Britt Blasts Baggies
By Robert Nichols
Monday 04 Feb 2019 11:12:00
Browse all Match Reviews articles


What a sweet, sweet victory at the Hawthorns on Saturday. It was a topsy turvy scoreline but true Britt put a full stop to all that as he signed, sealed and delivered the result with two scorching finishes. After a stormy week on the transfer front, Tony Pulis had talked about putting on a tin hat for his return to Albion but in the end we all pulled together to take full points. It feels like a massive victory. Can we now bring the form on home to the Riverside?

Boro arrived at promotion rivals West Brom riding on the shock wave of disappointment after failure to bring in any eleventh hour transfer signings. An emotional Tony Pulis had taken his players down the pub on Thursday before appealing through the press on Friday for everyone to pull together and put on a united front for the cause.

The performance at the Hawthorns showed bags of character against the Baggies and demonstrated again that away from home at least we have the resources to compete with the best this division has to offer. In John Obi Mikel we have a cool hand operator in midfield who oozes experience and know how. Van La Parra offered a cameo of the kind of pace and potency that he might just offer to break the deadlock in home games. George Saville showed the Boro boo boys how he knows the way to goals from midfield. Britt might just be poised to bounce back as a trail blazing lead striker to blaze in the goals for a Riverside revival.

Boro started with three big centre halves and plenty of big guys forming a second wall of defence. The home fans mocked us, and mocked Tony Pulis and his playing style. After all they booed him out of the Hawthorns and arguably booed their way to relegation.

There was a big away following backing the Boro although some of the Boro black jackets were more intent at goading home fans throughout than actually watching the play.

From early on Boro's tactics appeared to be working as the Baggies lost possession on the Boro barricades only for Besic and Saville to lead the break out at pace. Hugill was battling manfully to holding the ball up while reinforcements arrived on the scene.

George Saville's opener was a superb counter thrust, latching on to a stray pass the former Millwall man powered through the middle before shooting into the corner of the net.

West Brom were rattled and Boro kept on playing interceptors with even Daniel Ayala robbing an opponent and powering forward to shoot on target.

On 22 minutes there was an emotional minute's applause and chanting for Luke Jobson, one of our own T-T-Teessider as well as unveiling of a banner in memory of the young man who met his untimely death last week.

There was action at both ends for the remainder of the first half as the home team gradually found their feet. Even so, the equaliser was a bit of a surprise as Jay Rodriguez stole in at the back post unnoticed to prod home. It was a real blow coming just before half time. West Brom forward Dwight Gayle was well out of order celebrating by goading all the Boro fans. He would later strike gold himself for the Baggies but fortunately would ultimately end up with egg on his face thanks to Britt.

It was a low blow when Gayle deflected a Baggies shot into the net for them to grab the lead. Coming midway through the second half the big scoreboard clock that had been our friend suddenly became the enemy. The home fans were delighted to turn the tables and wasted no time in bragging about being on top of Pulis boring team.

That “boring” team dug deep and refused to give up the ghost, late changes of Van La Parra and Britt really lit the fuse for a revival already primed when the fresh legs of Howson had replaced the tiring Besic. We now had two up fron, energy with Howson and speed to burn through Van La Parra.

The equaliser came after a superb throughball threaded from Saville to Hugill who held it up superbly to feed Britt. The big forward switched inside and blasted the ball into the bottom corner. G-O-A-L.

Minutes later that 2-2 became 3-2 Boro as an under pressure Baggie defender made a swing and a miss for Britt to pounce with a clinical finish. WOW.

Boro now had to hang on for dear life and three points. But hang on we did, beating the team ahead of us in the table and signalling to the Championship that we are still very much in this race. Write us off at your peril. We have come together in transfer window adversity and we are a real threat to everyone on the road.

What a win. It feels absolutely huge. That was why we paid so much for Saville and this is the true Britt – re-emerging just at the right time. Get behind your club, get behind your team and let's fight our way back towards the top.

Come On Boro and Up The Boro

West Brom 2-3 Boro – Saville, Britt (2)

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