Newcastle PL2 2-5 Albion PL2

Akeel Higgins in the home shirt

Albion’s youngsters earned three points at Newcastle United on Monday afternoon in what was a thrilling PL2 clash.

Akeel Higgins and Reyes Cleary both bagged braces, while fellow attacker Rico Richards also found the net as Richard Beale’s boys boosted their play-off hopes with victory in the North East.

The afternoon didn’t start too well for the Baggies, falling behind to Amadou Diallo’s goal after just six minutes at Newcastle’s Academy training centre.

The visitors could’ve drawn level eight minutes later when they were awarded a penalty, but Jamie Andrews saw his spot-kick saved by United stopper Max Thompson. 

Albion wouldn’t be kept out for long though and equalised in the middle of the first 45 when Higgins, who was played in by Andrews, raced clear and slotted the ball beyond Thompson.

Reyes Cleary scored twice on Monday afternoon

The Baggies maintained their positive momentum and took the lead on the half-hour mark. Rico Richards, who made his senior league debut on Friday night at Hull, followed up Reyes Cleary's shot which was saved, before converting from close range.

Eight minutes later it was 3-1 when Higgins added his second, finishing confidently at the back post following a cross from Cleary. 

Beale’s side couldn’t hold on to their two-goal advantage heading into the interval though, with Rodrigo Vilca beating Baggies goalkeeper Ronnie Hollingshead.

The club's youngsters made an impressive start to the second period and made it 4-2 just five minutes into it. Cleary picked up the ball on the left side, drove towards the edge of box and unleashed a powerful attempt which flew past Thompson.

And there was still time for the Baggies to grab a fifth, with Cleary doubling his tally. The striker's second was similar to his first - running with the ball and curling a strike into the far corner to seal an eye-catching triumph on the road. 

ALBION: Hollingshead, Ingram, Harper-Bailey, Nguepissi (Williams 64), Humphries, Andrews, M. Richards (Wangussi 81), Cleary, Whitwell (Love 76), Higgins (Oluwatobi 76), R. Richards. 

Substitutes: Cisse (GK).

  • Beale
  • Cleary