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Under-21s suffer 4-2 home defeat to Newcastle

29 January 2016

Baggies suffer first home loss of season

ALBION’s Under-21 side were beaten for just the second time this season in the Barclays U21 Premier League division two on Friday afternoon.

The youngsters lost 4-2 to Newcastle at the training ground, in a game which was played in blustery conditions.

After going two goals down, strikes from Tyler Roberts and Kyle Spence brought the Baggies level.

Josh Ezewele could have put Albion 3-2 up but his penalty hit the crossbar, before the visitors claimed the points with two late goals.

The hosts had two great chances to open the scoring after just five minutes, but Zak Elbouzedi and Joe Ward both failed to break the deadlock.

The opening goal came just after the half-hour mark – Callum Roberts heading home Sean Longstaff’s cross from inside the six-yard-box.

The same man doubled his side’s lead six minutes after the break, stroking the ball into the far corner from the edge of the penalty area after running from the halfway line.

Albion’s own Roberts, Tyler, then pulled one back three minutes later when he confidently finished past Paul Woolston from close range.

The Baggies equalised after 66 minutes when Kyle Spence smashed the ball home at the second time of asking, after his initial effort had been parried by Woolston.

It looked as though James Shan’s men were going to complete the turnaround when they were awarded a penalty 13 minutes from the end, but Josh Ezewele’s spot kick hit the top of the crossbar and bounced out.

Then, in an incredible turn of events, Newcastle regained the lead just two minutes after the penalty miss. 

Liam Gibson’s controlled finish from 15-yards, which needed the help of the far post to cross the line, put the Magpies back in front before Lewis McNall wrapped up victory with a simple finish from 6-yards-out.

It was a result which left the Under-21 boss James Shan boss frustrated.

He said: "I thought we started brightly for the first 25 minutes.

"We moved the ball well and we were bright and sharp, but then they had a spell and we gave away a soft goal.

"They got a second but we managed to pull it back to all square and then missed a penalty to go in front.

"But the goals we conceded at the finish were poor.

"The fourth was an embarrassment to us all.

"I am disappointed and frustrated because yet again we have got ourselves into a good position this season but we have lacked that winning mentality to drive on."

ALBION: Ross, Ezewele, Oseni, Cleet, McCourt, Field (Forss 70), R.Nabi (Sweeney 74), Ward, Elbouzedi (Scrivens 55), Spence, Roberts.

Unused subs: Hall, Barbir.

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