Match Reports

Burton 2-2 Albion

Okay Yokulsu in action against Burton

Albion's latest pre-season test ended in a 2-2 draw with Sky Bet League One side Burton Albion on Saturday afternoon.

Erik Pieters and Matt Phillips were both on target for the Baggies either side of a Cole Stockton header at a sodden Pirelli Stadium in the first 45.

Burton sub Bobby Kamwa curled in an equaliser with just a minute remaining as Albion were made to settle for a second 2-2 away draw this week.

A total of 23 senior players earned valuable match minutes as preparation for the 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship campaign continued. 

Erik Pieters celebrates scoring in Saturday's friendly

Both teams had an early opportunity to take the lead in Staffordshire, with Stockton firing a right-footed effort wide of Alex Palmer’s far post and Brandon Thomas-Asante heading into the gloves of Jamal Blackman after meeting a Phillips cross. 

But the encounter’s first goal did arrive just 15 minutes in. Defender Pieters’ fizzing strike from 25 yards slipped through the gloves of Blackman and into the bottom corner of the net. 

However the Brewers weren’t behind for long. Just five minutes after Albion’s opener, summer signing Stockton rose highest at the back post to nod beyond Palmer having met a dangerous delivery from winger Mason Bennett.

The opening 45 was evenly-contested throughout, but one moment of quality from the Baggies opened up the League One outfit and gave Corberán’s men the advantage once more. 

Alex Mowatt delivered a defence-splitting pass to Phillips who raced in behind the Burton backline and powered the ball home from just inside the area with eight first-half minutes left. 

The visitors almost made it 3-1 before the interval as Thomas-Asante forced Blackman into a decent save down low from a close-range header. 

Matt Phillips was on target during the first half

The boss named a completely different XI for the second period, including youngsters Ethan Ingram, Tom Fellows and Mo Faal.

Two of those academy graduates had chances to extend Albion’s lead within five minutes of the restart. 

Fellows, who impressed yet again, cut in from the left flank and unleashed a fierce right-footed drive towards goal, only for Blackman to palm away. Shortly after, Faal robbed the Burton stopper on the edge of his own area and managed to swivel and shoot, but the ball bounced off the outside of the post and behind for a corner. 

Former Baggies man Rekeem Harper curled a long-range shot wide of the target for the hosts on 53 minutes, while at the other end, Faal and Fellows were both unable to add a third Albion goal, firing over the bar and at Blackman respectively. 

John Swift was next to go close with 15 minutes remaining, seeing an initial effort from 15 yards saved by Blackman before his headed rebound was blocked by a recovering defender just a yard or two away from the goal line. 

And the hosts made them pay with a minute remaining when substitute Bobby Kamwa placed the ball past Josh Griffiths to earn the third-tier team a draw.

The Baggies are back in pre-season action at Forest Green Rovers on Friday, July 28 (ko 7pm).

ALBION XI first 45: Palmer; Furlong, Taylor, Kipre, Pieters; Yokuslu, Gardner-Hickman, Mowatt; Wallace, Thomas-Asante, Phillips.

ALBION XI second 45: Griffiths; Ingram, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend; Chalobah, Molumby, Swift; Fellows, Faal, Reach (Andrews 53).

  • Pieters
  • Phillips