Molineux Stadium

Friday 5th November 2021 -  19:00
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Albion PL2 boss Richard Beale wants his young side to show "character” when they face Black Country rivals Wolves at Molineux on Friday night (ko 7pm).

The young Baggies certainly exhibited their powers of recovery earlier in the week, fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Nottingham Forest at Meadow Lane.

Second-half strikes from Ken Zohore and Jamie Andrews ensured Albion’s youngsters extended their unbeaten league run to five matches on Monday, but manager Beale insists a “complete performance” will be required against Wanderers if they are to maintain their impressive form.

“The motivation and energy levels of the lads have been brilliant all season so far,” said Beale.

“They carried that out against Forest with a stirring second-half performance. It was great to play at a venue like Meadow Lane and it’ll be the same again for them on Friday at Molineux.

“The reaction we got, to what was a poor first half on Monday, was everything we expected of the lads and everything they need if they’re going to forge a successful career in the professional ranks.

“But we have to be better in and out of possession. I said to the boys the effort and desire they show is commendable, but they are givens in this game. We’ve had a couple of bad games like Fulham and Villa, but the lads have shown lots of character and have been very positive which was evidenced against Forest earlier in the week.

“We’ve been working hard on the training ground so we can go out and produce that 90 minute performance, but with this age group the most important thing is about making individual players better.

“We’re expecting a really tough game against Wolves and playing at Molineux will be another great platform for the players, and the test for the lads is to be the best player in their position on the night.

“Hopefully the boys will perform as they have done on the whole this season and turn in another good performance.”

Ken Zohore’s second goal in as many games secured a point for Albion’s PL2 side against Wolves on Friday night.

Chem Campbell’s flicked header gave Wanderers a first-half lead, but there were mixed emotions for the home side’s goalscorer after the break when he was given his marching orders for an incident off the ball with Baggies defender Kevin Joshua.

The visitors hit back in the second half through Zohore’s close-range header, but they couldn’t capitalise on their man advantage as Richard Beale’s side left Molineux with a point.

Wolves started the game brightly and it was the game’s first chance which brought the first goal as Campbell peeled away from his marker to loop a header into the top corner.

Energised by the opener, the hosts continued their push for another goal as Jack Hodnett volleyed wide and Campbell continued to cause Albion’s backline problems. But Beale’s men kept the hosts at bay to give themselves a platform to build off after the interval.

And Albion did step things up a gear in the second half, winning more of their individual battles and two quick yellow cards for the hosts showed momentum was shifting in the game. And from the visitors’ first clear-cut chance, they found the net.

The introduction of substitute Reyes Cleary proved to be key as his power and pace tied Wanderers’ defence in knots down the left which allowed him to tee up Owen Windsor, whose delightful cross was headed home by Zohore.

It could’ve got even better for the Baggies when Cleary’s determination saw the attacker force his way into Wolves’ penalty area before squaring a powerful pass into goalscorer Zohore, but he couldn’t quite divert the pace of the ball on target.

Albion’s opponents were forced to play more than 15 minutes of the game with 10 men after Campbell took a swipe at centre-back Joshua off the ball, but it didn’t change the tide of the game as the Baggies were forced to settle for their second draw of the week.

Albion: Palmer; Ingram, Joshua, Ashworth; Williams (Hall 79), King, Teixeira, Fellows (Shaw 46); Soule (Cleary 60), Zohore, Windsor.

Substitutes: Chisholm, Heard.

Red cards: C.Campbell (Wolves)