Albion’s PL2 team ended 2023 with a thoroughly deserved win over Everton on Friday night.
Fenton Heard’s brace, along with Cole Deeming’s deflected strike, were enough to cancel out Martin Sherif’s opener for the hosts as Richard Beale’s men sealed only their second league win this term.
The Baggies' youngsters started proceedings well, but fell behind against the run of play when Sherif prodded into the net from just shy of six yards after Ronnie Hollingshead failed to hold a delivery from the right flank.
Still, justice prevailed and the visitors restored parity almost instantly - Heard curling in from inside the box following a favourable lay-off by Layton Love.
Albion’s young pros were in the mood following their leveller and they soon turned things right around when young central midfielder Deeming, on his first start for the PL2 team, saw a free-kick from the edge of the box deflect past the wrong-footed Toffees keeper to make it 2-1.
Beale’s boys continued their good showing into the second 45, as Love scuffed a good opportunity wide thanks to good perseverance by Ollie Bostock down the flank.
And the first-year scholar would be vital again as he orchestrated the opening for the young Baggies’ third and final goal of the night - carrying possession from inside his own half before releasing to Akeel Higgins to shoot.
The spritely attacker’s effort from 12 yards out was saved by the Toffees shot-stopper but only to the grateful feet of Heard, who was waiting to poke in from under the goal line for his second brace in successive matches which, ultimately, secured a big three points in the U21s’ final match of the year.
Albion: Hollingshead; Hall, Taylor ©️ (Richards 46), Harper-Bailey, Shaw (Nelson 46); Deeming, Whitwell (Mfuamba 61), Heard (Williams 78); Higgins, Malcolm (Bostock 46), Love.