ZOLTAN Gera got an hour under his belt on his return from injury as Albion were defeated 1-0 by Arsenal in the Barclays U21 Premier League at the Emirates Stadium.
The Hungary international made his first appearance in over nine months after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury at QPR in January.
The Baggies youngsters were edged out by a solitary Serge Gnabry strike – with Emmanuel Frimpong and Ryo Miyaichi also in the Gunners’ starting XI.
Professional development coach David Oldfield believes Albion were unlucky not to come away from North London with at least a point.
"It was a better performance tonight," said Oldfield.
"I was a little disappointed by the manner of the goal we conceded.
"But we created some good opportunities and had a goal disallowed for offside which should have stood.
"We played better than we have in recent games and the players deserved something from it."
Oldfield admits it was fantastic to have a player of Gera's experience in his young squad.
"It was a big positive to have Zoltan Gera playing," added Oldfield.
"He did well during the hour he played.
"His passing was great and he linked us all together and really helped the young lads.
"It's great for the development of the players to have someone of his quality playing for us."
ALBION: Rose; Atkinson, Garmston (Francis 27), O’Neil, Gayle, C Jones, Roofe, Birch, Ferrier (Hayes 78), Gera (A Jones 60), O’Sullivan. Subs not used: Palmer (gk); S Nabi.