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Under-21s go top with win over Bolton

23 February 2015

Baggies extend unbeaten run to nine league games

ALBION Under-21s went top of the Barclays U21 Premier League division two table, with a 3-2 win over Bolton Wanderers this afternoon.

Adil Nabi and Tyler Roberts put the Baggies two up before the Trotters staged a comeback to draw level, only for Wesley Atkinson to smash home a winner nine minutes from time to extend his side’s unbeaten run to nine league games.

Albion started brightly and almost went ahead when Samir Nabi found himself in acres of space inside the penalty area, but the midfielder’s drilled effort cannoned back off the far post.

Bolton left-back Ryan Sellers then saw his ferocious effort from 25-yards narrowly miss the target, and Tom Eaves’ 30-yard strike drifted wide of Jack Rose’s near post shortly after.

The Baggies broke the deadlock four minutes before the break, when Adil Nabi curled home a delightful right-footed effort into the far corner from just outside the penalty area.

The home side doubled their lead in the 62nd minute through Wales Under-16 captain Tyler Roberts’ first goal at Under-21 level, as the forward calmly stroked the ball past Trotters’ ‘keeper Harry Campbell from 15-yards-out.

But the visitors pulled one back just seven minutes later, forward Tom Eaves rising highest at the back post to nod home.

Buoyed by the goal, Wanderers started to dominate and after a sustained period of pressure, grabbed an equaliser in the 76th minute when Luke Woodland’s strike went through several bodies and nestled in the bottom corner.

But James Shan’s in-form side were not to be denied all three points, and Wez Atkinson smashed a volley from inside the penalty area past Campbell to propel his side to the league’s summit.

Speaking after the game, the 20-year-old was understandably delighted with the result, the goal and the fact that his side are the new league leaders.

“I am really happy to have scored the winner,” said Atkinson.

“I can’t really remember what happened, I think the ball just dropped perfectly for me and I just spanked it home with my left foot.

“I don’t really score many, I am usually a one goal a season man.

“It is great to go nine games unbeaten in the league, and something which we are proud of as players.

“We spoke before the game about wanting to keep the run going.

“We have drawn the last few games and we have missed the chance to go top, so to finally move into first place is a great feeling.”

Albion: Rose, Atkinson, Smart, Pace (O’Sullivan HT), Cleet, Howkins, S.Nabi (Barrow 83’), Birch, Jones (Campbell 78’), A.Nabi, Roberts.
Unused Subs: Palmer, Wedderburn.

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