Baggies go joint-top of table
ALBION’S Under-21 side extended their unbeaten run to 14 league games with a creditable goalless draw against a star-studied Newcastle outfit on Monday afternoon.
Siem de Jong, Karl Darlow, Jamaal Lascelles and Yoan Gouffran all started for the Magpies, but they were unable to find a way past a resolute Baggies team who went joint-top of the Barclays U21 Premier League division two table with the point gained at Whitley Park.
Both sides had good chances to break the deadlock in what was an entertaining first-half in the North East.
Albion went close through Tahvon Campbell, Kyle Howkins and Kyle Edwards, while at the other end Alex Palmer made a couple of impressive blocks to keep both Siem de Jong and Jamie Sterry out.
Campbell’s curling effort shortly after the break almost nestled in the top corner, but unfortunately the ball flew narrowly over the crossbar.
Later in the second-half Palmer was again called into action, as the Baggies ‘keeper was forced to make a smart save from Sterry’s shot from a tight angle.
The visitors could have snatched all three points at the death – Jack Fitzwater and Samir Nabi both saw attempts drift agonisingly wide of the post.
Under-21 boss James Shan was delighted to see his young side handle their experienced opponents, but was disappointed not to come away with all three points.
He said: “If this was a first-team game then you would say that it is a great point away from home against an experienced Newcastle side.
“It’s obviously great to continue our unbeaten run but I feel a little disappointed as we had several good chances to win the game.
“On another day we might have scored four or five goals but sadly it wasn’t meant to be.
“Alex Palmer has made some great saves and Sam Field played really well against Siem de Jong who looked like a Premier League footballer today.
“Sam coped really well with him this afternoon, the pair had a really good battle.
“It’s great for his development and he has come out of it with plenty of credit.”
ALBION: Palmer, Fitzwater, Donnellan, Howkins, Ezewele, Field, Cleet (R.Nabi 56), S.Nabi, Edwards (Elbouzedi 84), Campbell, Leko (Roberts 71).
Unused subs: Ross, McCourt