PL2 Report | Aston Villa 0-3 Albion

Aaron Harper-Bailey fights for the ball with an Aston Villa player

Albion’s youngsters kicked-off their 2023/24 PL2 campaign with an eye-catching 3-0 win against local rivals Aston Villa on Friday night.

Rayhaan Tulloch opened the scoring in the first 45 at Bodymoor Heath before two fine finishes from skipper Jamie Andrews wrapped up an opening-day triumph.

Villa’s Kadan Young, who was only introduced to the action at the start of the second period, was also shown two yellow cards in quick succession moments before the Baggies’ second goal.

Rayhaan Tulloch found the net in the first game of the season

The hosts started brightly and skipper Tommi O'Reilly tested Ted Cann twice inside the opening 11 minutes, with the Albion stopper making two smart saves.

But it was Richard Beale's team who opened the scoring. Trialist switched a super pass out to the right flank where Tulloch collected the ball, drove inside and curled home from just inside the box.

Villa carved out a number of decent opportunities in the remainder of the first 45, but failed to find a way through. Josh Feeney hit the bar with a header and O'Reilly was again denied by Cann between the sticks.

The keeper's excellent night continued four minutes into the second period, saving Triston Rowe's right-footed drive from a narrow angle inside the penalty area.

Defender Jamal Mohammed in action against Villa

Villa's best chance of the encounter fell to Teddy Rowe just after the hour when he found himself in a great position in front of goal and only a few yards out, however the midfielder couldn't keep his effort down and the ball went flying over the crossbar.

The Baggies were then given a huge helping hand. Substitute Young flew into a challenge with Albion sub Layton Love and was instantly shown a second yellow card. 

And Beale's side made their numerical advantage count just four minutes after the dismissal. Andrews, who delivered a composed performance throughout, caught Oliwier Zych out at his near post with a smart free-kick to double the visitors' lead.

And the same man put the icing on the cake inside the final ten minutes, firing home from close range after receiving a pass from late sub Narel Phillips.

ALBION: Cann, Hall, Mohammed, Harper-Bailey (Phillips 81), Williams, Andrews ©, Mfuamba (Richards 72), Whitwell, Tulloch (Heard 61), Trialist (Love HT), Higgins.

Subs: Hollingshead (GK).

  • Tulloch