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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
5 November 2012
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 25635
West Bromwich Albion
P. Odemwingie 36', 60'
Right, that's it from me tonight, folks. Thank you for joining me tonight and I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Guy Fawkes Night. Now I'm off to have my own fireworks display in the garden! Until next time.
It's all over at the Hawthorns. The Albion were well worth their victory as the Saints leave the Midlands empty handed. It's looking bleak for the boys from the coast. As for the Baggies? They go fifth and truly deserve their lofty status.
About to go into stoppage time and Foster smothers the ball at Lallana's feet. I feel for the Saints, especially Nigel Adkins, but they have been no match for the Baggies tonight, who will jump ahead of Spurs and Arsenal in the table tonight if the scoreline stays the same.
There is a tide of pressure on the home side's defence but no sea of urgency.
CHANCE: Yoshina heads wide from a Southampton corner. Time is not on the side of the visitors...
There is no doubt that lack of Premier League experience is the Saints' downfall. They are leaving many gaps at the back. It wouldn't surprise me if the Albion snatch another.
Peter Odemwingie goes off to an ovation from the home fans and a pat on the back from his boss. There was a hint of handball in the build-up to his first goal but there was no doubt over the quality of his second. The smile on the player's face is wider than a Steffen Freund shot.
PENATLY SHOUT! Lallana is pushed to the ground by Olsson and the lack of appeals from the visitors does not get them the decision they need. Nigel Adkins looks on in despair.
...They don't. Boy do the Saints need something quick.
Southampton win a corner. If they score here, the comeback could be on...
CHANCE! Unlucky Chris Brunt. Lukaku puts a great ball into an unmarked Brunt but the sub pulls his half-volley just wide of the post.
The Saints are leaving more holes at the back than those in a hair net. They are desperate to salvage something from this game but Albion are breaking with force and intent at every chance they get.
STAT ATTACK: Southampton and Reading are the only two sides yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
What a job Steve Clarke is doing at the Hawthorns. The Baggies look comfortable and Lukaku is about to (finally) take his bow.
And now, a word from John Stammers, currently freezing at the Hawthorns: "More defensive woe for Southampton as Peter Odemwingie makes it 2-0 and goal number 30 draws ever nearer. Shane Long must get credit for his fantastic delivery but his team-mate still had work to do with a brilliant run and header. 'Sacked in the morning' rings out from the Hawthorns, as Nigel Adkins looks on in dismay."
CHANCE: Another dangerous corner from Gera lands on the head of McAuley, who can only plant the ball in the crowd. Brunt finally joins the fold as the Baggies look to add to their dominance.
At this rate, Albion will be heading for fifth in the table. Southampton on the other hand, will be doomed to yet another defeat to keep them in the bottom three.
GOAL! Looks like they will be late to the party! A long clearance from Ridgewell is met by Long who cuts inside and puts a great cross right onto the head of Odemwingie. Great finish and the subs are told to put their coats back on.
Lukaku and Brunt are ready and waiting to enter the fold and kill the Saints off.
The football is very easy on the eye but there has been a lack of end product this half from both sides.
Lovely build-up play between Mulumbu and Odemwingie, who have shone for West Brom tonight but the goalscorer's cross from the right swings out of play.
Lukaku looks eager to join the fun as he rubs his hands while warming up on the touchline. Saints fans will feel unlucky with that Lambert effort but it might just be the spark to build to an equaliser.
The Saints are playing attractive football but as close as they have come, there is still no cigar.
CHANCE! 'What a strike!' Lambert controls the ball on his chest and smashes a half volley onto the crossbar. Best chance for the away side and a warning shot for Steve Clarke's men.
No changes for either side as West Brom press early on after the break.
The teams are back out at the Hawthorns...
Will the Baggies be hungry for more? Or will the Saints fight back and make a November 5 to remember?
STAT ATTACK: Before the start of this match, the (then) 26 goals that Southampton had conceded at this stage of the season is the worst defensive record of all time in the Premier League after nine games.
So at half-time the home side have broken the deadlock after an encouraging start from the Saints, which boss Nigel Adkins will hope to see more of in the second half. Anyone for a half-time hot dog and sparklers?
