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Albion U21s suffer late play-off setback at Ewood Park

11 April 2016

Baggies must win final fixture in race for top-five finish

ALBION's play-off hopes suffered a cruel blow on Monday night as last-gasp heartbreak saw them go down 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers in Barclays Under-21 Premier League Division 2.

The Baggies looked to have secured a crucial point at Ewood Park courtesy of Samir Nabi's injury-time penalty, coming just a week after his winner against Aston Villa on the rebound from a saved spot-kick.

But Rovers' Scott Wharton headed home a 93rd-minute winner for the hosts - his second goal of the game - to inflict a dramatic defeat.

The reverse leaves Albion in eighth place in the race for a top-five finish, with Rovers - now in the final play-off spot - three points ahead albeit with an inferior goal difference with one match remaining.

It means the Baggies must win their final fixture away at Arsenal next Monday and hope Blackburn lose at home to Villa in order to seal a play-off berth.

An entertaining first half finished goalless in Lancashire, Tyler Roberts going closest for James Shan's side as his strike flew the wrong side of a post.

Yet it was the hosts who took the lead soon after the restart as Wharton headed home from a corner.

That was the way it looked to remain until Nabi found the net from 12 yards in the 92nd minute following a handball in the area.

But there was still time for Blackburn to find a winner as Wharton, again, nodded in at the back post from another corner.

Albion: Palmer, Fitzwater (Wilson 77), McCourt, Field, Donnellan, Jones, Scrivens (Edwards 62), S Nabi, Roberts (Smith 82), Ward, Leko.

Subs: Ross, Sweeney.

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