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Match Reports

Report: Iron U23s 0-2 West Bromwich Albion U23s

6 February 2020

A youthful Iron Under-23s side were beaten 2-0 by West Bromwich Albion at Birkdale Park on Thursday afternoon.

Second half goals from the Baggies saw them through to the knockout stages of the Central League Cup with a 100 per cent record.

There was a good start from the Iron in the second minute, as they had a handball penalty shout turned down. Reon Potts and Jo Cummings then had shots blocked from the edge of the area before the visitors cleared.

The visitors soon came down the left side, but their cross into the area was gathered by Adam Kelsey.

With five minutes gone, there was good link-up play in the middle of the park involving George Hornshaw, who released the ball to Potts before being hacked down. Play was brought back for the foul with Potts unable to break free of the defender.

On eight minutes, Jai Rowe won a header from a corner, angling the ball towards goal, but it was cleared by an Albion defender.

With 11 minutes played, Cummings slipped as a ball came into the Scunthorpe penalty area, but the defender did well nonetheless to get a head on the ball with Mo Faal lurking.

Five minutes later, there was a good move involving Yasin Ben El-Mhanni as he surged down the left before being wiped out on the edge of the area. Somehow, no foul was given before Potts came away with the ball and saw his low drive cleared.

Soon after, the Baggies’ Jack Chambers emerged with the ball after sandwiching himself between two Iron players before he blazed over from just outside the area.

On 19 minutes, a high deep cross from the hosts was met by Cheikh Diaby, but his effort went wide of Adam Kelsey’s left-hand post.

Two minutes later, there was a good move from the Iron as Ben El-Mhanni, Cameron Wilson and Mason O’Malley combined before Raynner Silva played a neat one-two with Ben El-Mhanni down the left. The cross searched for Wilson, who got a flick, but West Brom cleared.

Luca Chadli and Wilson soon did well down the left before O’Malley got involved. Two crosses were blocked before a 50-50 was won, although it ran through to Baggies ‘keeper Josh Griffiths.

The 28th minute saw alert and decisive goalkeeping from Kelsey as he emerged from his goal to slide in and gather the ball following a threaded pass into the area.

With 38 minutes gone, Wilson pounced on a misplaced clearance with a brilliant first touch down the right. He drove forward and cut back to Ben El-Mhanni with both him and Hornshaw having long range efforts blocked before a foul was awarded to the Iron.

There was then a corner to the Iron after persistence down the left. Ben El-Mhanni floated in a cross, with Cummings winning the header, only for a defender to head off the line and over for another corner.

Five minutes after the break, Rowe cleared off the line following an effort from the edge of the box, with Faal swinging a boot inside the area to change the direction. Cummings had initially cleared the cross.

With 53 minutes gone, there was a superb instinctive save from Kelsey. He first punched clear Finn Azaz’s corner, before the Baggies skipper crossed for Ojebode only for Kelsey to save from two yards out.

However, just a minute later, Ojebode wasn’t to be denied again as he slotted in from close range after a move down the right saw the ball drilled across goal. United complained that there was a handball in the build-up, but a goal was given.

With 58 minutes gone, Azaz opened up and saw his long range effort blocked.

In the 64th minute, Tyrese Dyce very nearly took advantage of a free-kick, which was taken short to the full-back, with his powerful left-footed drive flashing across the goal and wide, taking a deflection on the way.

The lead was doubled a minute later as Cheikh Diaby powered a header into the roof of the net. He was rightly positioned to score following a deep cross which was headed back across goal.

After 69 minutes, Hornshaw stole possession and drove forward before finding Ben El-Mhanni who shaped to shoot only to be dispossessed with a perfect sliding challenge.

With 77 minutes gone, Barks threw himself in the way of Azaz’s 18-yard effort which looked as though it was going to nestle in the corner.

Two minutes later, Barks again was in the way to block a shot and clear, this time from substitute Thorndike as he got on the end of a ball towards the edge of the area.

With ten minutes of the game left, there was a swift break from the Iron following good work from Wilson throughout. He slipped in Ben El-Mhanni who then found substitute Harry Jessop. It went back to Wilson who again played in Ben El-Mhanni, but he couldn’t find space for a shot.

At the other end, Azaz fired over from the edge of the area after the ball was rolled across goal by Alex Gilbert.

With 87 minutes gone, Saul Shotton was lurking at the back post following a low cross into the area, but Barks gets a touch on the ball and allows it to be picked up by Kelsey.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Dan Gallimore spread play brilliantly to the right where Wilson was. His low cross was across goal, with Cummings missing contact as he ran into the six-yard box.

IRON U23s: Kelsey, Rowe, O'Malley, Silva, Barks, Cummings, Wilson, Hornshaw (D Gallimore, 77), Potts (Jessop, 66), Ben El-Mhanni, Chadli (L Gallimore, 72).

IRON U23s SUBS: Collins, Kemp.

WEST BROM U23s: Griffiths, Gardner-Hickman, Dyce, Taylor, Sharpe (Shotton, 45), Azaz, Diaby (Delaney, 67), Chambers, Faal (Thorndike, 56), Gilbert, Ojebode.

WEST BROM U23s SUBS: Harrison, King.

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