KYLE Edwards was again on the scoresheet but couldn’t prevent Albion’s PL2 side from a narrow defeat at Sunderland.
Conor Townsend, Tyrone Mears, Jonathan Leko and Edwards all got 90 minutes under their belt at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground as the Baggies lost 2-1 despite dominating much of the game.
Jamie Smith’s side went close to opening the scoring inside a minute when Edwards’ dink clipped the post.
But it was Sunderland who went in front on 23 minutes when Luke Molyneux latched onto a defensive error and finished cooly past Brad House, and it stayed that way until the break.
Albion were much improved in the second half and, after Nick Clayton-Phillips’ powerful shot was tipped over, had a strong shout for a penalty when captain Sam Wilding looked to be brought down inside the area.
With 65 minutes on the clock the Baggies found an equaliser when Edwards managed to get on the end of a poor back-pass to poke the ball past Anthony Patterson and then slot the ball home.
Sunderland responded immediately, though, and re-established their advantage through substitute Jack Diamond just two minutes later.
Albion threw everything at the home side in the remaining 20 minutes but struggled to create any real clear-cut chances and find a leveller.
ALBION: House, Mears, Howkins, Healy, Townsend; Wilding, Azaz; Clayton-Phillips, Edwards, Leko; Morton (Soule 86).
Substitutes: Griffiths, Meredith, Harmon, Brown.