West Brom player ratings vs QPR as Charlie Austin strikes up hammer blow deal

West Brom’s automatic promotion hopes were shattered on Saturday as Charlie Austin’s last-gasp winner for Queens Park Rangers piled up the misery of his day.

Former Albion forward Austin defied another former baggy, Chris Willock’s cross, with one minute of normal time to secure the win and ensure that hoops jumped Albion from the play-off places.

It was a day that Bournemouth were defeated, but Fulham hit Bristol City for a six and Blackburn took another win. Albion are now seven points behind the leading pack and below them are several clubs eyeing their position.

For the first half hour at the Kien Prince Foundation Stadium, Albion was well on top and playing some really good. He built up moves through the lines, set the ball wide and… that’s where the moves often fall through.

The quality of delivery times has let them down time and again when a lot of hard work was done. Crosses from Adam Reich and Conor Townsend on the left were not up to standard, although Carl Grant made the best chance from that side.

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Good work from Callum Robinson followed by his low ball was out of reach for the third member of early attacker Matt Phillips. Grant himself had a putt shot, so did former baggy Stefan Johansson, but neither side looked like scoring in the opening 45.

Hoops, who looked like Wycombe that day with his memorable 140th anniversary kit, ran out of the net very early in the second. David Button had to beat a stinging Chris Willock drive and there was a lot of pressure on the Albion goal.

This was enough for Valerian Ismail, who called Dike just in time as expected. He made a quick impact with a brilliant blow that Grant latched onto, but he was ejected before the trigger could be pulled.

Dyke then fed Livermore a drilled low cross from the right, which was lifted by the Albion captain just over the bar. The American’s influence on the proceedings continued when he and Yoann Barbet challenged for the ball just in front of the dug-out. The French ended up in a ditch, but there was no bad blood – bandaged, he accepted the truth of the dyke after the treatment.

Mark Warburton also decided to turn things around at the front end of the pitch in the second half and called Austin.

So, Dyke or Austin. Surely one of them will have a conclusive say? What Albion has become on the road this season is typical enough that it will be the same guy they hired.

Willock picked up the ball at the back post, and Austin beat Taylor Gardner-Hickman to the punch, driving a header down and beyond Button.

You couldn’t write it. Well, you probably could.

button 6

Quickly gives you a heartbeat when in goalkeeper mode. Almost skipped Albion’s defensive third in the first half to meet a ball under Townsend’s control. Smart stop for dismissing Johansson, then Willock for holding out. Very little has to be done about the winner.

furlong 6

The three behind on the right the first time and started liking it. That meant running less and doing more of what he used to do – rescue. We know there is a spring in his jump and he backed him against Dykes but Willock gave him problems.

Clark 7*

Albion’s only fit senior center half. Fearless, Joe hit the floor and left Clarke with a serious lump on his head while countering a header with Dykes. During and despite Albion’s loss, it was all about team selection.

Townsend 5

The last three slotted in and was relatively comfortable for the most part. There aren’t as many opportunities to overlap here, and his delivery was disappointing when he did. Thought he had earned the penalty before it was waved.

Gardner-Hickman 5

His passing and sight to the right was very impressive. Also, when under pressure the ball goes out of play facing its own target, did really well for Shields. Struggled in the second half, however, QPR came on strong and was beaten to the ball by Austin.

Livermore 5

say ok May have filled in the last three where he had done well before but Ismail chose his industry in midfield. The first half got about and occasionally burst forth in the press. Couldn’t finish any of the good work of the dyke.

Molumbi 4

At the end of a rash challenge by Dickey, which was booked. Molumbi saw a lot of ball in the first half as Albion dominated and moved the ball very well, but he lacked restraint. Technically it should be better, because something went wrong here as a result of some of his passing.

4. reach

His energy and application can never be questioned, but Reach’s crossing in the first half was extremely poor and so what appeared to be promising moves repeatedly fell into the left corner of the pitch.

Robinson 4

Very quiet in the first half, when he was really struggling to impress the playing bar, which he played in the creation of Phillips’s spot, which was put on a plate by Grant.

Grant 5

Made a good low cross in the first half and tried his luck from afar without worrying about Marshall. There was concern for the debuting goalkeeper when his low cross-shot went under Scott but it crawled across the line and cleared.

Philips 6

Her every touch was cheered on by fans who cheered her up, but Phillips — not as flashy as last week — put on another decent makeover. Couldn’t reach a teasing cross by Grant, but it was another solid hour for the man working out to get back to full fitness.

the option

dyke (for philips 59) 6

Smart effect indeed, but he’ll have to wait another week for an opportunity in front of the target. Good low cross for Livermore and their hold up play is something Albion is missing.

Options not used: Palmer, Ashworth, Taylor, Castro, Fellow, Dyke, Diangana

Queens Park Rangers: Marshall; Dickie, Dunn, Barbet; Field, Willock (ball 90), Johansson, Adoma, Wallace; Dykes, Gray (Austin 64)

Alternatives not used: Walsh, Odubajo, Amos, Dozel, Thomas

Target

QPR-Austin 89; Albion-

Attendance: 16,018 (2,679 fans away)

Referee: Mr. Simon Hooper

NEXT: Peterborough United, at home, for a 3 p.m. start on Saturday 22 January

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