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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

0-0
21 September 2018 Venue Adams Park Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Reading PL2
0 - 0
FT
West Bromwich Albion PL2

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Smith: Positivity key to maiden win

20 September 2018

ALBION’s under-23s boss Jamie Smith believes that a positive attitude is crucial to his side earning their first victory of the new Premier League 2 Division Two season.

The young Baggies travel to face Reading at Adams Park on Friday night (ko 7pm) as they look to bounce back from a narrow defeat to Middlesbrough earlier in the week - another game where their encouraging performance didn’t quite match the result.

 “I just keep telling the team to stay positive. It’s been disappointing from a results point of view, but certainly from a performance point of view it hasn't been,” said Jamie. 

“And that’s what I keep drumming in to them. We’re competing in games, we’re not a million miles away.

“As I keep saying - the difference from last season in the games is there for all to see, and the stats back that up with the amount of possession we’re having and chances we’re creating.

“We’ve just got to stay positive, and keep the lads positive. It’s difficult for them, I know it’s more about development but, as I’ve mentioned before, winning is a big part of their development.”

Reading have made a good start to their PL2 campaign, picking up two wins, two draws and just the one loss from their opening five fixtures.

The Royals have also scored the most goals in the division so far (13), and Smith is anticipating a real test for his Albion side down in the South East.

“It’ll be very tough. We’ve watched lots of clips and videos of Reading and we’re expecting a really hard game against a physical side, and a side that’s also good technically and tactically. It’ll be another good challenge for us,” he added.

“They’ve got a really good academy set-up that’s renowned in this country for developing players.

There’s a number of players that they’ve brought through their system and into the first-team and beyond.

“We’re expecting to have pretty much the same team that played on Monday.

“The lads like Rekeem Harper, Jonathan Leko and Kyle Edwards need games. It can be difficult at times when they’re in-between the first-team and the under-23s, so it’s important that they get their share of game time.”

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Match Reports

Reading PL2 0 Albion PL2 0

21 September 2018

JAMES Morrison helped Albion’s under-23s to a 0-0 draw with Reading as the midfielder made his return from injury at Adams Park.

Oliver Burke, Kyle Edwards, Rekeem Harper and Jonathan Leko also turned out for Jamie Smith’s side as they earned a point and kept a clean sheet in Buckinghamshire. 

It was Reading who started strongly as Josh Barrett and Ben House went close to opening the scoring early on.

But Albion grew into the game and some good build-up play eventually saw Burke unleash a curling shot with the outside of his boot from the edge of the box, only to see it come crashing back off the crossbar.

It remained goalless at half-time but the Baggies had Alex Palmer to thank just a few minutes after the interval as the goalkeeper somehow kept out Barrett from close-range.

Burke again went close to getting himself on the scoresheet 12 minutes into the second half as his effort from distance was deflected just wide.

Morrison and Burke departed the field on 61 and 70 minutes respectively as Albion had to weather plenty of Reading pressure midway through the second half.

The away side had the better of the final quarter of an hour, though, and were ever so close to stealing all three points in injury time when substitute Rayhaan Tulloch headed the ball inches wide.

ALBION: Palmer, Meredith, Ferguson, Healy, Harmon; Harper, Wilding, Morrison (Clayton-Phillips 61); Edwards, Burke (Morton 70), Leko (Tulloch 84).

Substitutes: Keranovic, Azaz.

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