Match Reports

Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Albion

An image of Matt Phillips scoring against Blackburn

Albion were beaten 2-1 by Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon.

First-half goals from Dilan Markandy and Harry Leonard helped the hosts to all three Sky Bet Championship points, despite Matty Phillips’ 50th minute strike.

Carlos Corberán’s men return to action this Tuesday, travelling to Stoke City in the Carabao Cup First Round.

The boss confirmed Jed Wallace as his new captain when he named the first starting XI of the season in Lancashire.

But it was a far from ideal beginning to the new campaign for Albion, who found themselves a goal down inside 20 minutes via Markanday’s low finish.

And within 60 seconds of the opener they were two behind – Rovers stealing the ball almost straight from kick-off and scoring their second through Leonard.

The Baggies were unable to hit back in the first half but managed to reduce deficit straight after the break, Phillips curling home a superb effort following good link-up with Wallace.

Blackburn might have extended their advantage around the midway point of the second period, Leonard twice firing wide from good openings – much to Albion’s relief.

As time ticked away the attacking substitutes came on, including a debut for Jeremy Sarmiento, though Carlos Corberán had to watch the final 13 minutes from the stands because referee Dean Whitestone showed him a red card.

Nine were added to the end of the match yet Albion were unable to find an equaliser, Wallace’s blocked shot the closest they came to retrieving a point.

Albion: Palmer; Furlong, Ajayi, Kipre (Bartley 71), Townsend; Yokuslu (Mowatt 71), Molumby (Gardner-Hickman 85), Chalobah (Swift 66); Wallace, Thomas-Asante, Phillips (Sarmiento 71).

Substitutes: Griffiths, Pieters, Fellows, Malcolm.

Attendance: 16,741 (2925).