Report: Albion dig deep to claim City scalp

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Under-23s beat Manchester City 2-1 to secure fourth win out of five in Premier League 2

By Bruce Talbot • 14 February 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Teddy Jenks opens the scoring.
  • Albion make it four wins out of five in Premier League 2
  • Teddy Jenks puts them in front in the first half before City equalise
  • Visitors hit the bar twice but an own goal wins it for Albion
  • Simon Rusk’s men next in League action on 28th February away to Derby County

Albion claimed another notable scalp in Premier League 2 with a hard-fought 2-1 success over Manchester City tonight at the American Express Elite Performance Centre.

Skipper Teddy Jenks scored a well-taken second goal of the season to put Simon Rusk’s men in front midway through the first half and they could have added to their lead before City levelled just before half-time through Felix Nmecha.

The visitors were on top for spells in the second half and twice hit the bar, but Albion protected Hugo Keto’s goal well and won it when Romaric Yapi’s teasing cross looped up off Nathanael Ogbeta for an own goal. Albion have now won four of their last five league games.

City began brightly and Adrian Bernarbe had a decent chance in the 12th minute, but drove a right-foot shot wide of the post.

Albion then began to take control. Jenks and Andrew Crofts got on top in midfield and down the right Archie Davies and Yapi regularly stretched the visitors’ defence.

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Cashman in action against Manchester City.

Their pressure was rewarded in the 24th minute when Albion moved the ball from the right again into the box and Jenks, arriving late from midfield, finished neatly from ten yards into the bottom left-hand corner.

The hosts then had two good chances in as many minutes to deservedly extend their lead.

Yapi lifted his shot over the bar from close range after Jordan Davies had nodded Alex Cochrane’s deep cross into his path. Jordan Davies then found the side netting from a great position in the six-yard box after the visitors failed to clear Archie Davies’s testing delivery.

Albion were well on top but they were suddenly pulled back in the 42nd minute, when Nmecha had too much room inside the box and drove a fierce shot past Keto. Moments later, the same player nearly scored again but Keto was able to make the save above his head.

At the other end, a lively first half ended with Danny Cashman getting on the end of Peter Gwargis’s cross from the left, but his deft header was saved by Gavin Bazunu in the City goal.

By Paul Hazlewood
Romaric Yapi holds off his marker against Manchester City

The visitors grew in confidence in the second half and Jayden Braaf went close to giving them the lead in the 58th minute when his shot from the left-hand corner of the box clipped the top of the bar.

But, just like the first half, the team on top suddenly conceded a goal. In the 66th minute Yapi’s cross found Cashman challenging with Ogbeta and the ball looped up and over Bazunu into the far corner off the City defender.

The visitors struck the woodwork again in the 74th minute when Tommy Doyle bent a free kick from the edge of the box over the wall but onto the top of the bar before Morgan Rogers fizzed a shot wide of the far post as City pressed for an equaliser.

Albion held firm though and were deserved winners of an entertaining game.

Albion: Keto, Davies, O’Hora, Roberts, Cochrane ©, Crofts, Yapi, Jenks, J. Davies, Cashman (Tolaj 76), Gwargis (Spong 65).

Subs not used: Freestone, Rees, Leahy.