Club News

Baggies U21s taste defeat at Boro

Goal in either half downs Albion

ALBION fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Barclays Under-21 Premier League Division 2 leaders Middlesbrough last night.

The visitors started brightly and may well have taken the lead just seconds in, Kemar Roofe seeing his effort tipped over the crossbar following a surging run by Adil Nabi.

It was the start of a solid opening 15 minutes for the Baggies in which they posed a threat.

However, that was about as good as it got as Boro soon took control.

They went close on a couple of occasions before breaking the deadlock after 35 minutes, Tom McAloon with the goal despite the best efforts of Albion goalkeeper Jack Rose, who claimed the shot had failed to cross the goalline.

Liam O’Neil saw his header hit the outside of a post as Albion looked for a route back into the game.

But the home side duly doubled their advantage in the 77th minute when Ryan Pace played a wayward back pass to ‘keeper Rose and he in turn brought down Boro striker Bradley Fewster, who converted the resulting penalty.

Roofe came close to a late consolation but saw his header parried to safety.

Under-21 senior professional development phase coach James Shan said: “We were poor at best.

“I stress to the lads every matchday that I’m looking for three main criteria – to win, to perform and to work hard.

“I want them to nail at least two of those per game.

“If we don’t win but we’ve worked hard and performed the way we want to play and played the brand of football we want to play, then I’ll accept that.

“Likewise, if we don’t perform as well as we possibly can but we work hard and we win, then they’re in that crossover stage of the Academy where it is about developing still but they’ve got to learn to win and how to win.

“I couldn’t tick one of those last night. That’s the most frustrating thing for me.

“Hopefully it’s a blip, you have them, and it’s about bouncing back.”

Albion: Rose, Fitzwater, Howkins, Cleet, Smart, Pace, O’Neil (Wedderburn 65’), Ward (S Nabi 45’), Roofe, Leko (Barrow 79’), A Nabi.

Unused subs: Palmer, Donnellan.