Match Reports

Albion 2-0 Stoke City

Kyle Bartley celebrates with his teammates against Stoke

Albion ensured they will head into the World Cup break off the back of three consecutive victories thanks to a 2-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday.

Goals either side of half-time from Kyle Bartley and Brandon Thomas-Asante - the latter of which was a spectacular overhead kick - were enough to see Carlos Corberàn’s team gather all three Sky Bet Championship points at The Hawthorns.

The boss made two changes as he brought Conor Townsend and Thomas-Asante into the XI – also naming Daryl Dike on the bench for the first time since July.

And his side made an electric start, almost going ahead inside the opening minute when John Swift’s finish was scrambled off the line.

In fact, Albion dominated near enough the whole first half. Thomas-Asante went close via a header before Matty Phillips saw one deflected wide on the half-hour mark, with Bartley also crashing an effort against the crossbar soon after.

Thankfully they were finally rewarded for their persistent pressure 6 minutes from the break – a sumptuous John Swift cross superbly powered home by Bartley, his second goal in as many matches.

The Baggies’ No.5 might have doubled his, and Albion’s, tally seconds later – though this time he nodded narrowly wide, ensuring it was 1-0 at half-time.

Would Corberàn’s men be able to build on their dominance following the interval? You bet. And in some style, too.

In the 51st minute a Stoke defender deflected Darnell Furlong’s cross up into the air, giving Thomas-Asante the opportunity to send an acrobatic volley past Jack Bonham and deservedly double Albion’s lead.

The visitors tried to hit back, Lewis Baker drawing an excellent save out of Alex Palmer their best opportunity.

But the Baggies soaked up Stoke’s late pressure and earned another valuable three points – moving out of the Championship relegation zone and sending a huge Hawthorns crowd home happy.

Albion: Palmer; Furlong, Bartley, O’Shea, Townsend; Yokuslu, Molumby; (Rogic 80) Wallace (Diangana 81), Swift (Pieters 66), Phillips (Gardner-Hickman 80); Thomas-Asante (Dike 90).

Substitutes: Button, Livermore.

Attendance: 23,728