Club News

Puskas FC Academy 0 Albion 3

Anelka off the mark with deadly double

NICOLAS Anelka fired his first Albion goals as his new team eased to a comfortable pre-season win over Puskas FC Academy.

The summer signing pulled the strings in the first half and showed his calibre with quality finishes in the ninth and 27th minutes.

Half-time substitute Graham Dorrans completed the scoring nine minutes from time when he converted a penalty won by Kemar Roofe.

The Baggies played some good football in spells and recorded a clean sheet after surviving a couple of dangerous moments from the Hungarians.

Steve Clarke named an attacking 4-3-3 starting line-up with Shane Long returning from the minor toe injury that saw him miss Thursday’s 2-1 defeat by Hannover 96.

The game was again played in searing heat and on eight minutes Ludos Hayduch pulled off a fine finger-tip save from a wicked Chris Brunt free-kick.

The Baggies skipper curled in the resultant ninth-minute corner, which ricocheted around the box before Anelka poked it home for his first Albion goal.

The first threat by the Hungarian top-flight outfit came in the 17th minute when Toth Balazs threaded in Baracskai Rolawy down the left and his cross just evaded Gajdos Zsolts.

Albion almost doubled their lead on 19 when Anelka flicked the ball onto Markus Rosenberg and he slid in Long, who chipped the goalkeeper but saw his effort rebound off the foot of the right-hand post and out.

The Ireland international was presented with another golden opportunity to score five minutes later when James Morrison fed him on the right-hand side of the box and he rounded Hayduch but rolled the ball into the side-netting.

The Baggies did extend their lead on 27. Anelka performed two delightful drag-backs before exchanging a one-two with Rosenberg just inside the box and coolly heading his second into the top-left corner of the net.

Clarke made three changes at the break with Luke Daniels, Billy Jones and Dorrans coming on for Boaz Myhill, Steven Reid and Morrison respectively.

Academy came out at a pace in the second half and a well-worked short corner saw Bertus Lajos fire a dangerous ball into the box to give Uros Wilkolics a free sight of goal – but he completely missed the ball.

Polonkyi Attily followed up but saw his 18-yard shot deflected high and wide off one of his team-mates.

Wikolics picked up the ball in midfield on the hour mark and drifted towards the edge of the area before firing a fierce drive inches wide of the right-hand post.

The Baggies made another seven changes in the 61st minute with Liam Ridgewell, Gareth McAuley, Gabriel Tamas, Donervorn Daniels, Saido Berahino, Kemar Roofe and Youssouf Mulumbu – seeing his first pre-season action - coming on.

The men to way were Goran Popov, Jonas Olsson, Craig Dawson, Claudio Yacob, Brunt, Rosenberg and Anelka, as Clarke also switched formation to a 3-5-2.

In addition to their four half-time changes, Puskas also made another seven on 67.

It had the desired effect as Barcsay Ma’ril broke into the left-hand side of the box and forced Luke Daniels into a parry.

Tamas could only poke the ball half-clear and Karoly Baliwt should have pulled one back from ten yards – but struck the right-hand post.

Long departed ten minutes from time to be replaced by Adil Nabi.

A minute later, Tamas Ma’rk felled Roofe in the box and Dorrans stepped up to calmly fire home the spot-kick.

Jones was alert to the danger from a free-kick in the 83rd minute as he flicked it away for a corner at the back post to preserve Albion's clean sheet.

PUSKAS FC ACADEMY (4-4-2): Hayduch (Bewce HT); Awyor (Csaba 67), Gergo (Barwa 67), Vasilis (T Ma’rk 67), Worbert (Fabio HT (W Zsolt 90)); Lajos (Luque 67), Balazs (Wikolics HT), Attily (Baliwt 67), Rolawy (Maril 67); G Zsolt (Laszlo 67 (Tibor 90)), Royert (Smrekar HT). Subs not used: B Ma’rk, Dona’t.

ALBION (4-3-3): Myhill (L Daniels HT); Reid (Jones HT), Dawson (McAuley 61), Olsson (Tamas 61), Popov (Ridgewell 61); Morrison (Dorrans HT), Yacob (D Daniels 61), Brunt (Roofe 61); Long (A Nabi 80), Anelka (Berahino 61), Rosenberg (Mulumbu 61). Subs not used: O’Neil, Gayle.

GOALS: PUSKAS – None. ALBION – Anelka (9, 27), Dorrans (pen 81).

BOOKINGS: PUSKAS – Balazs (foul 24).

REFEREE: Adam Farkas.

ALBION STARMAN: Nicolas Anelka.