West Brom youngsters undone by injury-time Checkatrade Trophy goal
Albion’s under-21s had their passage to the knockout phase of the Checkatrade Trophy made a little bit harder after Ross Sykes headed in a stoppage-time winner for Accrington Stanley last night.
It was a deserved winner for the League One hosts, who created the majority of the chances and confirmed their place in the last 32 with victory inside 90 minutes.
Albion’s youngsters though know any sort of victory over Macclesfield Town in their final group game next Tuesday will guarantee their spot too.
In front of 772 fans at the Wham Stadium, Stanley had the ball in the net in the 12th minute, only for Connor Hall’s effort to be ruled out for offside.
The hosts remained the better side and went close to the opener when Sean McConville’s free-kick had to be parried away by Jonathan Bond.
They went closer still when Luke Charman’s header was cleared off the line, before Matty Platt saw his shot deflected just wide of the post.
Albion did not offer much in attack, with a shot from Nicholas Clayton-Phillips their best effort, but it was blocked by a defender’s leg.
Accrington closed the half with another effort, but McConville sent a rising drive over the crossbar.
Their pressure finally paid off four minutes after the break when Jordan Clark latched on to Charman’s backheel and fired the ball past Bond.
Charman, Clark and McConville all went close to doubling the lead before the Baggies hit back in the 62nd minute when Clayton-Phillips’ low cross was bundled over the line by Jonathan Leko.
That did not seem to deter Accrington though and they went close twice in quick succession when Scott Brown hit the side netting before bond smothered a one-on-one with Hall.
Albion forced the odd corner, otherwise the pattern of the match continued with Charman shooting over before a sliding defender denied Clark after Bond had been beaten.
Accrington pressed on and Bond denied Hall once more before defender Sykes rose above everyone to head in Stanley’s winner from the resultant corner.