The Hawthorns

Wednesday 16th September 2020 -  18:00
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Harrogate
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    Slaven Bilić’s Baggies are back at The Hawthorns on Wednesday evening to take on Sky Bet League Two side Harrogate Town in the Carabao Cup (ko 6pm).

    Harrogate Town

    Their last outing

    At the weekend, Harrogate Town got off to the perfect start in their first ever game in the English Football League, as they comfortably beat Southend United 4-0 on the road.

    Jack Muldoon put the visitors ahead before Lloyd Kerry extended their advantage just before the break. Aaron Martin hit a third on the hour mark and Muldoon added his second and Harrogate’s fourth nine minutes later.

    In the dugout

    Harrogate Town are managed by Simon Weaver, who became their player-manager in 2009, shortly after his father, Irving Weaver, became chairman.

    The 42-year-old has taken Harrogate to their highest-ever position in English football and has managed more than 500 games for them.

    One to watch

    Jack Muldoon fired in 14 league goals in Harrogate’s promotion-winning season and scored a brace in his first game of the season against Southend.

    The 31-year-old was part of Lincoln City’s remarkable 2016/17 FA Cup run which saw them beat Ipswich Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley to reach the quarter-finals where they were beaten by Arsenal.

    He has spent much of his career in non-league football, although he played three times for Rochdale in League One in 2014.

    Stats

    Albion

    - Albion haven’t been knocked out of the League Cup at The Hawthorns by a team playing lower than the top-two tiers of English football since losing the second leg at home of a two-legged tie against Colchester United in 1996/97.

    - 2016/17 was the last time the Baggies bowed out of the League Cup to opponents that weren’t in the top-two tiers of English football.

    - Under Slaven Bilić, all of Albion’s cup wins have been by a 1-0 deficit. Last season, the Throstles knocked Charlton Athletic and West Ham United out of the Emirates FA Cup.

    Harrogate

    - The game will be the first time Harrogate have ever played a side currently in the Premier League.

    - This will be the first time Albion have ever played Harrogate.

    - If Harrogate forward Jon Stead plays, it will be his 12th game against Albion, for a sixth different club. He has never scored against the Baggies, but has been involved in four wins, four draws and three losses in his 11 games against the Throstles.

    Our man to watch

    Charlie Austin was on the bench for Albion’s league opener against Leicester but could get some minutes under his belt on Wednesday.

    Last season he scored against Millwall in this competition, which was the first of his 11 goals in all competitions for the Baggies.

    Read all about it

    You can get your hands on the Harrogate edition of the Baggies' matchday programme Albion News here.

    Alternatively, you can sign up for a season subscription of Albion News here

    Follow the game

    Gez Mulholland will be joined by once midfield-now-microphone maestro Andy Johnson to provide proudly partisan commentary and an expert insight for WBA Radio.

    To listen live to Baggies-biased commentary on WBA Radio for free for every home and away match during the 2020/21 season all you have to do is sign up for a free My Albion account.

    If you haven't already you can create your My Albion account here. Click Create Account or register quickly with your Facebook or Google account. 

    Live commentary starts from 15 minutes before kick-off and will be accessible through the live match centre or WBA TV.

    If you have any issues registering or accessing your My Albion account please contact myalbion@wbafc.co.uk.

    Albion comfortably progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup after beating Sky Bet League Two side Harrogate Town 3-0 at The Hawthorns on Wednesday evening.

    Early goals from Rekeem Harper and Hal Robson-Kanu, before a second-half strike from Callum Robinson on the first-ever meeting between the two sides means the Baggies will now host Southampton or Brentford in the third round of the competition.

    Slaven Bilić handed debuts to David Button, Lee Peltier and Cédric Kipré against Harrogate. The former Wigan defender had Dara O’Shea as a partner in central defence, while Conor Townsend started on the left side of the Albion backline.

    Kyle Edwards and Kamil Grosicki took either flank in midfield, with Sam Field and Harper in central midfield while up front Slaven opted for Charlie Austin and Robson-Kanu.

    O’Shea had Albion’s first opportunity of the evening just before the 20-minute mark. The Irish defender latched onto a Kipré header following a Grosicki corner, but he could only slice a volley wide.

    However, Bilić’s men were ahead moments later. Harper turned neatly before unleashing a low strike into the corner from distance to hand the home side the advantage.

    Grosicki went close next when played through on goal but his effort was stopped by the outstretched arm of Joe Cracknell in the Harrogate net.

    On 23, Albion doubled their lead. Hal Robson-Kanu received the ball 25 yards out. The Baggies forward made space for himself and sent a spectacular curling shot into the top corner of the net.

    Albion’s new shot-stopper David Button was called into action just before the half-hour mark when he skilfully clawed a Mark Beck header away from goal, as Harrogate created their first opening of the evening.

    Grosicki again went close for the Baggies, fizzing a free-kick just wide of the post on 35.

    Shortly after the interval, the hosts nearly had a third. Robson-Kanu released Edwards out wide, and the Academy graduate whipped a cross which narrowly evaded Robson-Kanu and Austin - with any touch more than likely resulting in a goal.

    In the 67th minute, Edwards slipped substitute Matt Phillips through on goal. Albion’s No.10 chopped back and found Austin unmarked. Yet with the goal gaping, a last-ditch clearance by a Harrogate man prevented the Baggies striker’s low side-footed effort. 

    The two would combine again minutes later. Austin hooked a brilliant ball with the outside of his boot over the top of the visitors’ backline, but Phillips’ shot was blocked and turned over the bar for a corner.

    Substitute Robinson tucked home Albion’s third from close range in the 77th minute to secure the victory after some brilliant footwork from Edwards on the byline.

    Bilić's men will return to Premier League action for their next test, as they face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

    Albion: Button; Peltier, Kipre, O’Shea, Townsend; Edwards, Field, Harper, Grosicki (Phillips 55); Austin (Robinson 73), Robson-Kanu (Sawyers 61).

    Substitutes: Bond, Furlong, Ajayi, Soule.