Last-gasp winner as under-18s beat West Brom

Albion under-18s seal 2-1 win thanks to late goal from substitute Zak Emmerson.

By Charlie Hanson • 07 November 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Zac Emmerson celebrates his winning goal.

A last-minute Zak Emmerson goal ensured Mark Beard's side took all three points against West Bromwich Albion in their Premier League Under-18s clash at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre on Saturday.

With the game heading for an unlikely draw after a dominant Albion performance, substitute Emmerson popped up in the 94th minute to snatch all three points.

Cameron Peupion opened the scoring in the 17th minute after Toby Collyer saw his effort saved by West Brom keeper Jamie Emery. Jaami Qureshi picked up the loose ball and found the Australian who scored his fifth league goal of the campaign.

Albion controlled the rest of the first half with the visitors unable to muster an attempt on goal, but Ed Turns received his marching orders for a second bookable offence with 54 minutes on the clock and the hosts were down to ten men.

Albion still seemed destined for the three points when they were awarded a penalty after a foul on Marcus Ifill midway through the second half, but Andy Moran saw his spot-kick saved by Emery.

By Paul Hazlewood
Cameron Peupion is congratulated after putting Albion in front.

West Brom kicked into life and even after the dismissal of defender Reece Hall, which meant both sides finish the game with ten men, they levelled through Tim Iroegbunam, who profited from a mix-up at the back and fired into the empty net. 

But in the dying moments Zak Sturge played a fantastic ball in behind the West Brom defence, Emery rushed off his line to clear but the ball fell to Emmerson on the edge of the box and the substitute cleverly lifted the ball over two defenders on the line and it went in off the underside of the bar.

The result sees Albion move up to 14 points, four points off Crystal Palace who top the Premier League South table.

By Paul Hazlewood
Cameron Peupion gets in a shot against West Brom.

Beard said: “It was great for Zac Emmerson because he has been out injured since he signed from Oldham in the summer, so for him to get the goal was a fantastic moment for both him and the team. It was a great finish.

“We could have been five or six-nil up by half-time, their goalkeeper made some great saves to keep the score at 1-0. We stressed at half-time not to make it hard for ourselves, to keep doing the right thing.

“But then Ed Turns got sent off and that made it a lot more difficult. We were still in control until we missed the penalty and that gave West Brom a bit of belief. Even when they scored we kept fighting and got the goal with the last kick of the game, which I think we fully deserved.”