Fitzwater had headed Albion in front
ALBION’s Premier League 2 side suffered a 3-1 defeat against local rivals Wolves on Friday night at Molineux.
Jack Fitzwater headed the Baggies ahead shortly before the hour mark but Wolves claimed the three points thanks to goals from Connor Ronan (penalty) and a Bright Enobakhare double.
The result leaves James Shan’s side on three points from their first three games.
The hosts made a quick start and immediately took the game to Albion.
Enobakhare twice fired over the crossbar from outside the penalty area while fellow forward Niall Ennis forced Alex Palmer into a smart save with a strike from range all inside the opening 10 minutes.
Right-back Brad Sweeney then had to make a last-ditch challenge to prevent Enobakhare scoring after he ran through the middle of the park.
Albion’s first chance of the game came in the 35th minute when Tyrell Robinson ran on to Andre Wright’s pass but the winger was unable to beat Harry Burgoyne with an effort from the edge of the box.
On the stroke of half-time Palmer made a spectacular one-handed save from Christian Herc’s fierce drive to keep the scores level.
The Baggies made the breakthrough in the 59th minute when Fitzwater nodded home from six yards after meeting Danny Barbir's front post flick on.
However their lead didn’t last long, just 10 minutes to be exact, as Ronan dusted himself down to smash home a penalty after being fouled in the area by Sweeney.
Wolves kept up the pressure and took the lead with 16 minutes remaining when Enobakhare tapped the ball into the back of the net from eight yards after Ennis’ shot had looped up over Palmer’s head.
The same forward then put the result beyond any doubt with a powerful finish from inside the penalty area having met Herc’s driven cross.
It was a result and performance which left Baggies boss James Shan frustrated.
He said: “We knew it was going to be difficult because Wolves have a strong Under-23 squad with players in there that have played for them in the Championship.
“We are more disappointed with our general game understanding at times.
“Although they were older and physically better than us, the game was relatively simple both with and without the ball to problem solve.
“The goal that we scored was a routine that we worked on so that was pleasing but momentum swung again and it was all them.
“We have a number of players out on loan and in and around the first team.
“I said to the boys that we are always going to be weaker because of that but it’s their opportunity to impress.
“On the plus side I thought Alex Palmer made some very good saves and young Rekeem Harper contributed to the game well.
“The lads have got to dust themselves down and go again.”
ALBION: Palmer; Sweeney, Fitzwater, O’Shea, McCourt; Barbir (Smith 77), Nabi, Harper; Elbouzedi, Wright, Robinson (Forss 83).
Unused subs: Rose, Pritchatt, Wilding.