamoah Gyan's cross nodded home by Ahmed Elmohamady. No, hang on a minute, Ahmed, mate, you're not fooling anyone. Turns out Nicky Shorey helped us out with an own goal. Cheers Nicky.

Perhaps our luck was changing! Gyan nearly added a second when he recieved the ball from Elmo, and used his strength well, but much to the chagrin of those sat in the East Stand, it only rippled the side netting, not the back of the net.

Ah that's it, good old Sunderland... 29 minute in, and Peter Odemwingie equalises for the Baggies. Thomas puts in a deflected cross... "Ah we'll clear it in a minute"... Jonas Olsson nods towards goal... "Just a min.. Oh cock, he's scored"... Odemwingie hooks his leg round Michael Turner and we're back on level terms.

Not for long though, baby! And what a fine goal to take the lead. Asamoah Gyan goes down like a sack of spuds 30 yards out, Richardson knocks the freekick into the path of Bardsley, who delivers a pile-driver into the top corner of the net. I can only describe it as what we used to in the school yard as a 'blammer'.

2-1, and thats how we headed into the break. An even assessment of the game, SAFC ever so slightly edging it in my eye. Which was about the nicest thing you could say after what happened in the second half.

After not a great deal happening between the 46th and 53rd minutes, Yusuf Mulumbu decided to pop up with a goal and make things 2-2. Canny goal too, lets be fair to the lad from Africa, and better than Kaka as the Albion fans sung. A nice passing movement involving Chris Brunt, Odemwingie again, and of course Mulumbu to finish things off prodding into the bottom right of Mignolet's goal.

If you're searching for a scapegoat, as SAFC fans are wont to do, then step up Mr M Turner once again, as once again the defender dithered, and dithered some more before thinking "Shitting crikey! I better close that guy down, he might sco.. Oh f--ksticks, he has scored"

Well, it's 2-2, we're back on level terms, and there is still everything to play for as they say. We're not out of it, WE ARE NOT OUT OF THIS!! I repeatedly and somewhat foolishly on reflection told myself, despite the fact West Brom were gradually getting more into the game, dare I say, on top, with shots coming from all angles by Odemwingie and Brunt.

71 minutes played, bish-bash-bosh, the inevitable happens.Paul Scharner grabs a tap in, of course unmarked, we wouldn't want to put him under pressure, and it's 3-2 to the visitors. Again though, credit where it's due, a nice passing move. Odemwingie once again the provider, after he and Steven Reid linked up nicely down the left hand side.

Now then Mr Bruce, what you got for us? How are we gonna change things? Well we didn't really. Lots of "Hit and Hope" football, which got us into this mess in the first place, and seemingly no Plan B in the locker either.

There was 20+ minutes of football played after WBA's third goal, but frankly the best I can say of that period was Steed Malbranque put in some nice crosses, and Danny Welbeck missed a pretty decent volley as time ran out.


22 Mignolet - 5/10 - I think he could have done better with the second goal to be honest.
02 Bardsley - 6/10 - Six for the decent goal, 0 for the rest of an inept display.
03 Richardson - 5/10 - Poor, injured and booked. Subbed at half-time before he could be sent-off.
04 Turner - 4/10 - Rubbish, off the pace, and at fault in every goal.
05 Mensah - 6/10 - The lucky git only had to endure 10 minutes before succumbing to injury.
06 Cattermole - 5/10 - Needlessly booked, and did very little else throught the game.
08 Malbranque - 6/10 - Decent crosses aside, he was all huff and puff.
15 Onuoha - 6/10 - Can't be faulted for any goals, but offered little attacking.
17 Welbeck - 5/10 - Barely remember him getting a kick, and when he did he wasted it.
27 Elmohamady - 5/10 - Crossing up to his usual poor standard.
33 Gyan - 5/10 - Yo! Asamoah! Start hanging out with Welbeck, get to know him, you look like you've never met.


07 Zenden - 5/10 - Again, did nothing of note, and not really involved.
28 Sessegnon - 5/10 - Bruce's last through of the dice late on, and was not lucky.
29 Ferdinand - 6/10 - Not much wrong, not much right. Subbed for Sess, may be injured.

So that's that people. One point from the last 8 games is woeful by any standards. Bruce attempted to shake things up, and God knows I appreciate the effort, son. However you yourself Steve need a little more up your sleeve.

This is not my stinging attack on Bruce, I'm still TEAM BRUCE, regardless of this result, but he needs to start proving himself as much as the players do.

Birmingham away next week, we'll probably bloody win there now we're all expecting a hammering. Roll on the end of the season.

Keep the faith, don't knee jerk, lets keep fighting on the same team. Hard as it may be, sackings are not the way forward, and booing the team won't help either.

It will happen for us one day, I just hope it's soon.


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