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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old August 1st, 2004, 21:16 Thread Starter
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Pre Season Friendly Stoke v WBA,00.html

Stoke 2 Albion 1
By Oliver Bhurrut

ALBION'S three-game unbeaten run came to an end in their first pre-
season clash on English soil at the Britannia Stadium.

Jonathan Greening made his first appearance in Baggies colours as
Gary Megson's men ran out for the first time in their new 2004/05
Premiership home kits.

And the Baggies boss also handed a starting berth to Polish
triallist Marcin Zajac on the right of midfield before he made way
for Bernt Haas in the 65th minute.

Albion conceded their first goals in four pre-season clashes as
Stoke established a two-goal lead thanks to Dave Brammer's 35-yard
exocet and Ade Akinbiyi's 34th-minute tap-in.

The visitors only had Scott Dobie's third strike in as many games
and his third in three encounters against Tony Pulis' men for
consolation, after he rounded off a swift Baggies attack four
minutes before the break.

Thomas Gaardsoe was the first player to try his luck but Ed de Goey
dealt comfortably with his 30-yard drive.

Three minutes later it was Stoke who threatened when Gifton Noel-
Williams played Clive Clarke through on the left egde of the penalty.

But the ever-alert Paul Robinson was on hand to cut out his return
pull-back to the City striker.

Robinson was in the action at the other end when he found Jonathan
Greening inside the penalty area.

The Ł1.25 million signing showed good control and did well to force
de Goey into a save from a tight angle.

Gary Megson's men paid the price for not closing down in the 17th
minute when Dave Brammer was allowed to stroll forward and rocketed
a 35-yard stunner towards the top left-hand corner and in off the
post as Russell Hoult stood helpless.

Robinson made an important block from Darel Russell as Stoke pushed
forward once more.

The Baggies almost fell two behind in the 27th minute as they failed
to deal with Lewis Neal's back-post corner.

Brammer headed it back and only a combination of Hoult and Robinson
on the goalline kept out Gerry Taggart's close range volley.

Russell's 20-yard angled drive was only just closed down by Greening
and City gained yet another corner.

The visitors also failed to deal with Neal's flag-kick and Marcus
Hall headed itforward only for Taggart to scuff his shot.

Former Wolves hitman Ade Akinbiyi was on hand however to swivel
neatly inside the six-yard box and blast home, with Hoult only able
to parry his effort into the roof of the net in the 34th minute.

Albion pulled themselves back into the game four minutes before the
break as they put together their best move of the game.

Jason Koumas chipped a pin-point pass through to Robinson on he left
and his centre left Scott Dobie with the easiest of tap-ins for his
third goal in as many games.

Hoult had to be at his best in the 53rd minute as he dived low to
his left after Neal cut in from the right and drilled a powerful
effort which was creeping just inside the upright.

The referee switched the Premiership ball for a Championship ball at
the break but it made no different to Koumas as the Welsh wizard
split the host's defence apart with a raking pass to put Marcin
Zajac clean throughfive minutes later.

But the Polish international could only drag his ten-yard effort
wide of the left-hand post as half-time substitute narrowed the

That was the end of the former Groclin Dyskoboua player's afternoon
as he made way for Bernt Haas.

And just moments later Greening almost opened his Albion account as
his cross-cum-shot rattled the crossbar and was cleared to safety.

The Baggies broke swiftly on the break in the 75th minute when Haas
spread the ball out to the right where Greening and Robinson
exchanged passes before the former Watford full-back strode on and
blazed a 25-yard shot just past the far post.

Substitute Carl Asaba could have made it three for City in the 83rd
minute as he turned on Clarke's pull-back and fired low just past
the left-hand post.

STOKE (4-4-2)e Goey (Simonsen HT); Halls, Thomas (Hill 65),
Taggart, Hall; Russell, Brammer, Clarke, Neal (Alan Johnson 65);
Noel-Williams (Greenacre 77), Akinbiyi (Asaba 65). Subs: Dickinson,

ALBION (4-4-2): Hoult; Gaardsoe (Albrechtsen HT), Scimeca, Purse,
Robinson; Zajac (Haas 65), Johnson, Koumas, Greening; Horsfield,

Subs: Miotto (gk), Clement, O'Connor, Moore, Sakiri, Dyer, Gregan.


