Club News

Albion Under-21s draw with Hamilton in friendly

Wedderburn, Wright and Samir Nabi all on target

SAMIR Nabi’s last-minute strike earned Albion Under-21s a 3-3 draw with Hamilton Academical in a friendly at the training ground this afternoon.

James Shan’s men had taken a two-goal lead thanks to goals from Rees Wedderburn and Andre Wright, but the Scottish side hit back with three goals to turn the game on its head, only to be denied victory by Nabi’s impressive finish at the death.

Wedderburn got Albion off to a flying start, racing clear of the Accies defence before finishing neatly past the ‘keeper in the 5th minute.

The Baggies then doubled their lead in the 24th minute, Andre Wright with a cool finish after a delicate flick on the half-way line from Alex Jones sent him clean through on goal.

Hamilton pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, Tom Smart’s header off the line following a corner ricocheted off an Accies player into the net.

A penalty brought the visitors level on the hour mark, and they went ahead with 15 minutes to go, as Ethan Ross could only parry a fierce shot from inside the area into the corner.

However, with seconds to go, Albion’s youngsters rescued a draw, Nabi driving home a right-footed effort that went in off the post from 20-yards out.

Albion Under-21 coach James Shan was slightly disappointed with the performance, but stated the fact that the Hamilton starting XI had all played in their first-team, makes the display easier to stomach.

“It was a really good test for us,” said Shan.

“All of their starting XI have played in their first team, with some players making over 100 appearances.

“So when you take that into account there is plenty of experience in their side.

“In my opinion I thought it was a poor performance from us, but the fact that they had so much experience in their side makes our display easier to swallow.

“I felt that they were tactically better than us, and it took us too long to work out their shape.

“The disappointing thing for me was that we didn’t manage playing or receiving in tight areas which is a West Bromwich Albion trait.”

Shan was pleased however, with members of his squad getting valuable playing time under their belts ahead of games in the Barclays U21 Premier League Cup against Derby County and in the Birmingham Senior Cup against Rugby Town.

“There were lots of boys that needed the minutes,” admitted Shan.

“We definitely needed the fixture in terms of getting the lads game time.

“For the boys that have had minimal game time, it is really important that they come into the fold in the absence of the players who have gone out on loan.

“They have all come through it injury-free which is pleasing.”

Albion: Palmer (Ross HT), Ezewele, Smart (Atkinson HT), Howkins (Cleet HT), Barbir, Wedderburn, Pace (S.Nabi HT), Birch, Barrow (O’Sullivan HT), Jones, Wright.