Brunty 4-4 Mozza: All square as former West Brom players roll back the years

Team Brunty and Team Mozza shared the spoils in an eight-goal thriller in aid of charity on a memorable afternoon for Chris Brunt, James Morrison and all involved.

Team Brunt celebrate after Simon Cox scores
Team Brunt celebrate after Simon Cox scores

It appeared Team Mozza were in the driving seat after working a 3-1 lead early in the second half before Brunt's outfit struck back to lead 4-3 late in the legendary duos' testimonial.

But, after Craig Beattie appeared to have won it for Brunt, up stepped the former skipper's 11-year-old youngest son Zach to fire in a low last-gasp free-kick in front of the Brummie Road for 4-4 after a thrilling six-goal second half.

Brunt and Morrison were joined by scores of former team-mates and Albion legends and heroes on an afternoon the many thousands in attendance will remember for some time - all while raising vital funds for the club's excellent charity, The Albion Foundation.

It was a dream family occasion Baggies legends of more than 700 games between them Brunt and Morrison will never forget.

Ishmael Miller takes on Pele

It was busy outside The Hawthorns a good 90 minutes ahead of kick-off, as fans waiting anxiously to catch a glimpse - and selfie - of former heroes.

The ground's three open stands were well-stocked for a charity testimonial fixture and supporters certainly enjoyed the occasion ahead of the start, with all kinds of on-pitch festivities and interviews taking place.

The afternoon had a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment away from the pressures of an afternoon in the Championship.

Highlights were interviews with Di Matteo and Mowbray - the promotion-winning Italian joked about being 'low down the list of invited managers' while Mowbray, newly-appointed Sunderland boss, basked in memories of his first game in charge, a 3-0 win over Wolves, and a superb record against the Molineux rivals.

James Morrison fires just wide

Players warmed up casually while popular former colleagues Super Bob Taylor and Andy Johnson participated in a crossbar challenge alongside mascots Baggie Bird and Boiler Man - with the former the first to crack the woodwork!

Both goalkeepers Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak took part in a penalty shootout with lucky youngsters from the local Junior Floodlit league.

Baggies legends Ally Robertson and Tony Bomber Brown - as well as representative of the Foundation Blind Dave Heeley OBE - were on hand to present both Morrison and Brunt with caps moments before the start. The rest of the team-mates aligned in a guard of honour.

A classy touch from all involved 'Blind Dave' getting the action started as the PA announced an 'late emergency replacement referee'.

The contest began at a decent pace, with short, sharp passes aplenty particular in a competitive midfield battle involved Robert Koren, Gareth Barry, Brunt and Filipe Teixeira for Team Brunty and Zoltan Gera, Graham Dorrans, Paul Scharner and Morrison for Team Mozza.

Skipper Brunt rolled back the years as a wicked free-kick went uncleared, only for Portuguese star Teixeira to show a rare piece of miscontrol with his air shot.

Simon Cox puts Team Brunt 3-1 up

A standout performer was former Czech international Bednar. The 39-year-old showed a repertoire of one-touch passes, tricks and dummies. He looked in good shape for his age.

Dorrans, who only left Scottish Championship side Dunfermline this summer, showed an excellent range of passing in trying to unlock Team Brunty. He played in Gera who fired well over.

Bednar's partner Peter Odemwingie showed off with a neat little flick moments before Bednar should've scored having outmuscled Leon Barnett - but got his feet muddled and fell over when facing Kuszczak.

An open game broke out after 20 minutes as the pace fell away. Big Jonas Olsson, substituted off early after a couple of stretches, headed over before Koren tested Kuszczak from distance down the other end. Craig Beattie replaced Olsson before the break - at centre-half!

Foster spent the entire first half holding his recorder for his popular online videos. He was almost caught out as the tireless yet labouring Ishmael Miller was played in - but Foster recovered to make the low save camera-in-hand.

The contest needed an opener and Bednar provided it 11 minutes before the break. He took his time from a low Koren pass to convert coolly as Brunty's side edged ahead.

Team Brunt celebrate after Simon Cox scores

Right-back Steven Reid lit up the afternoon on the stroke of half-time. He was invited forward and lashed a 25-yard rocket into the far top corner with Foster a mere spectator. It was a goal fit for any occasion.

A raft of changes at half-time on either side included midfielder Craig Gardner and forward Sherjil Macdonald for Brunty and Mozza's ex-Middlesbrough team-mates Tony McMahon and Andrew Taylor.

The floodgates began to open. Team Brunty were flying after Beattie fouled sub Robert Davies and skipper Brunty - denying a keen Foster the chance to take - made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Foster saved from Hal Robson-Kanu six yards out camera-in-hand before Cox's cool finish made it 3-1.

Mozza's side looked in trouble but the introduction of fresh legs Callum McManaman and Wes Hoolahan helped.

They got one back just after the hour as Morrison's ex-Boro colleague McMahon slid a fine low finish into the far bottom corner.

Cox struck the crossbar after a fine one-two with Gardner but Mozza's lot were level seconds later as Robson-Kanu converted a low finish before departing as a sub.

As the contest entered its final 20 minutes Beattie shifted up front and the Scot should've made himself the match-winner.

He curled two lovely efforts on to the crossbar inside a couple of minutes before lifting the best chance of the lot over. It should've been a three-minute hat-trick.

The Hawthorns rose late on as Chris Brunt's youngest son Zach was introduced. He was given a shove by Mozza.

Beattie finally got his goal six minutes from time, played through by the impressive Hoolahan, this time he beat Foster.

Super Bob was introduced to a chorus of chants in the closing seconds.

Seconds after Brunt jnr was denied by a flying Kuszczak save, Brunt snr left to a memorable standing ovation - as did Morrison - before one of the moments of the match as young Zach fired in a fine, low free-kick on an afternoon he and many others will not forget in a hurry.

Starting line-ups and subs:

Team Mozza:

Kuszczak, Reid, Olsson, Scharner, Popov, Barnett, Dorrans, Gera, Morrison (c), Robson-Kanu, Miller.

Subs: Taylor, Beattie, Taylor, Hoolahan, McManaman, McMahon, Hill.

Team Brunty:

Foster, Jones, Robinson, Pele, Albrechsten, Koren, Barry, Teixeira, Brunt (c), Odemwingie, Bednar.

Subs: Maclean, Davies, Gardner, Johnson, Davies, Cox, Macdonald.

Attendance: tbc

Referee: Stephen Martin

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