GOALS: STOKE - Brammer (17), Akinbiyi (34). ALBION - Koumas (41).

REFEREE: M Warren (West Midlands).



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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old August 1st, 2004, 21:17 Thread Starter
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%26method=full%26siteid=50002%26headline=stoke%2d2 %2dalbion%2d1%2d%

Stoke 2 Albion 1 - report Aug 1 2004
By Graham Hill, Sunday Mercury

Albion boss Gary Megson last night looked back on two days of
transfer frenzy and admitted: There's more to come.

After spending just over Ł6 million this summer to bring in SEVEN
new signings, Megson wants more players before the transfer window

And he is lining up another potential new face after giving a trial
to Poland international midfielder Marcin Zajac who played in
yesterday's defeat at the Britannia Stadium.

Zajac is the latest arrival at The Hawthorns after Albion swooped
for three players in two days. Former Arsenal striker Kanu, Jonathan
Greening and Hungary skipper Zoltan Gera are all on board. But
whether Zajac, from Poland's Grocklin club, joins remains to be seen.

"He was on trial at Glasgow Rangers and they didn't take him so
we're just having a look," explained Megson.

It looks as though there will be more transfer activity soon,
although speculation that Albion are in for PSV's Mark van Bommel
seems over-optimistic. Club sources say that the Dutchman WAS on
Albion's wanted list, but not any more.

Neither Kanu or Gera were at Stoke but Greening made his debut on
the left after signing from Middlesbrough.

Megson, meanwhile, is insisting he still needs to build for the
future if Albion are to remain in the Premiership, especially as he
described the Stoke display as "toothless".

"We're going to need to strengthen again, and yes, I am expecting to
do that but we'll have to wait and see," he said.

"Kanu is over in Nigeria, he has some business there. There are a
few loose ends but that transfer was only done late on Thursday so
he wouldn't have figured here anyway. It was the same with Gera. I
don't know when they'll play for us yet.

"Greening did everything we expected from him, he linked up well
with (Paul) Robinson and delivered.

"Scott Dobie took his goal well, but I still thought we looked a bit
toothless up front. We didn't look like we were going to score a lot
of goals. But Robinson's impressed us since he came back to
training, we're really pleased with him."

Greening almost opened his Albion account when he ran on to a
Robinson throw and fired in an angled shot which Ed de Goey beat out.

But it was Stoke who scored out of the blue after 17 minutes when
Dave Brammer, a summer free transfer from Crewe, stunned Baggies
with a powerful drive from 35 yards which left Russell Hoult rooted
to the spot.

Stoke extended their lead 11 minutes before the break when Taggart's
shot was blocked into the path of ex-Wolves striker Ade Akinbiyi who
converted from six yards.

Baggies pulled one back though when Dobie grabbed his third goal in
a week to finish off a fine move. Jason Koumas, who will be
suspended for the first four games of Albion's Premiership season,
found Robinson whose cross was met by Aberdeen target Dobie.

The game flared up just before half-time when Robinson came off
worse in a 50-50 challenge with Akinbiyi who was lucky not to be
sent off.

Riccy Scimeca and Darren Purse both squared up to the Stoke striker
before the referee calmed things down without showing a card.

Ten minutes into the second half, Lewis Neal tested Hoult with a low

Greening gave another glimpse of why Megson signed him when he cut
in from the left and floated in a cross which glanced against the

STOKE: (4-4-2) de Goey (Simonsen, ht); Halls, Thomas (Asaba, 66),
Taggart, Hall; Russell, Brammer, Clarke, Neal (Johnson, 66);
Akinbiyi (Hill, 66), Noel-Williams (Greenacre, 77).

ALBION: (4-4-2) Hoult; Scimeca, Purse, Gaardsoe (Albrechtsen, ht),
Robinson; Zajac (Haas, 66), Koumas, Johnson, Greening; Horsfield,

Referee: M Warren (West Midlands)

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