ALBION fought back from three goals behind to earn a 3-3 draw with Southampton in the Barclays U21 Premier League at the club’s training ground this afternoon.
Alex Jones (pictured), Shaun Donnellan and Joel Ambalu all netted in the final 16 minutes as the Baggies completed a superb comeback.
Kemar Roofe started for David Oldfield’s side after being named in Steve Clarke’s squad to face Newcastle at The Hawthorns yesterday.
Albion were behind after only five minutes when Donervorn Daniels headed into his own net from Lloyd Isgrove’s cross.
The Saints might have extended their lead on 22 but for some fine goalkeeping from Luke Daniels.
The 25-year-old was on hand to deny Jake Sinclair’s powerful left-foot effort with a strong one-handed save.
Isgrove could have had a second but his low 39th-minute strike was comfortably gathered by Daniels from 20 yards.
The visitors doubled their lead three minutes after the interval.
Sinclair volleyed past Daniels from Callum Chambers’ inch-perfect cross.
Donervorn Daniels came close for the hosts moments later – but his header bounced over the bar from six yards out.
Chambers so nearly made it three on 63 but his drilled left-foot shot crashed against upright from the edge of the area.
Southampton could have scored another five minutes later but James Ward Prowse failed to get on the end of Sinclair’s cross – despite a Gazza-like lunge at the back post.
The Saints got their third on 69 as substitute Ryan Seager turned onto his left foot and curled the ball into the top left-hand corner from 20 yards.
A three-goal lead should have been sufficient for the visitors but Oldfield’s outfit were soon on the comeback trail.
Alex Jones scrambled home on 74 after Scott Allan’s corner bounced off just about every player inside the box before falling to his feet.
Substitute Shaun Donnellan netted with his first touch five minutes later after great work from Alex Jones to hold up the ball inside the penalty area.
But it was fellow-sub Joel Ambalu - on for Roofe at the interval - who scored the 90th-minute equaliser.
The winger chased down a Saints back-pass before rounding keeper Cody Cropper and coolly slotting the ball into the goal to earn the Baggies a point.
ALBION: L Daniels, Francis, D Daniels (c), C Jones, Smart (Donnellan 74); Birch, Allan; Roofe (Ambalu HT), A Nabi, Atkinson; A Jones. Subs not used: Lewis (gk); McCalla.
SOUTHAMPTON: Cropper; Chambers, Forren, Stephens, Targett; Ward Prowse, Curtis; Isgrove, Moore, Rowe (Seager 63); Sinclair. Subs not used: Turnbull, Johns, Young, Reed.
GOALS: ALBION – A Jones (74), Donnellan (79), Ambalu (90). SOUTHAMPTON - D Daniels OG (5), Sinclair (48), Seager (69)
REFEREE: S Barrow (Staffordshire)
ALBION STARMAN: Joel Ambalu