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West Brom U21s pick up first ever Checkatrade Trophy win

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Albion’s under-21s won their first ever Checkatrade Trophy match tonight in their third season in the competition.

Oliver Burke set up the first goal. (AMA)

Having lost six games in a row in the Trophy over the past two years, the Baggies youngsters beat Blackpool 2-1 at Bloomfield Road in their first outing in this year’s competition.

Jamie Smith’s men took the lead just three minutes in when Oliver Burke raced down the right-hand side and centred for 18-year-old midfielder Finn Azaz to tap in at the back post.

Jonathan Leko smacked the crossbar with this left foot soon after, before Burke wasted a good one-on-one chance.

Alex Bradley was denied by a goal-line clearance before Pool keeper Christoffer Mafoumbi kept out another couple of Burke shots.

Blackpool equalised on the stroke of half-time through 30-year-old striker Steve Davies, who has spent the past few weeks on trial with the League One side.

But the Baggies retook the lead in the 76th minute when Alex Bradley drilled a low shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner after seeing his initial shot blocked.

It is the third win in a row for Smith’s men after victories last week over Liverpool and Stoke, and came despite some notable absentees.

Rekeem Harper, Kyle Edwards and Sam Field were all unavailable because of international duty with England’s youth teams.

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Smith named 15-year-old striker Louie Barry on the substitutes bench.

Albion have put themselves in a promising position in Northern Group C ahead of their games with Macclesfield Town and Accrington Stanley

Albion: Bond, Howkins, Wilding (c), Healy; Meredith, Azaz, Bradley (Morton 80), Harmon; Tulloch (Clayton-Phillips 76), Burke, Leko.

Unused subs: Griffiths, Delaney, Ashton, Barry, Soule.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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