Albion’s under-18s produce a disciplined display and score two excellent goals to record impressive away win to advance to the fifth round.
Jack Leahy opens the scoring after impressive work from Stefan Vukoje on the right wing.
Substitute Teddy Jenks adds a second late on, with a brilliant header, as Vukoje provides his second assist of the evening.
- Archie Brown gets a late consolation, but Mark Beard’s side to go into Friday’s fifth round draw.
Mark Beard’s side produced the text-book away display and were worthy winners in a tight game. Well-worked goals from Jack Leahy and Teddy Jenks put Albion in control, before a late consolation for the hosts halved the deficit just before added time.
It was a cagey opening, and the two chances of note inside the first half hour fell to each team’s number nine. For Albion, Swiss forward Lorent Tolaj worked an opening in a crowded penalty area, but saw his cross shot go wide of Derby keeper Bradley Foster’s post.
While at the opposite end, Albion keeper Roco Rees got his body behind Jack Stretton’s powerful low drive. Jack Leahy tried his luck with a speculative effort that just missed the target, while for Derby, Jaden Charles’s free kick went just over the bar.
With half-time approaching, Albion took the lead in clinical fashion, creating the first clear-cut chance of the contest. Stefan Vukoje won possession just outside the Derby box on the right wing, and drove forward at pace. He picked out Leahy on the opposite flank with a clever cross, and the Albion winger made no mistake as fired back across goal and into the corner of the net.
Stretton went close for Derby early in the second half, with a low drive that Rees parried. Bartosz Cybulski was first to the loose ball, and the Albion keeper reacted well to block the follow up, but the home side's man had been flagged for offside.
Albion boss Mark Beard rang the changes around the hour mark with Ben Wilson, Ben Clark-Eden and Jenks on in place of Tolaj, Haydon Roberts, who was making his first appearance on his return from injury, and Matt Everitt.
Derby were pushing for a leveller in the tie, but Albion frustrated their hosts with their discipline and shape, playing on the break when they could; a free-flowing counter-attack saw Vukoje almost work an opening — but Derby sub Max Bardell was well placed to snuff out the attack with a block at the expense of a corner.
With 11 minutes left Albion killed off the tie with a brilliant goal, with the impressive Vukoje the creator. Crossing from the left, he picked out substitute Jenks’s clever run to the far post, and the midfielder headed back across goal and into the net.
Rees then made a brilliant reaction save to deny Derby sub Jack Rogers a consolation five minutes before the end, and it proved an important one, as three minutes later the home side were awarded a penalty by referee Scott Simpson for a foul on Eiran Cashin.
Brown despatched the kick, high to Rees’s right, but Albion held on for the win, despite a late Derby onslaught during four minutes of added time; with Antef Tsoungui’s tackle on Stretton averting the one real moment of danger.
Albion line-up: Rees (GK), Tanimowo, Tsoungui, Roberts (Clark-Eden 62), Turns; Leahy, Spong, Leonard, Everitt (Jenks 66); Tolaj (Wilson 58), Vukoje.
Subs not used: Talley, Cocoracchio, Offiah, Miller.