Wright, Fitzwater, Ezewele and Edwards on target
ALBION’S under-18s ensured that it wasn’t all misery in Manchester on Saturday for the club, as they earned a terrific 4-3 win against City’s youngsters.
Aaron Danks’ men were trailing 3-1 with just eleven minutes to go, but in an unbelievable turn of events, the Baggies scored three times to snatch victory in their second play-off game in the Barclays U18 Premier League.
The hosts took the lead in the 28th minute, when Denzeil Boadu coverted a penalty after Josh Ezewele brought down Emmanuel Vasi inside the area.
However Albion were level just three minutes into the second-half, as Andre Wright glanced his header beyond City ‘keeper Charlie Albinson.
The visitors weren’t level for long though, Paolo Fernandes’ free-kick slipped through the grasp of Ethan Ross and landed in the back of the net to restore the home side’s advantage.
The Baggies fell further behind in the 68th minute, when Fernandes added his second and City’s third with a confident finish.
Defender jack Fitzwater gave Albion hope by powerfully heading home Andre Wright’s cross on 79 minutes.
And the comeback was complete with just three minutes left on the clock, as Josh Ezewele saw his looping header at the back post nestle in the far corner.
But not content with just a point the youngsters continued to push forward, and in the dying embers of the encounter, Kyle Edwards’ shot from 18-yards-out found the bottom corner to spark wild celebrations from the away side.
Under-18s boss Aaron Danks was delighted with the character his team displayed.
He said: “To get back into the game showed what the players are all about.
“To then go on and win it was pretty special, and I am sure the players enjoyed it.
“Obviously we are delighted to get the three points, and it was nice to be on the positive side of a late win, having suffered a last-gasp defeat at home to Manchester United last week.
“The boys were disappointed at half-time because they felt as though they hadn’t expressed themselves.
“We started brilliantly in the second-half, but the most pleasing aspect was the character the team showed after going 3-1 down.
“Before the game we spoke about fighting until the end, and that is exactly that they did.
“The win will give us confidence going into the next five games, but we are aware that every game will be difficult.”
Albion: Ross, Ezewele, Pritchatt (McCourt 67’), Field, Fitzwater, Cleet, Campbell (Smith 90’), Ward, Wright, Edwards, Scrivens (Sweeney 60’).
Unused subs: Moran, Cater.