Under 18's

Albion beaten in FA Youth Cup semi-final

Albion's FA Youth Cup journey came to an end at the semi-final stage on Friday night

Albion Under-18s’ fantastic FA Youth Cup run was brought to an end at the semi-final stage with a 4-1 defeat against Aston Villa on Friday evening.

Strikes from Carney Chukwuemeka and Louie Barry - either side of a Villa own-goal - gave the Baggies an uphill task in the second-half as they tried to progress past the last four for the first time since 1976.

And an unfortunate Albion own-goal on the hour mark extended the hosts' advantage before Brad Young completed the victory with ten minutes to play.

Albion started brightly in the evening sun but fell behind against the run of play, Chukwuemeka taking advantage of a defensive mishap to fire the home side ahead on 10 minutes.

It didn’t take long for the young Baggies to respond, though, and they were soon level when Villa defender Sil Swinkels directed Jamie Andrews’ corner into his own net.

Yet midway through the opening period they found themselves a goal down again - Barry curling into the far corner from distance to score against his former team.

A couple of strong Maksy Boruc saves to deny Young and Kaine Kesler-Hayden ensured Albion were still in the tie at the interval despite spells of Villa dominance towards the end of the half.

Following the restart Barry saw a free-kick drop narrowly wide before then having one superbly diverted off-target by Ethan Ingram.

And Ingram nearly found an equaliser immediately after as he broke free down the right, shooting powerfully just over the crossbar.

However, around an hour in, it was Albion’s right-back who unfortunately extended Villa’s lead - his tackle on Barry finding the bottom corner of the Holte End goal.

The Baggies should have pulled one back with 15 minutes to play - Malcolm diverting Fellows’ low cross past the post - but instead the hosts rounded-off the scoreline thanks to Young’s finish.

Albion: Boruc, Ingram, Taylor, Ashworth, Sousa (Hall 68); Fellows, Teixeira (Faal 68), Iroegbunam, Richards; Andrews, Malcolm.

Substitutes: Hollingshead, Cleary, N’Goma, Lamb, Williams.