KYLE Howkins and Kemar Roofe both scored late consolation goals as Albion lost 4-2 to a strong Arsenal side in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League last night.
The Gunners fielded Abou Diaby, Joel Campbell, Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin in their starting XI for the Emirates Stadium encounter.
Dan Crowley opened the scoring from a sweetly-struck free-kick for the hosts inside three minutes before Chuba Akpom followed up from close range to double the Gunners' lead in the 31st minute.
Akpom then grabbed a second on 63, heading home from Bellerin's cross before sealing his hat-trick seven minutes later.
Howkins powered Rees Wedderburn's corner past Deyan Iliev in the 79th minute, before Roofe lobbed the goalkeeper with the last kick of the game.
Albion Senior Professional Development Phase Coach James Shan said: “I was disappointed with our lack of energy and we didn’t retain the ball for long enough periods or exploit Arsenal’s weaknesses.
“To concede after just three minutes made it an uphill battle but we had six good first-half chances and failed to put any away.
“We didn’t impose ourselves enough with or without the ball.
“But Arsenal had a very strong side out and it was always going to be difficult against the three over-age players they fielded.”
ALBION: Rose, Atkinson, Donnellan, Smart, Howkins, A Nabi, S Nabi (Pace 75), Roofe, O’Neil, Barrow (Wedderburn 63), Garmston. Subs not used: Palmer (gk), Kandi, Cleet.