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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

02 November 2018 Venue St. Mary's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Southampton PL2
1 - 0
West Bromwich Albion PL2

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Smith ahead of Southampton PL2 trip

1 November 2018

ALBION’s under-23s begin a run of four games in 12 days when they face Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Friday evening (ko 7pm).

The young Baggies travel down to the South Coast for the Premier League 2 Divison Two fixture before tackling Checkatrade Trophy ties at Accrington Stanley and Macclesfield either side of a PL Cup clash with Burnley - all before the international break. 

But boss Jamie Smith believes the busy spell will be important in their development as professional footballers, and hopes his side can build on their seven-match unbeaten streak to keep morale high among the squad.

“It’ll be good for them to go on this run of successive games,” said Jamie.

“We talk about development, and if you look at the first-team fixtures at times this season, that’s what they have to go through. So it’s something that these players will have to deal with.

“It will be tough physically, but there are plenty of strategies now that the sports science department use to help players recover. It’s another challenge for them but one they’ll benefit from.

“It’s a very positive dressing room at the moment, and much more pleasant than being on a losing run, which we have done last season and also at the start of this one. It’s much more fun at the moment!”

Opponents Southampton have made a positive start to the campaign and currently sit fourth in the table having picked up 17 points from their opening nine fixtures, with Smith expecting the Saints to pose a difficult test.

“They’re another club with a fantastic reputation of developing players and always having good teams,” he added.

“It’ll be another tough game for us.”

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Match Reports

Southampton PL2 1 Albion PL2 0

2 November 2018

ALBION’s under-23s suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Southampton in a Premier League 2 Division Two game at St Mary’s Stadium, bringing an end to their six-game unbeaten run.

The home side made a strong start and fired a couple of warning shots to the young Baggies inside the opening 10 minutes as both Callum Slattery and Thomas O’Connor saw efforts go wide. 

Alex Palmer kept out Jonathan Afolabi not long after, with Will Smallbone then hitting the wall from a free-kick on the 30-minute mark.

Albion were fortunate not to concede six minutes before the break when Saints defender Christoph Klarer headed past the post.

But on the hour Southampton did go in front through Marcus Barnes after he scrambled the ball home from close-range following a dangerous corner into the penalty area.

Four minutes after the opening goal the away side were unlucky not to equalise, Nathan Ferguson’s goal-bound header cleared away by the Southampton defence.

Jamie Smith’s side piled on the pressure in the final 20 minutes as Nick Clayton-Phillips curled just wide, Callum Morton was inches away from bundling a knock-back in and Rogers’ rifle at goal was bravely blocked.

Southampton’s defence held firm, though, to consign Jamie Smith’s side to a first defeat since September.

ALBION: Palmer, Ferguson, Howkins, Healy (Harmon 88); Meredith, Clayton-Phillips, Harper, Rogers; Tulloch (Azaz 69), Morton, Leko.

Substitutes: Keranovic, Brown, Soule.

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