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Match Reports

Albion 2 Mansfield Town 1

28 August 2018

ALBION advanced to Round Three of the Carabao Cup courtesy of a 2-1 win over Mansfield Town at The Hawthorns.

Jonathan Leko fired his maiden Baggies goal in the 26th minute, before Neal Bishop hit back for the visitors with a sublime strike.

But Kyle Edwards - who also netted his first competitive goal - secured Darren Moore's young side safe passage to the next stage of the competition, with the draw being held on Thursday evening.

Tyrone Mears made his Albion debut just hours after putting pen to paper on a short-term rolling contract, with Craig Dawson named in the XI for the first time this season.

Moore also handed starts to goalscorers Leko and Edwards after impressive cameos in Round One against Luton Town.

The matchwinner that night, Oliver Burke, led the line for the Baggies with 16-year-old striker Morgan Rogers named on the bench for the first time.

But it was Mansfield who were first to threaten on a wet and windy Tuesday evening. Craig Davies spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to open the scoring for the visitors, blazing a half-volley wide of Boaz Myhill's goal from five yards.

A front three of Leko, Edwards and Burke looked lively in the opening stages, with the former crafting a neat opening for the latter via a delicate through-ball.

Dawson was spared blushes thanks to a fine reaction stop from Myhill after the Baggies defender's volleyed backpass went astray. But our experienced centre-half recovered to make a goal-saving block in a hectic Stags attack.

It paid dividends, as just five minutes later Albion took the lead. And it was that front three who combined yet again to great effect.

Edwards' clever outside-of-the-foot pass to Burke split the Mansfield defence before the Scotland international squared to Leko who slotted home into an empty net.

It could have been two before the half-hour mark, Burke again causing problems. But he could only fire straight at keeper Robert Olejnik when put through one-on-one by Gareth Barry.

Chances came and went for Albion in the second half; Dawson, Edwards and Leko failing to find the decisive touch.

And, after surviving a scare from visitors' substitute Danny Rose, they were made to pay with 70 minutes on the clock, Neal Bishop curling a sumptuous effort into the top corner from 25 yards.

Kyle Howkins was introduced for his Baggies bow, and he saw fellow academy graduate Edwards slam his side into an ultimately decisive lead just five minutes later.

Albion again owed a debt of gratitude to Myhill who pulled off a crucial stop from Rose in the final stages, before Krystian Pearce missed the opportunity to force a penalty shootout with practically the last kick of the game.

ALBION: Myhill; Mears, Adarabioyo, Dawson (Howkins 72), Field, Townsend; Edwards (Barnes 76), Harper, Barry (c), Leko (Gayle 76); Burke.

Subs: Bond, Livermore, Brunt, Rogers.


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