Referee and Roman rob Spurs
Roman Bednar's controversial late goal helped West Brom to a 2-0 win at home to Spurs.
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 30/12/08 11:01am
Roman Bednar's controversial headed goal seven minutes from time helped give West Brom a much needed 2-0 win at home against 10-man Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs will have issues with referee Steve Tanner's performance though after he awarded the game's opener despite a clear push on Michael Dawson as the ball was coming into the box.
Especially after the visitors had held on for nearly an hour with 10 men following Benoit Assou-Ekotto's contentious straight red card for a stamp on Gianni Zuiverloon.
Craig Beattie bundled home a second in injury-time, which sees Tony Mowbray's Baggies move off the bottom of the table into 19th in the Premier League after registering their fifth win of the season.
It was a laboured start to the game from both teams, with knocks for Spurs attackers Luka Modric, Darren Bent and David Bentley the only incidents of note in the opening 10 minutes.
With Paul Robinson out suspended, stand-in left-back Marek Cech showed good skill soon after as he cheekily rounded Didier Zokora, but the resulting cross-shot from James Morrison came to nothing.
Luke Moore then earned a free-kick right on the edge of the box after being scythed down by Dawson. The centre-back was yellow-carded for the challenge but Spurs were not punished any further as Heurelho Gomes comfortably dealt with Borja Valero's curling effort.
The quality in the final third was severely lacking though and Bent's scuffed left-foot shot after being put through by a combination of Bentley and Modric really summed things up.
Morrison was booked for kicking out at Modric on the half-hour mark, but Spurs were then reduced to 10 men as referee Tanner adjudged Assou-Ekotto's stamp challenge on Zuiverloon worthy of a straight red card.
Zokora filled in at left-back though and, despite a dangerous looking flick header from Jonas Olsson that went straight into Gomes' hands, the visitors went on to dominate possession and territory right up to half-time.
Chris Brunt was booked for a challenge on the lively looking Lennon before the interval, but neither side could break the deadlock in this tense encounter between two struggling teams and the first-half finished 0-0.
Morrison was lucky to escape a second booking for his lunge on Zokora moments after the restart and Valero was then deemed to have been fouled by Jermaine Jenas on the edge of the box. Gomes at full stretch tipped Brunt's beautifully struck free-kick just over the bar though.
The Brazilian goalkeeper was called into action again saving Zuiverloon's curling shot to his left from the edge of the box, as the Baggies looked to make the most of their numerical superiority.
Mowbray's men were enjoying their best spell of the match, but scoring goals has been the problem all season - with just 14 from 19 games - and they lost their way again in an attacking vein on the hour mark.
Zuiverloon, who was having an eventful afternoon, was booked for his trip on Bentley before latching onto Morrison's through ball and beating Gomes with his low cross from the byline only for the covering Dawson to clear the danger.
Bentley made way for the more industrious Jamie O'Hara straight after and Gareth Bale then came on for Modric, with Zuiverloon replaced by Carl Hoefkens for the hosts as the game drew to a close.
There was still time for Gomes to tip Graham Dorran's shot over the bar, with the midfielder having come on in place of Brunt moments earlier. Bolero then made way for attacker Beattie as Mowbray looked to find the key to unlocking the Spurs defence.
And it was that man Bednar that popped up with the controversial game winner as the striker pushed Dawson to create himself enough room to power his header into the top right-hand corner of Gomes' goal.
Cech, Morrison and Beattie then combined to put the icing on the cake in injury-time, but by that time the game had already been won. The hosts take the victory and now sit just two points behind Spurs in the table.
|West Bromwich Albion||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||2|