Match Reports

Moran strikes late as under-23s beat Leicester

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Irishman's last-minute goal seals all three points in 2-1 win.

By Charlie Hanson • 24 September 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Andrew Moran's goal in the final minute secured Albion all three points.

Andrew Moran's goal at the end against Leicester City secured Albion under-23s a third win in four matches in Premier League 2 on Friday night.

Jeremy Sarmiento emphatically put Albion in the lead half an hour in, but Albion looked to have surrendered the three points when Kasey McAteer poked home an equaliser with five minutes to play.

Second-half substitute Moran had other ideas though and his close-range finish with one of the last kicks of the game got Albion back to winning ways after suffering defeat against Manchester United last weekend.

Tawanda Maswanhise should have at least tested Kjell Scherpen in the opening minutes with his low drive that flew across the face of goal and wide, before Lorent Tolaj bulldozed his way into a shooting position only to be denied in impressive fashion by Foxes keeper Jakub Stolarczyk at his near post.

Jurgen Locadia's return to full fitness took another step in the right direction as he started against the Foxes and had two good chances in quick succession, seeing an effort blocked from the edge of the box before misfiring after a brilliant bit of work from Cam Peupion to find the Dutch forward.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jeremy Sarmiento's brilliant first half strike gave Albion the lead.

Albion were starting to find inroads, but it took a sprinkle of magic from Sarmiento to open the scoring. With ten minutes to go until half time James Furlong picked out the former Benfica man making a run into the box – he brought it down with one touch and with the second rifled in from a tight angle.

Locadia's bending effort from the edge of the Leicester area flew over six minutes after the restart, before Tolaj unselfishly looked for the back-post run of the ex-PSV man when through on goal, but the Foxes were able to clear.

The hosts’ search for a second nearly bore fruit with an hour gone as the visitors failed to clear a corner. Antef Tsoungui let fly on the half volley from 15 yards, but his drilled effort was cleared off the line.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jurgen Locadia played for 60 minutes against Leicester City in Premier League 2 on Friday night.

It was a chance that Albion were nearly made to regret not taking, as City skipper Vontae Daley-Campbell’s brilliant effort from range flew narrowly wide of the top-left corner.

The visitors turned up the heat and it was only the heroics of Kjell Scherpen with 15 minutes to go that kept Albion in it as he saved Oliver Ewing’s effort that was bound for the bottom corner before keeping out Maswanhise’s strike from close.

But the former Ajax man couldn’t stop McAteer in the 85th minute as he prodded in for what looked like the final goal of the evening.

It wouldn’t prove to be the case, though, as Moran was there in the final minute to flick home unmarked.

By Paul Hazlewood
The Irishman's strike ensured Albion made it three wins from four, as they moved into second in PL2.

Nine points from a possible 12 in Premier League 2 for Andrew Crofts’ team puts them second in the table, only off top on goal difference.

Albion: Scherpen, Nilsson, Tsoungui, Offiah, Furlong, Hinchy, Peupion, Spong, Sarmiento (Ferguson 46), Tolaj, Locadia (Moran 61).

Unused subs: McGill, Packham, Dicker.