So Near, Yet So Far

Twice this season we’ve been a decent 45 minutes away from a Wembley appearance, yet managed to mess it up.

After throwing away a 3-1 lead in the League Cup semi at Brum a few weeks ago, we had a second chance of getting to Wembley – albeit this time only for a semi-final rather than the big one – at Stoke on Sunday. We played poorly in the first half, and were lucky to go in at half time level with the hosts. This was due to the officials not spotting Piquionne’s handball prior to him putting the ball in the net.

The ref then spent the entire second half atoning for this error. So anxious was he to do so, that he gave Stoke a penalty inside the first minute, for a dive so blatant that we could see it from the other end of the ground. To our delight, Green saved it. However, the ref wasn’t finished and failed to spot Spector being hauled out of the way at a Stoke free-kick that resulted in them scoring a second goal. Finally the ref denied us a obvious penalty at the end, when Tomkins was manhandled to the ground.

In truth, on the day, we were not good enough and Stoke deserved to go through. The ref is still an idiot though.

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