Match Reports

Albion held to goalless draw by United

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Albion unable to breakdown stubborn ten man Red Devils.

By Luke Nicoli • 12 March 2021

Moises Caicedo started his second game for Albion's under-23s.

Albion picked up a second away point inside a week but it felt like an opportunity lost having faced ten men for all but six minutes of the game.

On the back of a solid away performance at Chelsea, the Seagulls headed north in a confident frame of mind and their outlook would have improved further when Will Fish received the earliest of baths.

There was little argument from the United skipper, who had brought down Ayo Tanimowo as the wing-back raced in on goal, and from the resulting Teddy Jenks free-kick, United keeper Matej Kovar pulled off a good save – which was certainly a sign of things to come.

Jensen Weir went close with a volley moments later but despite the red card, there was little to choose between the sides in the following exchanges. Indeed, Albion hearts were in mouths in the 20th minute when Jack Wakely brought down Joe Hugill as the forward got goalside, but with yellow shirts covering, he was issued with a yellow card.

Jensen Weir goes close to giving Albion an opening goal in the first half.

Weir fared better with his next effort, a low drive that stung the palms of Kovar, while the keeper showed superb reflexes to tip over a curling effort from James Furlong, who had cut inside onto his right foot.

Albion began to turn the screw and had strong appeals for a penalty on the half-hour mark when the on-rushing Jenks was brought down by Shola Shoretire. He was also left frustrated when, having latched onto a ball from Sam Packham, his effort was saved by the feet of the impressive Kovar.

Jenks then pounced on a slip inside the United box from Ethan Galbraith shortly before half-time, but his shot on the turn fell the wrong side of Kovar’s right post. He also had time to tee up a corner for an unmarked Wakeley, but the centre-back’s header was well held by the Czech keeper.

It remained to be seen whether United would tire in the second half, given their numerical disadvantage, and the opening exchanges belonged solely to the visitors.

United had their own opportunities, but never properly tested Carl Rushworth in the Albion goal.

Albion probed forward on a number of occasions, but failed to find a cutting edge, and that gave United encouragement as they brought on fresh legs for the final half hour.

Substitute Dillon Hoogewerf brought a good save out of Carl Rushworth, while fellow sub Alvaro Fernandez did well on the left flank moments later – but the resulting efforts from Mark Helm and Hugill were both blocked.

Albion’s superior fitness did show in the closing stages as Moises Caicedo met a Jenks corner at the far post, only to see his shot blocked by Kovar, while young forward Evan Ferguson flashed a close-range header wide of the upright when it looked odds-on he would score.

Evan Ferguson's effort late on flashed wide.

It was now one-way traffic; Caicedo saw an effort from the edge of the box pushed away by the United keeper and he again did well to push a Ferguson effort wide.

United, however, stood firm and could have won it on the break in the dying moments when Hugill's dangerous ball was cleared by Ed Turns. Still, they were certainly the happier side as the final whistle blew.

Albion: Rushworth, Packham, Wakely, Turns, Tanimowo (Gwargis 74), Weir, Caicedo, Furlong, Jenks, Cashman, Ferguson (Wilson 87). Subs not used: Rees, Spong, Leonard.