West Brom 1-1 Cardiff: Callum Robinson cancels out James Collins’ opener to earn 10-man hosts a point after Alex Mowatt’s red card… with team-mate Sam Johnstone and Bluebirds defender Aden Flint later dismissed following full-time melee
- With 10-men West Brom managed to hold out for a 1-1 draw with Cardiff
- James Collins opened the scoring for the visitors after 34 minutes played
- Striker Callum Robinson pulled the Baggies level minutes into the second half
- Alex Mowatt was shown as red card in the closing stages of the match
The final whistle sounded after 95 frantic minutes in the Black Country. It marked only the end of the beginning.
From there, chaos broke out – two red cards, one manager storming the pitch and a flurry of handbags.
All after time. All rather amusing if not particularly becoming. The spark? At the death of this draw, Conor Townsend fell under a challenge from Marlon Pack inside the area.
With a deft finish Callum Robinson lobbed the goalkeeper to pull West Brom level in the tie
The striker peels away in celebration after giving the Baggies a lifeline in the match
Valerien Ismael burst down the touchline, leading the West Brom calls for a penalty, only for referee Thomas Bramall to say no – and then blow up.
Soon Ismael had to be held back from confronting the official; around him scraps broke out between staff and players. Cardiff defender Aden Flint and West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone were at the centre of the melee.
Both saw red. Eventually the pitch cleared, dust settled and soon attention could turn back to a football match that had taken place.
This game sizzled all afternoon, particularly after James Collins headed Cardiff in front and then when Alex Mowatt earned the day’s first sending off for a horrible challenge on Will Vaulks 14 minutes from time.
First, though, more on that lightning rod.
Alex Mowatt was shown a red card in the later stages of the match but West Brom held firm
‘It’s a clear penalty, I can’t say anything else,’ Ismael insisted . ‘At some point you need the luck that the referee does his job and tonight… in my opinion it was a poor refereeing performance.’
By then, the West Brom boss had calmed down having earlier made a beeline for Bramall. ‘I just wanted to tell him I couldn’t understand why he didn’t give the penalty.’
Cardiff manager Steve Morison agreed it was a ‘stonewall’ spot-kick for the challenge on Townsend.
Yet he, too, felt ‘let down by decisions’ after Callum Robinson was not flagged offside before netting the equaliser shortly after half time.
Certainly Morison didn’t share Ismael’s overall assessment of the visitors’ display. ‘Cardiff didn’t want to play any football, just waste time,’ the Baggies boss claimed.
That was harsh. Yes, they were hanging on at times in the second half. But this was a point that proves how the Cardiff ship has steadied and why West Brom’s promotion push has stalled.
Earlier, James Collins was mobbed by team-mates after putting Cardiff ahead in the first half
In September, Albion won the reverse fixture 4-0 to move top of the Championship. This leaves them only three points clear of seventh-place Middlesbrough.
It could have been worse had Cardiff built on their lead. Or had the officials adjudged Robinson offside. Or had the visitors capitalised on Mowatt’s red card.
By then, though, Morison’s struggling side were probably grateful for a crucial point that edges them slightly further from danger.
By then, West Brom had long been banging on the door – Kyle Bartley, Karlan Grant and Grady Diangana all went close.
The visitors looked to have weathered the worst of the storm even before Mowatt saw red. Alas, that proved a mere appetiser to the madness to come.
‘The result is not enough. It’s clear,’ Ismael conceded. ‘Another difficult afternoon.’ His side were booed off at the break. Come extra-time after full-time, however, Baggies ire was directed elsewhere.