CHANCE: There is one minute of added time and Odemwingie goes close again, hitting the side netting after good work on the right hand side. The ref blows the whistle and the players head for the tunnel.
PENALTY SHOUT: Long gets free in the box and although his shot is well saved, the rebound falls to Mulumbu, whose effort hits a Saints' player and bounces out for a corner. The home fans seem to think it hit a hand but referee Halsey doesn't agree with them.
Saints win their first corner compared to the four West Brom have had and Foster grasps the in-swinging set piece at the second attempt.
That was harsh on the Saints but they left the best player on the pitch in Odemwingie in too much space to score.
The away fans are silenced. More to come from the Albion?
GOAL!: Me and my big mouth. Peter Odemwingie shoots from the edge of the area and via a deflection off the leg of a Saints defender, the ball nestles in the back of the net despite the best efforts of keeper Gazzaniga. Let the floodgates open!
Still evenly poised this game, who else is hoping that the deadlock will be broken soon?
CHANCE: Following a chance for Lambert who buried his header straight into Foster's gloves, Odemwingie breaks up the other end and sees his low shot fly past the post. The Baggies' fans have woken up and are driving their team on.
Long forgets his positioning and finds himself in defence almost making a critical mistake to allow the visitors in. Luckily, Ridgewell has his back and clears and Long reverts to his natural role.
A free-kick into the box sees Olsson knock the ball down for Long, who fails to make a touch before it goes out of play. Goal soon please, chaps!
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is sitting in the stands checking on the neighbours, looking very chilly and in need of a bobble hat.
CHANCE: Mulumbu wins the ball in the centre of the pitch and drives forward, finding Long to his left who fails to capitalise on the break.
CHANCE: Zoltan Gera, played onside by the Saints defence, connects with Odemwingie's low cross/shot and the former Fulham man stabs it over the bar. Best chance so far for the home side as the fans roar for more.
STAT ATTACK: The Baggies have scored in all but one game this season, that dud came against Fulham in a 3-0 defeat.
CHANCE: West Brom haven't really settled yet and Lambert fizzes a low drive from just inside the box right at Foster. Good stuff from the Saints.
...Ramirez steps up instead and wallops it into the wall. Southampton are up for this and they have started the better side.
Lallana is right in the thick of it as he wins a free-kick for Southampton about 25 yards out. Lambert's eyeing the goal up...
Yellow CardBilly Jones
Lallana falls under Jones' high tackle on the Saints' player's spine so referee Mike Halsey delves into his pocket for a yellow card.
Ben Foster is hobbling early on here. Hopefully nothing serious, certainly no contact with another player, maybe he just needs to warm-up a bit.
The Baggies win the first corner of the game but it is wasted and cleared by the visitors.
Davis shoots high, wide and hideously for the Saints first attempt on goal (ish, that was miles away!)
The Saints fans are in fine voice as Fonte prevents Long from having an early shot on goal.
AAANNNNDDD we're off!
There's a beautifully observed minutes silence for the fallen during the First World War, players wearing poppies on their shirts.
The players emerge from the tunnel on a chilly evening in the Midlands, glad I'm indoors!
Fireworks are going off all around the Hawthorns as the players prepare to enter the arena.
STAT ATTACK: The Saints are looking for their first league win of the season and to obtain it, Nigel Adkins’ men will have to win at a ground that they have not left victorious since a 2-0 win in May 1984.
I don't know about you, ladies and gents, but I'm expecting an open, explosive, bonfire night encounter. A lot at stake here for the travelling side...
Good news for Baggies fans as Shane Long makes a return to action after a hamstring problem, while Saint's fans will be hopeful that their returning star, Gaston Ramirez, can be a big influence in what could be a pivotal night for Nigel Adkins' men.
West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, RIdgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Odemwingie, Gera, Dorrans; Long Subs: Myhill; Popov, Brunt, Lukaku, Rosenberg, Fortune, Tamas. Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Lallana, Ramírez, Lambert, Rodriguez. Subs: K. Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Mayuka, Puncheon.
First things first, here is the team news...
Good evening and welcome to the play-by-play commentary of the Premier League clash between West Brom and Southampton. My name is Hayden Gribble and I will take you through tonight’s main proceedings on what I hope will be a cracker on Firework’s Night!
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