Gayle and Birch strikes plus own goal earn Baggies win
ALBION started 2014 in style in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League with a convincing 3-0 win at West Ham.
The Baggies went into the game on the back of three successive defeats in league and cup but were soon ahead at the Rush Green Stadium thanks to Cameron Gayle’s deflected 21st-minute opener.
The visitors, who were tonight overseen by Lead Professional Development Coach James Shan, doubled their lead five minutes into the second half thanks to Paul McCallum’s own goal as he turned in Jordan Francis' shot.
And Aaron Birch sealed the points with a third strike in the 66th minute.
Shan said: "We totally dominated from start to finish, created chances and scored three goals, and Jack Rose did not have a save to make.
"The lads were excellent and the performance reflected everything our Academy stands for in terms of playing out from the back and showing good ball management.
"A prime example was a 20-pass move we almost scored from at the end of the first half.
"It was also good to see George Thorne get 90 minutes under his belt and he was the best player on the pitch - he was head a shoulders above the rest."
WEST HAM: Spiegel, Driver, Fanimo, Whitehead, Burke, McCallum, Turgott (Shaw 59), Moncur, Lee, Gordon (Maguire 78), Vaz Te (Lletget 31). Subs not used: Baxter, Nasha.
ALBION: Rose, Gayle, Atkinson, Thorne, D Daniels, O’Neil, Francis (Orenuga 61), Birch, A Jones, O’Sullivan (Ward 70), Wedderburn (Wright 75). Subs not used: Palmer (gk), C Jones.
GOALS: ALBION – Gayle (21), McCallum (og 50), Birch (66).
BOOKINGS: - WEST HAM – Driver (foul 68), McCallum (foul 77).
REFEREE: C Fitch.