Match Reports

Albion suffer first home defeat of the season

Late Leonard goal not enough as Albion lose 2-1 to Manchester United.

By Charlie Hanson • 21 January 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Marc Leonard captained Albion against Manchester United.

Albion suffered their first home defeat of the Premier League 2 campaign despite a second-half fightback against Manchester United.

Two goals from D’Mani Mellor in the opening 25 minutes proved to be too much of a handicap for Andrew Crofts’ team to overcome, despite a late goal from Marc Leonard.

United would have felt aggrieved to have gone it at half-time with just two goals to their name, having taken the game by the scruff of the neck.

Mellor fired home smartly as Albion failed to deal with a ball into the box ten minutes in and Isak Hansen-Aaröen should have added a second but fired wide from less than ten yards.

Albion conceded again with 25 minutes gone when Mellor pounced on Lars Dendoncker’s back pass and found the bottom left corner.

It could have been worse when Hansen-Aaroen smacked a fine effort from 18 yards against the post before the break.

By Paul Hazlewood
D’Mani Mellor spent the first half of the campaign on loan with Salford City.

Albion came out for the second half in a determined mood and twice in three minutes they went close to pulling a goal back.

On 51 minutes Lorent Tolaj’s powerful drive was saved at his near post by keeper Ondrej Mastny and two minutes later Leonard’s drive from the edge of the box produced another good save by Mastny.

At the other end McGill plunged to his right to keep out Charlie Savage’s shot from 20 yards, but Albion were firmly on top.

Their deficit was halved with ten minutes to go when Leonard played a cute one-two with Lorent Tolaj and the Scotland under-19 international curled into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Albion pressed for an equaliser, with Haydon Roberts seeing his side-footed effort palmed over by Mastny, but United held on for the win.

Crofts’ team now have a fortnight’s wait until they’re back in PL2 action, when they face Blackburn Rovers. Next Tuesday, Albion are away to Eastbourne Town in the quarter-final of the Sussex Senior Cup.

Albion: McGill, Tanimowo (Offiah 65), Dendoncker (Chouchane 72), Turns, Roberts, Furlong, Leonard, Spong, Peupion (Miller 83), Tolaj, Ferguson.

Unused subs: Talley, Wilson.