Albion’s U21s fell to their first defeat in the Premier League Cup this term against Sheffield United on Monday night.
After a first 45 of little action, the hosts rallied to ensure they were on the right side of seven second-half goals to get the better of the young Baggies at Chesterfield’s SMH Group Stadium.
In truth, the first half was a quiet affair with neither side really asserting their dominance on the match.
The hosts had two scrambled efforts, which both hit the back of the net, ruled out for clear offsides, while the Baggies couldn’t maintain fluency in the final third when they forged openings.
Kevin Mfuamba tried his best from a short corner and Akeel Higgins’ first touch on another occasion before the break denied him of a better opportunity to break the deadlock, as his eventual shot went wide meaning the scores remained as they were at the interval.
Things came to life after the break, though, as Antwoine Hackford found the breakthrough with a scruffy strike on the goal line, but Richard Beale’s men quickly found a response when Fenton Heard curled a fine strike into the top corner following a quick counter-attack.
Hackford grabbed his second to restore the hosts’ advantage before substitute Ollie Bostock won Albion a penalty - which Heard coolly converted for his second to level things once more at 2-2.
But it would be the last time the visitors would find a leveller on the night, with the Blades making their dominance count with two further goals from Hackford - either side of an Owen Hampson effort - to round off a bad night at the office for the Baggies’ young pros.
Albion: Hollingshead; Richards (Sule 83), Taylor (Mandey 45), Phillips (Williams 66); Hall, Whitwell, Mfuamba (Bostock 72), Nelson; Heard, Higgins, Love.
Subs not used: Brady.