Spontaneous huddle, Button's respect & the things you missed as West Brom win

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West Brom conducted their own late, late show at The Hawthorns on Saturday when they scored three times in the final 11 minutes to see off lowly Peterborough United and reignite their promotion charge.

Cedric Kipre, Karlan Grant and Grady Diangana all found the net in the closing stages after an otherwise defiant defensive display by the Posh.

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On a day when the home side paid tribute to former striker Jeff Astle, in the week which marked the 20th anniversary of his death, Valerien Ismael handed January signing Daryl Dike a first start.

Albion remain in fifth place after this win but they did close the gap on Bournemouth, who were surprisingly turned over by Hull City at home.

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They have Preston to visit The Hawthorns on Wednesday for the rearranged game which had been due to take place over Christmas.

Here are the things you might’ve missed from this game.

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Young guns

While there were no minutes for the youngsters today, save for the introduction of Tom Fellows at the very end of this game, two academy products not involved in proceedings sat either side of the dug-out here.

Dara O’Shea watched on as his teammates secured victory. He is pencilled in to play 45 minutes at Birmingham City on Monday in the Premier League 2 under the watchful eye of 23s boss Richard Beale, who was also here at The Hawthorns.

O’Shea seemed in a very buoyant mood, and his imminent return to first-team affairs after joining in full training recently will be a major fillip to Ismael.

On the opposing side was Callum Morton. Not ready to feature in Peterborough’s defeat to Coventry last weekend after arriving on loan for the remainder of the season from Albion, he was of course ineligible here too so his wait for a debut will last another week at least.

These two competitors, produced through the academy ranks of this club, couldn’t get much closer to the action without being involved.

Tribute

The Baggies wore the same shirts in the warm-up of this game as Jason Roberts did 20 years ago, upon the death of Jeff Astle, the King.

David Button, goalkeeper for the afternoon, went one step further when he touchingly laid his own t-shirt down in the mouth of the goal during the warm-up, something that was picked up on and warmly received by those in their seats in the Brummie Road.

As they so often do, Albion as a club produced a classy tribute in video form pre-match, sharing memories of the King and clips of his most poignant moments in an Albion shirt. There was also a pre-match playlist made up of his favourite songs.

Roberts, who wasn’t in attendance, sent on a video message to the stadium, which followed an emotional half time address of Jeff’s daughter Dawn.

Having Barry Fry, Peterborough’s director of football and a long-time family friend of the Astles, there for work purposes was a lovely coincidence and he held an Albion shirt aloft from his place in the directors’ box.

Following the victory, boss Ismael was brought up to meet the family, guests of the club, and he dedicated the win to them.

Togetherness

There were two signs that, despite things not going their way for the most part of this game – or the most part of this season, if we’re being brutally honest – Albion’s dressing room remains a unified collective.

First of all, when Diangana hit the back of the net and went to celebrate with the supporters behind the goal, he was greeted by near enough every outfield teammate who was keen to congratulate him.

It’s not been the easiest of times for Diangana, and his form on the pitch has suffered as a result, but everyone from Jayson Molumby to Jake Livermore, to Callum Robinson and Conor Townsend were keen to laud him for producing a moment which everyone hopes might act as a catalyst for a more consistent level of performance.

At full time, the scene couldn’t have been any different to the one which greeted the final whistle in their last league game here, against Cardiff, when a melee involving numerous staff and players from both sides broke out.

Once they’d shared a moment with the fans, all Albion players gathered around and formed a huddle to take in a brief pep talk from assistant boss Adam Murray.

The message ought to have been quite simple: “Same again on Wednesday lads, yeah?”

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