Premier League Cup: Albion 0-1 Middlesbrough

An image of Reyes Cleary on the ball against Middlesbrough Under-21s

Albion were knocked out of the PL Cup by a 0-1 defeat to Middlesbrough on Thursday afternoon.

Boro went closest to opening the scoring during the early stages of the all-important clash at Keys Park, Calum Kavanagh’s header only denied by a spectacular Ted Cann save.

The Baggies began to threaten more towards the end of the first period, Reyes Cleary sending a couple of efforts off-target, Ethan Ingram heading into the side-netting and Jamie Andrews fizzing one narrowly wide.

An image of Jovan Malcolm shooting against Middlesbrough Under-21s
Credit: GEvans_Photography

It was initially a cagier affair after half-time, with both teams knowing a goal either way would be crucial in determining who advanced from the group.

The visitors needed a win due to their inferior goal difference, while Albion could afford to draw.

That didn’t stop the Baggies creating chances, though, as Andrews curled over and Jovan Malcolm fired a well-made opportunity straight at Max Metcalfe.

The teams exchanged opportunities in the final minutes, Cleary seeing a powerful low volley stopped and, down the other end, Cann palming away Kavanagh’s finish.

But Middlesbrough stole the victory through Bryant Bilongo’s close-range shot – sending them through and bringing an end to Albion’s PL Cup defence.

Albion: Cann; Williams, Ingram, Harper-Bailey, Humphries; M Richards, R Richards (N Phillips 85), Andrews; Mitchell (Higgins 46), Malcolm (Nelson 90), Cleary.

Substitutes: Trialist, Heard.

  • PL Cup