Middlesbrough PL2 2-4 Albion PL2

Jovan Malcolm celebrating scoring for the PL2 side

Jovan Malcolm's brace helped Albion's PL2 side close the gap on the top spots in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table after sealing victory over Middlesbrough on Friday night. 

The forward, who netted his first senior goal for the club last month, was on the mark after five minutes to give the young Baggies the initiative. 

And although Sonny Finch's effort levelled matters at the break, Richard Beale's men produced an emphatic second-half display to blow their Teesside counterparts away, as further goals from Harry Whitwell, Malcolm and skipper Jamie Andrews rounded off a fine night at Heritage Park.

Jovan Malcolm scored twice for Albion's U21s v Middlesbrough

Albion's U21s took full advantage of the first of two games in hand, with victory on the road helping them reduce the points total between themselves (in fifth position) and second-placed Leeds United to two points. 

Forward Malcolm eased any nerves in the opening exchanges, netting the game's first goal to give boss Beale the perfect response after suffering a 4-0 humbling to Aston Villa in their last league game. 

The young Baggies looked dangerous throughout the match, but they had to regain the lead twice on the night - with Finch scoring the first of two responses for Boro on 27 minutes to send the sides in level at the break.

Like in the first half, though, the Baggies took control at the beginning of the second 45 - England youth international Whitwell nodding home from Akeel Higgins' delivery to make it 2-1.

Harry Whitwell headed in Albion's second goal in their PL2 fixture against Middlesbrough

But Luke Woolston gave Albion another challenge to overcome, rounding off a good team move from the hosts to make it 2-2 with 20 minutes remaining.

Despite minutes running out following the home side's second leveller, the visitors didn't panic and four minutes later, scored their third of the evening when Malcolm bagged his second of the game to re-establish the lead once again.

This time, Beale's men built on their advantage when captain Andrews scored a fourth Albion goal three minutes later to take the game beyond Boro and make a long trip to Teesside worthwhile by cruising to three points.

Albion: Hollingshead; Ingram, Hall, Nguepissi (Harper-Bailey), Humphries; M.Richards, Andrews ©️; R.Richards (Mitchell), Whitwell (Wangusi), Higgins; Malcolm. 

Substitutes: Hudd, Tulloch.

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