Young guns hold Wanderers to stalemate
A youthful Albion XI held Wycombe to a creditable goalless draw in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the club’s training ground on Saturday.
The hosts, made up predominantly of Under-19s, came closest to breaking the deadlock against the League Two outfit when Joe Ward struck the crossbar with a superb 25-yard strike in the first half.
It came amid a first period which saw both side enjoy a couple of half-chances.
Wanderers, who preserved their Football League status on a dramatic final day last season, enjoyed the bulk of possession in the second half but Albion held firm and kept their shape.
Baggies striker Alex Jones saw a chance tipped around a post before the visitors glanced a good headed opportunity wide late on.
Albion senior professional development coach James Shan was delighted with the performance of his young side.
“We were good, very good,” he said.
“Wycombe brought their first-team and, barring three Under-20 players, we were an Under-19 team. We were very young.
“The game was played at a frantic tempo but we coped with it and really managed it quite well.
“We had the better possession first half; we kept it well, retained it well, created and got in and around the final third.
“My biggest critique was that when we got into the final third we probably still went quick, we could have come out and been a bit more patient. But game one in pre-season, you’ll take that.
“The most pleasing thing for me was the boys’ mentality to compete. They were coming up against some experienced players and their mentality to compete, get in and around it and be dogged was very good.”
Shan added: “All in all, I’m delighted they came up against a League Two first team, we’ve not lost the game, we’ve kept a clean sheet.
“The mentality was superb, the work-ethic was superb, we worked hard for one another, technically and tactically displayed some really good traits and caused them some genuine problems.
“They’ve certainly set the bar in all areas.”
ALBION XI FIRST HALF: Rose, Donnellan, C Jones, A trialist, Smart, Pace, Ward, Birch (S Nabi 30), A Jones, Wedderburn, B trialist
ALBION XI SECOND HALF: Rose (Palmer 70), Donnellan (A trialist 70), Howkins, Jones, Smart, Pace, Ward (B trialist 70), S Nabi, A Jones (Wright 70), Leko, Barrow