West Bromwich Albion returned to the top of the Championship table after coming from behind to defeat Birmingham City in the west Midlands derby.
The Baggies have now been handed a two-point lead from Leeds United who endured a late collapse at home to Cardiff City.
Slaven Bilic’s move to introduce Charlie Austin paid dividends as the substitute’s two goals in eight minutes stunned the Blues at St Andrew’s.
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Grady Diangana pegged back Lukas Jutkiewicz early in the first half before being forced off through injury, then just after the break, Harlee Dean scored what appeared to be a questionable second for the home side.
But Austin tied things up with an outrageous half-volley from outside the penalty area before heading in the winner nine minutes from time.
Despite picking up all three points, several of the travelling support weren’t best pleased by the performance of left-back Conor Townsend with many taking to social media to slam him.
He is shocking. Absolutely shocking.
— Pat (@Peroni_Pat) December 14, 2019
One thing I hope Slav as learnt. Townsend ain't even a championship standard. #WBA game changed when he went off.
— DOOD (@DoodWBA) December 14, 2019
Townsend is garbage
— Matt Evans (@MattEvansWBA) December 14, 2019
Don’t like being harsh but Townsend is simply not good enough. Huge liability. Out his depth at this level. #wba
— Andy Leeman (@AndyLeeman91) December 14, 2019
Get townsend off now clueless!!
— Dylan Fletcher (@Dylfletcherwba) December 14, 2019
Conor Townsend showing why hes a league 1 player #WBA
— Andy (@DJAndyMole) December 14, 2019
I cant believe Connor Townsend is a professional footballer #wba
— m j d (@mildishdoidgino) December 14, 2019
May be being a bit harsh, but what does Townsend bring to the team? The lad is full of mistakes and doesn't seem to read the game very well.#WBA
— Bomber's Boots (@BombersBoots) December 14, 2019
I never want to see connor townsend in a west brom shirt ever again. Simple. #wba
— Luke Rowland (@LukeRowland015) December 14, 2019
‘Shocking,’ ‘liability’ and ‘clueless’ were just three words used to describe his showing while one supporter went as far as saying that he never wants to see the 26-year-old play for the club ever again.
Another suggested that the defender was ‘full of mistakes’ while ‘league one player’ was a further indictment on his performance.
Some couldn’t believe that Townsend was starting above Darnell Furlong…
Furlong is so so so much better than Townsend never want to see him start again
— James (@FutbolJamess) December 14, 2019
If Townsend starts next week I’ll kick off. Must start with Ferguson and Furlong #WBA
— Ashley Hill (@AshHillWBA) December 14, 2019
Honest assessment today #WBA we’re poor, especially at the back. The set pieces need a lot of work! Townsend should not be starting over Furlong… But what a result! On cloud 9. Austin on fire, and given the service he will score. 🔵⚪️🔵⚪️
— R. Smith (@Albionwestand) December 14, 2019
What a grind that game was! Blues played well, unlucky not to get anything from it. Townsend should not be starting over Furlong #wba
— Tom Brooks (@Tom_Brooks05) December 14, 2019
The left-back has only made eight appearances in the Championship this season with Kieran Gibbs the first choice in the role, but with the former Arsenal man absent through injury, Townsend was gifted a rare opportunity.
Many seem to believe that the better option is to put Nathan Ferguson in the role, thus allowing Furlong at right-back.
That will be something Bilic can ponder over the course of the following week before they host Brentford at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.