Match Reports

Report: Moran strikes as Albion hold Chelsea

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Irish striker on target in 1-1 Premier League 2 draw at Kingsmeadow.

By Bruce Talbot • 26 November 2021

By James Boardman
Andrew Moran puts Albion ahead from close range

Andrew Moran scored his third goal of the season as Albion picked up a point from a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Chelsea in Premier League 2.

The Irish striker struck from close range in the 34th minute but Harvey Vale levelled shortly after the break at Kingsmeadow.

Both sides had chances to win it but a point apiece was a fair outcome from a game which came to life in the second half.

Albion were looking to bounce back after suffering only their third defeat of the season at Everton on Monday, but they found themselves under pressure early on.

Chelsea dominated in the first 15 minutes and Kjell Scherpen had to extend his 6ft 8in frame twice in the space of a minute to keep out shots from Jude Soonsup-Bell and Harvey Vale.

By James Boardman
Andrew Moran takes the plaudits after putting Albion ahead

The visitors began to get into the game, although it was some poor Chelsea defending which led to the opening goal in the 34th minute.

Alfie Gilchrist gave the ball away inside his own box and Moran pounced, ghosting past Xavier Mbuyamba and beating goalkeeper Lucas Bergstrom at the second attempt after Bergstrom parried his first effort.

Moran had already fired wide and Marc Leonard wasn’t far away when he tried his luck from distance as Albion ended the first half in reasonable control of proceedings.

But it took just six minutes for Chelsea to equalise. Skipper Xavier Simons tried an ambitious half-volley that was going wide but Vale controlled the ball with a great first touch and slammed his shot past Scherpen.

By James Boardman
Lorent Tolaj fires wide in the second half

Albion could and perhaps should have regained the lead straight away. Lorent Tolaj fired over from a great position before Marc Leonard’s drive from the edge of the box forced Bergstrom into a fingertip save.

It was anyone’s game in the closing stages. Chelsea came again and Scherpen showed excellent reflexes to keep out good strikes from Lewis Baker and then Vale, but on the break Albion were also a threat.

Neither side could find a way through though, and Albion have a week to prepare for their next PL2 encounter next Friday at home to Liverpool.

Albion: Scherpen, Packham, Tsoungui, Turns, Furlong, Dicker, Spong, Peupion, Leonard, Moran, Tolaj. Subs not used: Offiah, Talley, Hinchey, Miller, Ella.