Albion confirm place in PL Cup quarter-finals after QPR win

PL Cup report

Albion’s PL2 side came out on top in an end-to-end affair against Queens Park Rangers at Keys Park to secure their place in the last eight of the Premier League Cup on Monday night.

Reyes Cleary’s first-half brace, either side of Sinclair Armstrong’s effort, gave Richard Beale’s men a deserved lead at the end of the first 45.

And despite being pegged back again by another clinical finish from Rangers’ No.9, Rico Richards and Cianole Nguepissi quickly responded to ensure the Baggies’ place in the quarter-finals of the PL Cup.

Credit: GEvans Photography

QPR produced a valiant effort on the night, in what was an entertaining match at Hednesford Town’s stadium, but the creative Richards was influential throughout and Albion’s first of the night came through him.

The Baggies attacker’s confident run forward gave him time to pick out Cleary, who did the necessary with a precise finish into the bottom corner.

But the lead didn’t last long, with Armstrong in the right place to force home a scruffy equaliser for the visitors.

Richards missed a half chance as half-time approached, but Cleary would make sure Albion led at the interval when he somehow managed to bend a difficult effort around his defender and beyond Harry Halwax in the QPR goal.

Credit: GEvans Photography

The back-and-forth nature of the game remained in the second half, with the away side once again restoring parity through target man Armstrong, who found space in behind the Baggies backline to lash home Rangers' second leveller.

But it would be their last of the game, as Albion hit back straight away following a lovely team goal. Neat work between Quevin Castro, Cleary and Tom Fellows allowed the latter to burst into the visitors’ box before sliding an inviting ball across the face to Rico.

And although the exciting academy graduate missed his first attempt, he made no mistake with the second as he poked under Halwax to make it 3-2.

Credit: GEvans Photography

Albion did have keeper Ted Cann to thank for preserving their lead, with the towering stopper producing a magnificent save to deny Armstrong his hat-trick and Rangers a third equaliser.

Important changes helped Beale’s side combat QPR’s combative approach, and the tie was taken away from them when centre-back Nguepissi tried his luck on the volley from a looping ball.

He took a chance and it certainly paid off, as Halwax misread the flight of the ball as it floated into the top corner, taking the score to 4-2 and cementing the young Baggies’ spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Albion: Cann; M.Richards, Taylor, Ashworth; Ingram, Castro (Teixeira 74), Andrews, Fellows; R.Richards (King (90+3), Cleary, Tulloch (Nguepissi 46).

Substitutes: Chisholm, Williams.

  • PL Cup
  • PL2