ALBION’s under-21s were unlucky to come away empty handed at the Wham Stadium as Accrington Stanley scored late to triumph in a Checkatrade Trophy Northern Group C clash.
Accrington had the better of the opening 30 minutes, with Sean McConville forcing Jonathan Bond into a number of good saves and Connor Hall seeing his goal disallowed for offside.
But the young Baggies eventually got to grips with the Sky Bet League One side and created their first real chance on the half-hour mark, Kyle Howkins heading straight at Stanley goalkeeper Jonny Maxted.
Shortly before the break Albion had their best spell and might have taken the lead had shots from Nick Clayton-Phillips and Callum Morton not both gone narrowly wide.
Four minutes after half-time the home side went in front as Jordan Clark picked the ball up on the right and cut inside before firing a low shot past Bond.
Within quarter-of-an-hour the Baggies were level, though, thanks to Jonathan Leko after he turned home Clayton-Phillips’ dangerous cross from close-range.
Both sides pushed for a winner as the game drew to a close - and unfortunately for Albion it was Accrington who found it through Ross Sykes' powerful header in stoppage time.
Despite the result, Jamie Smith’s side still have the chance to make it through to the second round next week when they travel to Macclesfield for their final Checkatrade Trophy group game.
ALBION: Bond, Ferguson, Howkins, Healy; Clayton-Phillips, Meredith (Delaney 90), Azaz, Harmon; Soule (Tulloch 73), Morton, Leko.
Substitutes: Keranovic, Brown, Ashton, Gardner-Hickman.