West Bromwich Albion's first-team squad becomes more stretched with every passing day. But there was nothing at all patched-up about the way the battling Baggies performed at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.
Already without the suspended Jonathan Greening, Albion lined up against Tottenham Hotspur minus Geoff Horsfield, who was nursing a knee problem. They became further depleted when Kieran Richardson limped off with a dead leg after a heavy challenge from Michael Dawson which earned the Spurs defender a booking.
With the likes of Jason Koumas and Darren Purse out in the first-team cold, the door has been opened for others to impress. Richard Chaplow and Inamoto both took their chance well, and will want to keep things rolling at Middlesbrough tomorrow.
Chaplow started the night in central midfield, but also impressed in the wide-left role he was asked to perform when Inamoto came on for the injured Richardson. But, while the young Lancastrian stole the honours, Albion's forgotten Japanese star was not far behind.
"Inamoto worked hard, played well and took responsibility," said manager Bryan Robson. "It was his first game in the Premiership for a long time, his first since coming back to us from loan at Cardiff and I was very pleased with his performance."
While Inamoto has upped his chances of a full Albion debut at the Riverside, Chaplow ought to have inked in his name for at least the next two games to cover for the banned Greening if Richardson fails to prove his fitness.
Chaplow is not short of confidence. "I found out I was playing on Monday," said the 20- year- old Accrington lad. "I had quite a while to get my head around it and prepare properly.
"Coming in is quite nerve-wracking but I have belief in my abilities and that I can play in the Premiership.
"The gaffer told us all we'd get a chance but I knew that when the chance came I'd do well. I thought I'd even nicked a goal for a split second, but Paul Robinson made a great save."