Albion Under-18s were narrowly defeated in an entertaining five-goal contest by 10-man Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
Tom Fellows continued his recent fine form by netting the opener to give the Baggies early momentum. And the hosts were handed a numerical advantage shortly before the break after Blues defender Josh Brooking was dismissed.
But three goals shortly before and after the interval gave the Blues a strong lead and although Reyes Cleary’s spot-kick encouraged late pressure, Albion couldn’t find an equaliser.
Peter Gilbert’s side went into the game in good form having won consecutive matches, scoring 11 goals and conceding just three.
Forward Fellows had scored in back-to-back games prior to Chelsea’s visit to the Black Country, and he got Albion off to the perfect start - netting the game’s first goal after just under 20 minutes.
15 minutes later, the Baggies were playing against 10 men when Blues defender Brooking was shown a red card shortly before the half-time whistle.
But before the sides went in at the interval, Chelsea equalised through Benjamin Elliott.
Boosted by their late strike, the visitors took control in the second half as Joe Haigh and Ronny Stutter scored three minutes between each other to cement a two-goal advantage.
Gilbert’s side pushed for a response and prompted a late scare when Cleary scored his third goal in as many games - converting a penalty with just over 10 minutes remaining.
However, Albion couldn’t make their numerical advantage count as Chelsea ended their two-game winning run.
Albion: Emery; Hall, Grant, Taylor, Da Cruz Sousa; Fellows, Iroegbunam (Andrews 69 - Hoard 83), Teixeira, Shepherd (Okoka 75); Cleary; Faal.
Substitutes: Hollingshead, Dwyer.