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98/99: Review:
By Ian Lay
This review would have been in yesterday but for a bizarre incident, which I will tell you about.

At 9am yesterday morning (after Heidi, my girlfriend, had gone to work) I heard a knock at the door. I went down there and found 3 beautiful 18-year-old blondes standing in my doorway. As I looked lovingly over their young sumptuous bodies and drooled over the many wonderful things I could do with them something occurred to me and I quickly slammed the door in their faces. Jehovah Witnesses. They'll try any trick to get into your house, won't they?

Why, you ask, does the incident prevent me from writing a review? Well, you see I was walking up the stairs and suddenly realised who they were...twisted awkwardly on my ankle, stumbled, lost my balance and fell a couple of steps...reached out for the wall, and tweaked my wrist. The swelling went down overnight (as it usually does, so Heidi says anyway) and my wrist felt better as well. And so there you have it.

The only question I ask is...Ig, please, pretty please, send them back. I'll be a good boy and write another review for you…go on...pretty please with sugar on top.

Oh, and by the way I asked for half a dozen, with at least 3 being brunettes. Okay?

Where was I...oh yes, February...let's just forget about it, yeah?


Oh.... You want me to write something.... That could be tricky.


Bradford away. And the month starts as it means to continue.... With misery.

The morning was fun though. WIFC took on the might of Bradford Internet, and despite having a number of regulars missing put up a brave fight before going down 3-2. After that and it was off to the pub with the Bradford lot for Chilli and Chips and some beer.

That was as good as it got. In the afternoon we were completely outplayed by a team that was on a roll.

Bradford also win the "West Brom Steward" award for most pathetic performances by a steward (or stewards) before, during and after a game.

They wouldn't let us stand up after about 10 minutes, despite the fact that it was absolutely freezing and the only way to keep warm was to stand up and move your legs about a bit. This is why all-seater stadia are crap, by the way.

One of the gang got chucked out for nothing more than being the person who was starting all the songs.

At half-time I went over to one of the senior stewards and asked him why we were being told to sit down when it was so cold. He said that people had complained. I asked him whom. He said people behind us. There were about 5 or 6 rows behind us. So I turned round to these people and asked politely if anyone had a problem with us standing up at times. Now for anyone who has met me they will tell you that I'm not the most intimidating person you've ever met so these people weren't going to lie because they though I might cause them some trouble. Of course everyone looked at me and said, "Nope, we've got no problem with people standing". I looked back at the steward who said that someone had complained and that was that.

What a load of bollox. This happens at stadia all round the country and it's only the away supporters who suffer. Hardly ever the home fans. Yet there is nothing you can do about it because they can throw you out for anything. They don't even have to have a valid reason.

Anyway we lost 2-0 and it was crap... in fact, as crap as Huddersfield away earlier in the season and that was low-down, poo smelling awfulness.

Huddersfield at home ironically was next. Ironic in the respect that I've just been talking about them.

We performed better than at their place, but then we couldn't have played worse. And it all seemed to be coming to a successful if not enjoyable conclusion when Tommy Mooney headed us in front on the 70 minute mark....only for Huddersfield to equalise 30 seconds later. It's getting far too depressing.

Next up QPR away and the only high point in a wretched month.

We went ahead after 16 minutes with a beautiful goal from Nick Wright. His nibs describes the events as they unfolded:

"Ironic that, for all our tidy passing, the first goal should come via a more direct method. You could almost hear the gleeful gurgles from the press box as Chamberlain claimed a Rangers cross and smacked a drop-kick deep into their half. But don't let that fool you - whatever the supply route, this was a strike of blazing brilliance. The clearance by-passed Smart, got a touch on from Maddix and bounced on to Wright on the right corner of the box. He allowed it to drop and hit it on the half volley, dipping evilly across Miklosko's goal and into the bottom corner, before sauntering back to the halfway line to dedicate his masterpiece to the away fans. Bloody fantastic."

Have you noticed how Ig nearly always finishes off a description of a goal with "Bloody fantastic", or "Bloody brilliant" or something else. All this blood. He must be a gore film fan.

The incident that changed the game came just before half time. A penalty against us that I still can't understand to this day why it was given despite looking at numerous replays.

Ig describes the events without using the word "bloody" once:

"Had justice not ultimately been done, the next paragraph or so would've been somewhat less calm. The penalty, right on the stroke of half-time, was ludicrous - all the more so because it cancelled out such a wonderful goal. As a high ball came into the Watford area, it appeared to hit a Rangers player on the hand, prompting a loud appeal from the away end. It was then cleared, by which time I was unsighted, everything was chaos and the referee was pointing to the spot. Watch it back on video and you'll see Steve Palmer actually applauding immediately after the whistle, before the horror of what's really happened dawns on him. I mean, short of arm amputation, it's extremely difficult to see what anyone's supposed to do when the ball's rebounding around like that - your hand's got to be somewhere. But no amount of protesting by Palmer - and he was in conversation with the official for a considerable time - could change the decision."

They scored, of course, but not before Chamberlain had saved the penalty only for Peacock to follow up and make no mistake a second time.

But justice was to be served and in the second half the introduction of a certain Tommy Smith signalled a change in the game. His enthusiasm and pace started to cause confusion in the QPR box and it was he who scored a delightful winner.

The man with a pencil and notepad permanently at the ready describes the events as they unfolded:

"So Tommy Smith replaced Alon Hazan and you know the rest. His first touch was good, winning the ball on the edge of the area and holding off a defender to allow Johnson to take characteristic control. Johnno rolled one of his prompting passes - the ones that not only find a colleague but implicitly tell him what to do - for Wright on the wing. He did as instructed, rolling a cross into the near post where Smith was lurking unmarked - his second touch was that of a true goalscorer, completely mis-hitting his finish...but perfectly so to elude the keeper's dive. He'll remember that moment for the rest of his life - and one suspects that over the years to come Watford fans will be talking about seeing Tommy Smith's first goal too."

A good win and a good day.

Now to Swindon and to be perfectly frank if you think I'm going to write anything about this game of any note then you're genuinely mistaken.

"So what did you think of the game, Cartman?"

"I thought it was big fat piece of crap"

Enough said.

Best moments: Not much to choose from but Tommy Smith and Nick Wright's goals will be remembered for their own reasons.

Worst moments: The rest of the month.

Funniest moments: There weren't any. Even Rupe was subdued.