Ward (2), Campbell, S.Nabi and Wright on target
ALBION’s Under-18s swept aside local rivals Villa on Saturday, claiming an outstanding 5-1 victory in the Barclays U18 Premier League elite group.
A brace from Joe Ward, plus further strikes from Tahvon Campbell, Samir Nabi and Andre Wright secured the bragging rights in what was a fiery encounter, as both sides were reduced to ten-men in the closing stages.
Joe Ward opened the scoring as early as the eight minute with a sweetly struck half-volley from 25-yards-out.
The hosts doubled their lead shortly before the half-hour mark thanks to forward, Tahvon Campbell, who confidently slotted the ball into the bottom corner from inside the penalty area.
The Baggies added a third just four minutes later when Ward scored his second, firing home from close-range after the ball fell kindly at his feet.
The visitors pulled one back early in the second-half when Callum O’Hare headed home a cross from the right.
Tempers boiled over with 18 minutes left on the clock when Villa forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was shown a straight red for a stamp on Sam Field.
The challenge sparked a mass brawl, with the referee deeming the reactions of George Cleet worthy of a second yellow card.
Aaron Danks’ men made sure of the three points in the 78th minute as Samir Nabi controlled Ward’s left-wing cross inside the area, before poking the ball into the back of the net.
Andre Wright put the icing on the cake with just six minutes remaining, tapping in Kyle Edwards’ cross from inside the six-yard-box.
It was a result and performance which left Under-18 boss Aaron Danks delighted.
“Saturday was a great team performance.
“The most pleasing thing for me was how the boys played without any egos and all worked hard for each other.
“On top of that we played with a ruthless simplicity and were very clinical in front of goal.
“We found the space and exploited it well and scored some very good goals.
He added: “We travel to Chelsea next weekend knowing that it will be another great test.
“We will continue to believe in the process of our preparation and training and go into the last few games of the season looking for strong performances.”
ALBION: Hall, Sweeney, Fitzwater, Cleet, McCourt, Field, S.Nabi (Elbouzedi 85’), Ward, Hallahan (Edwards 71’), Campbell (Scrivens 90’), Wright.
Unused subs: Moran, Smith.