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Midweek Football review
Huddersfield Town 2-2 West Brom
Bruce Ball is in full flow at The Hawthorns.
After a dominant performance last week against Hull, West Brom found themselves 2-0 down after 30 minutes, Faustino Anjorin netting twice to put the hosts ahead.
Albion pulled one back through Jed Wallace just before the break and gave West Brom a glimmer of hope. Jed Wallace then netted his and Albions second on 57 minutes to earn them a point.
On the face of it doesn’t seem like a dreadful result. A point away from home is great. Huddersfield started the game second from bottom however and like Albion had only won once this season. The fact West Brom had 69% of possession and 16 shots over the course of 90 minutes suggests they really should’ve done better.
The result sees them currently occupy 15th place in the league and struggling for momentum in the early stages of the season.
Hull City 3-2 Coventry City
Coventry City finally got to play another league game as the disruption caused by the Commonwealth Games has left the pitch at Coventry Building Society Arena unusable.
You would have thought that the extra rest would be beneficial to the Coventry players but Hull City were looking to bounce back after losing to West Brom last week.
An early Hull goal was cancelled out in 29th minute by Godden who equalised for The Sky Blues, but Hull City would go in at half time the happier with Estupinan scoring his second of the day.
Hull managed to throw a spanner in the works early in the second half as Estupinan bagged his hattrick. There was hope for Coventry as Godden converted a penalty with 20 minutes to go. Hull managing to hold out for all three points.
On another day it could’ve quite easily been a different result and came up against a striker in Estupinan who is in fantastic form with 7 goals in 6.
Coventry find themselves rock bottom of the league. Due to the issues with CBS Arena, they have only played 3 games this season and have three games in hand. Win those and they’ll be in the play-offs, no need to worry. Lose them however and it could start to look like a long season ahead.
Rotherham 2-0 Birmingham City
It was a clash of the titans at New York Stadium as the Blues looked to put a stop to their horrendous run form.
Unfortunately, Saturday’s game wasn’t the one to stop the rot. Within half an hour Rotherham were 1-0 up and the game already looked beyond Blues. Notoriously shy in front goal this season, it left Birmingham with a mountain to climb.
Captain Troy Deeney was taken off just after the hour and Gary Gardener was brought on to provide some creativity in the middle as Blues looked for an equaliser. Then in the 71st minute, Rotherham centre back, Richard Wood scored his second of the game, condemning Birmingham to another defeat.
Birmingham now sit 21st in the Championship, a long way from the dizzying heights of first place where they found themselves for a few brief hours earlier in the season. On a positive note, they did manage three shots on target. Tiny steps.
Walsall 1-2 Grimsby Town
Last seasons play-off winners Grimsby were the visitors to Poundland Bescott Stadium, as both teams wanted to continue their strong starts to the season.
Walsall got off to a flyer with Danny Johnson scoring in the 5th minute adding to his hattrick on the opening day of the season. They kept on chipping away but were unable to find the decisive breakthrough. Then disaster struck as 10 minutes from time Aribim Pepple cross found Harry Clifton on the edge of the 6 yard box. 1-1.
Walsall’s worst nightmare came true 5 minutes later when once again Clifton converted from close range to win the game for the visitors.
It has been a brilliant start to the season for Walsall and they will be optimistic overall. I think they will feel as though this game was within their grasp however and at this level, you need to be winning games like this at home.
Solihull Moors 3-0 Dorking Wanderers
What a start to the season Solihull are having. After missing out in the play-off final last season they seem determined to not have to go through that again this season and secure promotion as champions.
Dorking Wanderers were this week's victims at ARMCO Arena. Sbarra put the home side in front after 15 minutes and then Solihull were handed a massive advantage when Issac Philpot saw red for Dorking. Callum Howe scored Solihull’s second 2 minutes later and it was job done. Solihull avoided a potential banana skin and sealed the victory with a Josh Kelly in the 92nd minute.
The win leaves Solihull 2nd in the league having not lost so far this season. Next up they have Notts County away but there is no reason why this form cannot continue.
Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham
The Hammers arrived at Villa Park without a goal or a win to their name this season, so it was inevitable what was going to happen.
Villa dominated the first first half without really finding an edge or presence in the final third. Keeping the ball well but struggling to create openings has become a recurring theme at times this season.
Villa had the ball in the back of the net though when Coutinho flicked on a Douglas Luiz corner and Konsa tapped in from 6 yards. The linesman correctly flagged the ball had gone out of play from the corner, as it swung back into the box, and it was ruled out.
West Ham came out for the second half and looked like a different animal, they were up for it and you could tell. The fact remains though, they hadn’t scored so far this season and you could tell why. Then, in the 74th minute, Pablo Fornals hit a speculative shot from outside the area and it took a wicked deflection of Konsa, the ball looping of Emi Martinez in the Villa goal.
After that, like much of the season so far, Villa looked out of ideas. West Ham played deep, looking to hold on to their first points of the campaign.
The result now means that in the last 15 games Villa have only won 3, against Norwich, Burnley and Everton. Two of those sides were relegated last season and Everton aren’t looking great this season. With Arsenal and Man City it's hard to see it getting any better!
Wolves 1-1 Newcastle United
Wolves were looking to kick start their season but were faced with a resurgent Newcastle side. After the appointment of Eddie Howe Newcastle have looked good value for money with a largely unchanged side from the previous manager. Who was that again? Oh yea, Steve Bruce.
Wolves took the lead through Neves who scored from outside the area, if you can believe that, in the 38 minute. The Portuguese doing what he does best.
Newcastle had Wolves under the cosh for large parts but Wolves held firm. Then in the 80th minute, Wolves break on the counter from a Newcastle corner and Jimenez slid the ball under Nick Pope to make it 2 nil.
The referee, having thought he saw a foul in the build up, consulted VAR and Wolves man Neto was adjudged to have fouled Ryan Fraser, before putting through Jimenez goal and it was disallowed.
Then in the 90th minute a weak Hwang clearance landed in the path of Allan Saint-Maximin who hit a sweet volley into the bottom corner to earn a point for Newcastle.
As a standalone result it isn’t devastating for Wolves. But, when added to the slow start to the season and the fact they are 19th in the league, things need to change quickly. Unfortunately for Wolves they don’t play Villa in the next couple of weeks to kick start their season.