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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 22:28 GMT
West Brom 2-0 Walsall
Geoff Horsfield and Jason Koumas gave West Brom a comfortable victory in the midlands derby at The Hawthorns.

Horsfield scored his first goal since his 1m move from Wigan to help West Brom close the gap on leaders Norwich.

Koumas put the home side ahead midway through the second half with a deflected free-kick before Horsfield sealed the win.

Darren Wrack wasted a golden opportunity to give the Saddlers the lead in the second minute.

Walsall's Paul Merson played Jorge Leitao in down the right and his pull-back found Wrack unmarked six yards out but he miskicked.

Four minutes later, Gary Birch's effort off a Merson free-kick was denied by a fine save from Baggies keeper Russell Hoult.

Walsall were the more attacking side and went close again when Wrack fired over the bar from Simon Osborn's cross.

But West Brom were denied a penalty when Horsfield was booked for diving after a challenge from Ian Roper five minutes from the end of the first half.

The first goal finally came in the 62nd minute when Paul Ritchie brought down Horsfield.

From the resulting free-kick Koumas' effort took a deflection off Vinny Samways.

Horsfield then scored 17 minutes from time when Lloyd Dyer, making his Albion league debut, crossed from the left and Dobie headed the ball back across goal for Horsfield to nod home.

But West Brom's night was marred when Koumas was stretchered off 10 minutes from time with a knee injury after a clash with Ritchie.

West Brom: Hoult, Haas, Gaardsoe, Moore, Robinson, Koumas (O'Connor 78), Gregan, Clement, Sakiri (Dyer 70), Horsfield, Dobie (Hulse 90).
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Gilchrist.

Booked: Horsfield.

Walsall: Walker, Bazeley, Roper, Ritchie (Emblen 81), Vincent, Osborn (Aranalde 84), Samways, Merson, Wrack, Birch, Leitao.
Subs Not Used: Allaway, Lawrence, Oakes.

Attendance: 24,558

Referee: B Knight (Kent).

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