Tuesday, April 23, 2024

On This Day in 2002: West Brom get win over Sheff Utd after Bramall Lane battle

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Mar 2024

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West Brom were awarded three points and a 3-0 win over Sheffield United on this day in 2002, as the fallout continued after ‘the Battle of Bramall Lane’.

Five days after the Division One clash had been abandoned by referee Eddie Wolstenholme, the Blades were left to deal with the repercussions of a shameful afternoon.

Following the dismissal of Blades goalkeeper Simon Tracey for handling outside his penalty area after only nine minutes, events turned significantly more toxic when Baggies captain Derek McInnes added to Scott Dobie’s first-half diving header to put the visitors 2-0 up on the hour.

Seconds after his arrival as a 64th-minute substitute, United defender Georges Santos – who had suffered a fractured eye socket courtesy of Andy Johnson’s elbow the previous season – was sent off after launching into a two-footed tackle on the Baggies midfielder.

In the subsequent mass brawl which followed, fellow Blades substitute Patrick Suffo was also dismissed after head-butting McInnes right in front of the referee.

Dobie made it 3-0 before Blades midfielder Michel Brown and defender Rob Ullathorne then both limped off, leaving the home side with only six men on the field – one of which being substitute goalkeeper Wilko De Vogt who had come on in place of striker Peter Ndlovu after Tracey’s red card.

That resulted in the match being abandoned with eight minutes remaining due to there not being the required number of minimum players present.

A war of words followed between infuriated West Brom boss Gary Megson, who labelled the situation “disgraceful”, and Blades manager Neil Warnock – who said he was “pleased with the effort” his players put in.

The English Football League subsequently ruled the result should stand and Sheffield United were later fined £10,000 for failing to control their players.

There were also fines for Warnock and Blades captain Keith Curle while Suffo and Santos were both handed six-match bans.

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