That's it, it's done! Barring a couple of serious goal fests for Luton or Hull in their last two games we are safe for another year of Championship football.
Firstly well done to Danny and Nicky Cowley who have done enough with this ragtag squad to keep us safe. It's not felt great at times and scraping draws is not fun but those points have been crucial to our survival. They targeted the 50 point mark and have achieved it with a game to spare. Nothing if not efficient.
This wasn't the outpouring of happiness and emotion of Stamford Bridge a couple of years ago, particularly without any fans, but this morning I woke up and felt happy. How many of us could say that last Saturday morning?
The game started with an interesting line up by the gaffer dropping ESR and Grant to the bench, a selection that looked to many of us to be set up for a draw. However, come kick-off the impetus to get forward and go at West Brom was clear and within the opening minutes Town were a goal to the good via a decent set play and close following up by Willock 1-0. For the next half an hour or so we looked good for our slender lead, defending solidly and getting it up the pitch with reasonable regularity. Of course, there was little end product and not too much to shout about in front of goal but it wasn't awful.
A set play just outside the area for the baggies and some absolutely abysmal linesman work allowed WBA to equalise with a goal that was offside however you want to look at it. Hard work undone, Danny Cowley looked a little crestfallen as the teams went in at the break.
The second half began as the first had ended with some decent defending and a few escapades into the opposition half but without looking much like scoring a second. The game became nervy, West Bromwich wanted more than a point and for the Terriers a point was the bare minimum. A raft of substitutions for the baggies, including fans favourite villain Austin, followed yet there was still no way through for them.
Maybe sensing there was more than a point on the table we saw what a lot of fans had been asking for all season, a decisive set of substitutions in the shape of Grant, Mounie, ESR, and Kachunga. A real statement of intent to keep all three points in West Yorkshire. And so it transpired, Lewis O'Brien, shaking off a cynical challenge in the middle of the park to get up and spot Smith-Rowe on the run with a delicious through ball. ESR beat the keeper with a measured and mature finish to seal the game, the points, and safety.
Cue rapturous applause and celebration in Beeston as the Arsenal loanee secured their return to the Premier League. Never has a Town victory been celebrated as much by our local rivals. I won't dwell on this point as Sky did that, but congrats and all that to Leeds Utd.
In his Full-time interview, after Sky had stopped gasping about Beeston, Danny Cowley raised an interesting fact and a further ambition, that promotion/playoff seasons aside we have not finished above 16th for 20 years! Let's think about that for a moment, how many owners, managers, and players have been through the club in 20 years? All with little effect…
But there have also been seasons where we have performed above our potential and got ourselves promotion. With a full transfer window, preseason, a much-needed shake-up of the current playing staff, and who knows, next season could be one of those years.
Till next time