Match Reports

Bristol Rovers friendly

ALBION fell to a 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers in their latest pre-season friendly workout at the Memorial Stadium.

Tony Pulis' side were downed by an unfortunate early goal as Ahmed Hegazi's attempted clearance ricocheted off Ellis Harrison and beat Ben Foster, before substitute Tom Nichols added a second in the 85th minute.

Craig Dawson headed home late on for the visitors - while James McClean and Nacer Chadli, twice, went close and Salomon Rondon was denied by an offside call and a series of fine saves by Rovers keeper Sam Slocombe.

Albion named an experienced starting XI for the trip south west to mark a testimonial for long-serving Rovers stalwart Peter Aitken.

Yet it was the hosts who enjoyed a dream start as Harrison handed them a fortunate lead in just the fifth minute, seeing Hegazi's attempted clearance deflect off him and past Foster.

The Baggies keeper got down well to collect another deflected effort before Slocombe was called into action midway through the first period to deny McClean with his feet following a swift counter-attack.

Allan Nyom, Claudio Yacob, Jake Livermore and Jonathan Leko were all introduced either side of half-time, with the remainder of Albion's ranks making up a largely under-23 squad which travelled to Slough Town for a separate friendly encounter.

Chadli came within inches of a leveller as his free-kick drifted narrowly wide, before minutes later clipping the outside of the near post with another dangerous set-piece.

Rondon headed home an inch-perfect Hegazi cross in the 69th minute only to be denied by an assistant referee's flag.

Foster kept out Ollie Clarke before Slocombe did likewise at the other end to deny Rondon as the friendly entered the closing stages.

Pirates sub Nichols ended the game as a contest when he raced through and slotted home, yet there was still time for Rondon to again be denied by Slocombe and Dawson to nod in a consolation from Chadli's corner.

Next up for Albion is Tuesday's trip to Port Vale as they continue their pre-season preparations.

Albion: Foster, Dawson, Evans (c), Hegazi, Brunt (Nyom 45), Livermore (Yacob 48), Field, McClean (Leko 48), Chadli, Rodriguez (Robson-Kanu 48), Rondon.

Subs: Palmer.