U18 Premier League: Albion 3-0 Leicester City

Archie Oliver celebrates

Albion's young stars made it back-to-back wins in the U18 Premier League South after a comprehensive triumph over Leicester City at the club's Walsall training ground on Saturday afternoon. 

Leigh Downing's men overcame a difficult start to proceedings to come out on top, courtesy of first-half efforts from Akeel Higgins and Fenton Heard, before Archie Oliver rounded off the victory in style by adding a third 20 minutes from time.

Although it was an impressive attacking display in B71, the young Baggies had goalkeeper Beau Hudd to thank for keeping the scores level following a string of impressive saves.

Those saves established foundations for the hosts to build from, and having come on as a substitute to score for the Baggies' U21s in their Premier League Cup defeat against Watford the day before, attacker Higgins made it two goals in as many days on his return to the 18s.

Akeel Higgins celebrates scoring the opener with Tobias Hurlock

The 17-year-old has been in good form both Downing and Richard Beale's men during the 2022/23 season, and his streak in front of goal continued against the Foxes, beating his man for pace to enter the box and fire in the opener.

Moments later, things got better for the Albion's youngsters when attacking midfielder Heard got in behind the Leicester defence to latch onto right-back Deago Nelson's splitting through ball before lobbing Dillon Addai in the away goal to make it 2-0 heading in at the interval.

Fenton Heard chips in Albion U18s' second goal
Fenton Heard scored Albion's second goal against Leicester City on Saturday afternoon

It was a second half of patience for Downing's side, with Leicester seeing more of the ball as they plotted a route back into the game.  

However, Albion's defence remained resolute to keep consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League south, and put the shine on a confident display after 71 minutes when central midfielder Oliver found himself in the right place to slot home the third and final goal of the game. 

The win moved the young Baggies up to sixth in the standings, with the club's scholars next in action on Saturday, December 3 (ko 12pm), when they make the long trip to play Southampton.

Albion: Hudd; Nelson, Sumnall, Olofinjana, Humphries; Mfuamba, Oliver (Deeming 83), Hurlock (Kirton 70); Love (Walker 76), Heard, Higgins (Oluwatobi 76).

Subs not used: Cisse

  • U18s