Date:Tuesday February 5 2008
The Mike Pike and Co Show Episode 2
WBA 2-1 Burnley
Cesar (26) James O'Connor (3)
Burnley lost 2-1 at the Hawthorns as a Mike Pike inspired West Brom took all 3 points.
West Brom deserved the win, but they owe a lot of thanks to referee, Mike Pike. A special mention also goes to the linesman nearest to the away end for constantly flagging us offside in the second half when we were clearly onside.
It was Pike`s second shocking performance in the past few months for us following on from his appalling refereeing performance in the QPR home match in which he denied us a penalty whilst we were 1-0 down.
Both of West Brom's goals came from fouls the first and absurd shove on Varga which went unpunished leading to West Brom scoring from the resulting corner and the second a headed goal which was allowed to stand despite Unsworth being climbed on in a ridiculous fashion.
We had the lead not soon after the game started. A free kick a few minutes in from Robbie after Wade Elliott had been fouled was headed down by Unsworth to James O'Connor whose shot appeared to go in off the bar (although it was difficult to tell exactly what happened from the away end) to give us a dream start.
From then on most of the play was from West Brom.17 minutes in Burnley didn't clear a corner, but fortunately Gera headed over.
It was now that the Mike Pike and Co Show really started to get underway.
Varga was pushed to the ground whilst going for the ball resulting in the ball going out.
Mr Pike was in a superb position to see this, but he had to consult his linesman who was clearly in Cloud Cuckoo Land as he awarded a corner from which unfairly and annoyingly West Brom equalised.
The corner came in and the ball was volleyed in by Cesar.
Despite recent attacks on Brian Jensen from certain quarters he was not at fault for this goal there was nothing he could do about it. It seems some people want him to concede so he will get dropped.
Nevertheless he carries on putting in good performance after good performance and Owen Coyle will certainly be aware of that.
In the remainder of the first half Gera had an overhead kick fly past the post and Wade Elliott shot over the bar.
Also during the first half a good tackle in the box prevented Philips from scoring for West Brom and West Brom were awarded a free kick after a theatrical collapse on the edge of the box - another joke of a decision. In fairness at half time we deserved to be behind and were lucky to be level, but we had been wronged by the officials and unfortunately not for the last time in the afternoon.
In the opening stages of the second half James Morrison shot wide for WBA.
We looked destined to lose and the winner arrived on 61 minutes although again Mike Pike's lack of action towards West Brom fouls was involved. Bednar headed in a Robinson cross, but was clearly mauling Unsworth to elevate himself and in doing so was preventing Unsworth from challenging. You sometimes have to wonder how referees qualify to take charge of games with outings like these.
Andy Cole who had been preparing to come on before the goal went in was immediately brought on for his Burnley debut. He replaced Ade Akinbiyi.
Not long after West Brom were awarded a chance to seal the game from the spot and for once Pike had it right a rash lunge from Harley resulting in a spot kick. Koren stepped up to take it, but Jensen made a fine save away to his left.
Mark Randall was introduced on 70 minutes with McCann leaving the field.
The game petered out from there Cole had a chance where he got past the keeper, but was too wide to shoot on target.
Late on Cole was through on goal and looked clearly onside only for the ever reliable linesman to flag him offside.
Randall was booked on 87 minutes after a ridiculous dive from a West Brom player.
Full time and we had lost 2-1 and it really is to be hoped we've seen the back of Mr Pike if his last two performances are anything to go by.
Man of the Match: Brian Jensen
A superb penalty save and a very good game in general. Despite some people seemingly wanting him to fail our recent upturn in fortunes coincides with his return to the team.
Many thanks to EET for providing another of his regular match reports and if anybody else would like to write a match preview or review then please contact the site editor or declare your interest in our forums.
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Date:Tuesday February 5 2008
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