Club News

Loan review: Seven Baggies in New Year’s action

Albion keeper Josh Griffiths in action for loan club Portsmouth

A number of Albion loanees featured for their sides during the opening fixtures of 2023.

In the Sky Bet Championship, Cedric Kipre couldn’t prevent Cardiff City falling to defeat against promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers on New Year’s Day.

Bradley Dack’s early second-half strike saw Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men to victory over the Bluebirds at Ewood Park, meaning they are without a win from their last seven matches.

Cedric Kipre battles for the ball with Bradley Dack of Blackburn during his loan side Cardiff City's clash with Rovers at Ewood Park
Cedric Kipre holds off Bradley Dack during Cardiff's clash with Blackburn

Elsewhere in England’s second tier, Alex Mowatt was an unused substitute in Middlesbrough’s 3-1 win against Birmingham City.

Though there were starts for regulars Josh Griffiths and Caleb Taylor in Sky Bet League One.

England U21 international shot-stopper Griffiths made his 22nd league appearance of the season, but ended New Year’s Day on the losing side following a 3-1 defeat to Charlton at Fratton Park - a result which saw Portsmouth part ways with boss Danny Cowley.

Although Connor Oglivie cancelled out Jesurun Rak-Sakyi’s effort on the stroke of half-time, Pompey conceded early into the second 45 when Scott Fraser put the Addicks back in front. Marlon Pack’s dismissal made matters more difficult for the hosts, before Owen Dale’s own goal deep into stoppage time put an end to a tough afternoon for Griffiths’ team.

Albion keeper Josh Griffiths kicking the ball for loan club Portsmouth
Griffiths has been Portsmouth's first-choice keeper this season

It was also towering centre-back Taylor’s 22nd outing for Cheltenham this term, but like his fellow academy graduate, he too was on the losing team at the start of 2023.

Bristol Rovers ran out 2-1 winners over Town in an all West Country affair at the Memorial Stadium. Aaron Collins and Josh Coburn’s first-half efforts gave Wade Elliott’s Robins too much to do after the break, despite Alfie May’s goal minutes into the second half setting up a nervy finish.

Defeat leaves the 19-year-old’s loan club 18th in the table, six points above the relegation zone.

Albion youngster Caleb Taylor holds off Josh Coburn for loan club Cheltenham Town during their game with Bristol Rovers
Caleb Taylor holds off Josh Coburn during Cheltenham's clash with Bristol Rovers

Attacker Tom Fellows continued his run in League Two Crawley Town’s starting XI, playing the full 90 minutes as they drew 2-2 with Newport County.

Dominic Telford’s double either side of the interval looked to have given the Reds all three points, but Matthew Dolan and Offrande Zanzala hit back during the closing stages to deny Fellows’ team a first win in four matches.

Finally, several of Albion’s youngsters got game time for their respective non-league sides.

Quevin Castro came off the bench for the final eight minutes as National League side Notts County drew 2-2 with Oldham, Jamie Andrews played 45 minutes in Yeovil Town’s 2-0 win over Torquay, and Mo Faal completed the full 90 as sixth-tier AFC Fylde grabbed a last-minute winner to gain a 1-0 triumph away at Chorley.

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