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Match Reports

Report: Iron U23s 0-2 West Bromwich Albion U23s

4 October 2019

A young Iron Under-23s side performed very well but a Chris Willock brace sealed a 2-0 win for their more experienced West Bromwich Albion counterparts at the Sands Venue Stadium on Friday night.

Following a keenly contested opening, Lewis Butroid got a dangerous cross in on the sixth minute but it was cleared away by a West Brom defender.

The Baggies then won a corner which was headed away by George Hornshaw before Mason O’Malley was on hand to clear again.

Jai Rowe then made a great block as a West Brom forward drove a shot at goal and prepared to take aim. He then defended well again as a right-wing cross was sent in, which the defender cleared for a corner.

Following that set-play, Finn Azaz shot but his effort was straight at Adam Kelsey who got down well to scoop the ball up.

Following some trickery from Yasin Ben El-Mhanni in the 14th minute, James Horsfield got a shot away but it was blocked.

With 17 minutes gone, Ben El-Mhanni took aim from a difficult angle and the effort was fumbled by Brad House. Butroid tried to follow up but it was hacked clear.

Then, after a good interchange with Ben El-Mhanni, Butroid’s cross was cleared away to safety.

Followng that, Jo Cummings bravely got his body in the way of Azaz’s effort from outside the area.

In the 25th minute, Hornshaw then flicked the ball into the path of Potts but he saw his effort blocked away by the Baggies.

After receiving the ball out on the left, Ben El-Mhanni then cut inside but House was equal to it, making the save.

With 28 minutes gone, Under-23s debutant Wilson, who was a constant threat down the right flank and carried on his excellent form for the Under-18s, won a corner on the right as he showed trickery after receiving a weighted pass from Cummings. O’Malley took it but it was cleared.

The Baggies took the lead in the 30th minute when Willock fired the visitors in front from close range.

Five minutes later, following a lay-off from the left, Pugh received the ball centrally and sent in a low effort which was deflected just wide. Then, from the subsequent right-wing corner, Rowe headed his effort over the crossbar.

In the 39th minute, Willock played the ball to Soule but Kelsey saved the dinked attempt well, to applause from the home faithful.

On 41 minutes, Cummings made a great block to deny Clayton-Phillips after a long punt over the top found Willock, who squared it to his team-mate. Then, Azaz fired well over the bar for the visitors with an effort from distance.

In the 44th minute, Potts back-heeled the ball to Ben El-Mhanni on the edge of the area but the latter’s effort was blocked.

Then, just moments later, Dan Meredith struck over from the right side of the 18-yard box.

The second period began in a quiet manner as O’Malley lofted clear a Meredith cross, while Cummings did well to block a Willock effort on goal.

Hornshaw’s searching ball down the left then found Butroid out on the wing, but his cross was cleared.

In the 60th minute, Potts fed Ben El-Mhanni, who drove at the West Brom defence but his mazy run came to an end after he was dispossessed on the edge of the box.

On 64 minutes, Butroid tried to find Potts with a probing ball but the Baggies’ shot-stopper was out quickly to clear. Four minutes later, Hornshaw received the ball from Horsfield but the former’s effort from distance was just off target.

With 70 minutes gone, Willock added a second goal for the Baggies when he curled home from the left edge of the area.

A few minutes later, Ben El-Mhanni’s shot had the Baggies goalkeeper back-peddling to make a save.

West Brom were then awarded a free-kick 25 yards out. Clayton-Phillips struck it but the ball fizzed past the upright.

At the other end, O’Malley offloaded the ball to Pugh but his powerful strike was blocked en-route to goal. Ben El-Mhanni then saw his shot blocked moments later.

The Iron almost get one back through Horsfield but House rushed off his line to make the save from the shot which was taken from almost the right byline.

Meredith could have added a third for the Baggies but Kelsey saved superbly before Cummings cleared the rebound off the line.

In the 89th minute, Jessop came close for the Iron but his strike was blocked away and put out for a corner.

The Iron broke again during stoppage time and Butroid’s effort fell to Jessop on the left, who saw his effort saved and cleared away.

The Under-23s return to action with an away clash at Port Vale on Tuesday.

IRON: Kelsey, Horsfield. Butroid, Hornshaw (D Gallimore, 78), Cummings, Rowe, O’Malley, Pugh, Potts (Jessop, 71), Ben El-Mhanni, Wilson.

SUBS NOT USED: Collins, Barks, Baker.

ATTENDANCE: 165.


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