Albion secured progress through to the Carabao Cup second round by beating Sheffield United 1-0 at The Hawthorns on Thursday evening
After an entertaining, but goalless, first half, Baggies substitute Karlan Grant notched the only goal of the game with only 18 minutes remaining.
The win sets up a trip to Sky Bet League One side Derby County. The tie is due to be played in the week commencing Monday, August 22.
Steve Bruce made 10 changes from Monday night’s draw with Watford, naming Academy graduates Zac Ashworth and Reyes Cleary among a starting XI for the first time, as well as handing Okay Yokuslu his maiden start since returning to B71.
Bathed in the Black Country sunshine, it was the Blades who almost opened the scoring inside six minutes – Rhian Brewster smashing the post to give Albion an early scare.
While down the other end Cleary had Albion’s best chance of the first period – Taylor Gardner-Hickman superbly sending him through on goal, but the forward seeing his finish well saved by Wes Foderingham.
With half-time approaching Adam Reach could have handed the Baggies an advantage, too, however United’s goalkeeper was on hand again to palm away his side-footed strike.
The hosts continued to create the better opportunities following the break, Callum Robinson – making his first competitive appearance this season - forcing Foderingham into a decent stop from the edge of the box.
Still, the Blades continued to pose a danger on the counter-attack and went close when Alex Palmer kept out Reda Khadra’s effort. United’s No.11, fortunately, then blazed his rebound narrowly wide.
Reach nearly nodded Albion in front midway through the second half, Foderingham again proving to be his nemesis, before Bruce’s men finally did take the lead on 72 minutes. Robinson retrieved a lost ball and crossed straight at substitute Grant to head home with what may well have been his first touch.
The Baggies were inches away from netting another soon after, Robinson’s deflected shot hitting the crossbar and Phillips’ volleyed rebound, quite incredibly, doing exactly the same thing.
And there was to be no late drama either, as Albion comfortably saw the victory out despite six added minutes and sealed their spot in round two.
Albion: Palmer; Gardner-Hickman, Bartley (Townsend 70), O’Shea, Ashworth; Yokuslu (Molumby 61), Mowatt; Phillips, Robinson (Fellows 85), Reach; Cleary (Grant 70, Swift 85).
Substitutes: Cann, Ajayi, Ingram, Wallace.