Albion youngsters defeat Stoke
ALEX Jones made a stunning return to Albion’s Under-21 side, scoring twice in last night’s 3-1 win over Stoke City at the Ricoh Arena in the Barclays U21 Premier League.
The forward who completed his first 90 minutes following a 13-week injury lay-off, put Albion ahead after 34 minutes, firing past Dale Eve from the edge of the box after neat link-up play with Adil Nabi.
The visitors equalised shortly after the hour mark, Oliver Shenton beating Jack Rose with a left-footed shot from 20-yards.
However James Shan’s chargers regained the lead almost instantly through Adil Nabi, as the striker displayed sharp reactions to place the ball into the far corner after his initial effort was blocked.
And it was the returning Jones who secured the three points for Albion, pouncing on a loose ball before rounding Eve and easily slotting the ball home into an empty net.
It was a performance that pleased Shan, who was also glad to see Jones back in action.
“I am pleased, it was another good performance from the team,” said Shan.
“I thought that we were excellent in the first half, we dominated the game and we probably should’ve gone in at the break three or four goals ahead.
“The first goal was an outstanding goal, and involved a great bit of link-up play between Alex Jones and Adil Nabi.
“In the second half we made it a little bit too easy for them to get back into the game.
“But we managed to score two very good goals and created more good chances.
“I am really pleased for Alex, he has been out for 13 weeks so it was good for him to get his first 90 minutes under his belt.
Shan was impressed with the performances of 15-year-olds Tyler Roberts and Jonathan Leko, but also insisted that despite the victory, there are still areas for improvement.
“Tyler and Jonathan both did really well, and didn’t look out of place at all.
“It is great to see them both involved.
“I let Darren (Moore) do the debrief last night and he spoke a lot about letting Stoke back in the game.
“We aren’t just about winning the game and wrapping it up, there are lots of things that we can pick apart and look to improve on.
“But we are on a nice little run, and the boys are in that mentality of winning games which is a good habit for them to get into.”
Albion: Rose, Atkinson, Cleet, Howkins, Smart, Leko (Roberts 72’), S.Nabi (Birch 83’), O'Neil, Wedderburn (Barrow 60’), A.Nabi, Jones.
Unused Subs: Palmer, Garmston.