Disappointment for youngsters at The Hawthorns
ALBION’s Under-21 side missed the chance to strengthen their play-off position in the Barclays U21 Premier League Division Two table as they were held to a goalless draw by ten-man Wolves.
The youngsters failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage after visiting ‘keeper Aaron McCarey was dismissed for a deliberate handball early in the second-half.
The point keeps the Baggies fifth, with four league games remaining.
Typical of a derby encounter, the first-half was tight and scrappy with few chances of note.
Daniel Armstrong and Ryan Rainey tried their luck from long-range for the visitors, while striker Bradley Reid headed Hakeem Odoffin’s cross from the right well wide of Alex Palmer’s goal.
At the other end, the Baggies struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities and when Samir Nabi broke into the penalty area, his dinked cross was headed clear by Aaron Hayden with Tyler Roberts lurking at the back post.
Albion ‘keeper Palmer was called into action early in the second-half, reacting quickly to push Christian Herc’s 25-yard strike over the crossbar.
The visitors were reduced to ten men in the 56th minute when goalkeeper Aaron McCarey deliberately handled the ball outside of the penalty area.
With no substitute ‘keeper, midfielder Ryan Rainey took up a new position between the sticks and immediately turned Samir Nabi’s free-kick behind for a corner.
Despite the numerical disadvantage on the pitch, Wolves continued to press forward and Palmer had to parry Odoffin’s fierce strike from a tight angle.
Baggies midfielder Zak Elbouzedi came close to giving his side the lead with just over ten minutes to go with a 20-yard strike, but again stand-in ‘keeper Rainey made a solid save.
Albion pushed for a winner at the end but they were unable to break their neighbours down.
ALBION: Palmer, Ezewele, Howkins, Cleet, McCourt, Sweeney (Barbir 89), Elbouzedi (Forss 84), S.Nabi, Ward, Field (Wilson 30), Roberts.
Unused subs: Hall, Piggott.