The impossible was made possible, the unexpected was achieved, West Brom finally beat Stoke! I have to say that I am still in shock from Saturday's rollercoaster of emotions.
The first of those emotions was utter despair when I saw the team that Roy Hodgson had put out. I knew that Hodgson had pulled some decisions out of the blue the last time we played Stoke away from home, bringing in Abdoulaye Meite who hadn't been seen in a matchday squad let alone the first team in a league game but I really did question the side he had put out.
We had our two best strikers on the bench, Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long, with Marc Antoine Fortune starting up front having previously been on loan at Doncaster. We then had Simon Cox starting on the right hand side of midfield and Gabriel Tamas at right back, three decisions that were, quite frankly, baffling.
The only plus point I could see from the decision was that it meant Albion reverted back to the 4-5-1 that served them so well last season. But I was not confident as the game kicked off that we'd be able to pick up anything, considering the usually imperious record Stoke have against us.
However I was wrong, and I bow down to the tactical genius of Roy Hodgson. Albion played with vigour, gusto and above all style in tricky conditions. The selection of Fortune proved a masterstroke, the big striker enjoying his best game for West Brom since his first loan spell at the club. The extra man in midfield was proving beneficial, with James Morrison having a lot more space and with Graham Dorrans also in the side, Albion finally had the creativity that has been sorely lacking with Chris Brunt and Zoltan Gera absent from the line-up.
The first chance of the match fell to Cox after good build-up play down the left-hand side, Fortune picked out the ex-Swindon town man but he sliced his shot wide of the goal. Albion continued to attack and James Morrison nearly gave Albion the lead, driving forward from midfield and rattling a shot against the crossbar via the slightest of touches from Sorensen in the Stoke goal.
If that was 1-0 to the Stoke goalkeeper in that personal battle, Morrison soon evened things up. Receiving the ball in space he drove towards the Stoke box before letting fly from 20 yards. The connection was not nearly as good, but the wind assisted the ball and it went over Sorensen into the net, though the Stoke goalie was not entirely blameless if you look at his body position.
Into the 2nd half and it was still Albion who were attacking, the first chance falling to Fortune who saw his goal-bound shot blocked in the 6 yard box. Morrison nearly had his 2nd goal of the game, this time his shot rebounding back off the post. Then Cox had another chance to add to the lead following a big kick from Ben Foster, but after a good first touch, Cox connected poorly and the ball rolled to Sorensen.
Albion then looked like they would be punished for their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal when referee Anthony Taylor inexplicably awarded Stoke a penalty. Described at the time by Charlie Nicholas as a "homer decision", replays showed Gareth McAuley clearly kicking the ball away before Jonathan Walters was even near him. The Stoke forward fell to the ground and the penalty was rewarded.
Considering West Brom's lack of fortune with penalties this season, I fully expected Walters to score but ex-stoke keeper Ben Foster saved with his legs and the score remained 1-0 up until the 86th minute where the otherwise outstanding Yousuff Mulumbu fouled Jermaine Pennant on the right-hand side of the box. Pennant dusted himself off and whipped in a fantastic ball which was glanced home by Cameron Jerome.
That feeling of despair returned, the disappointment of yet another late goal being conceded and it seemed the Stoke hoodoo would not be broken. In hindsight a point would have been a decent outcome, but at the time I didn't think about that...
But that feeling of gloom quickly changed to one of elation as Albion were rewarded a free kick twenty five yards out from goal on the left-hand side, a sense of poetic justice with Walters being the man to give the free kick away. Dorrans stepped up and whipped a low ball into the box that avoided everyone and nestled beautifully in the bottom corner.
The curse, the hoodoo was broken! And I hate to say I told you so, but if you look at my previous blog, I did!