Match Reports

Moran double as under-21s return to winning ways

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Julio Enciso also on target as Albion beat Leicester City 3-1 in Premier League 2.

By Bruce Talbot • 30 January 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Julio Enciso is delighted after opening Albion's account against Leicester City.

Albion returned to winning ways in Premier League 2 after two second-half goals from Andrew Moran helped to see off Leicester City at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

Bottom of the table Leicester had taken the lead through skipper Sammy Braybrooke’s free-kick but Julio Enciso headed the equaliser just before half-time. Albion dominated the second half and ran out deserved winners.

Albion, who had won 4-1 at Leicester earlier in the season, were looking to end a run of three successive Premier League 2 defeats and began brightly, with Enciso firing Imari Samuels’ cut-back a yard wide of the upright in the eighth minute.

By Paul Hazlewood
Julio Enciso equalises for Albion with a near-post header.

The Paraguay striker then twisted and turned before unleashing a shot that Foxes’ keeper Chituru Odunze parried to Moran, but his half volley flew over.

Samuels created two more opportunities with good balls from the left which Enciso headed wide on both occasions.

Albion should have been in front at that stage but instead Leicester opened the scoring in the 38th minute when skipper Braybrooke curled a free-kick from 28 yards over the wall and into the top corner, leaving keeper Tom McGill helpless.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jack Spong gets Albion on the offensive.

McGill had earlier denied Wayne Marcal, but Albion had the better of the first half and got their equaliser in the 44th minute when Enciso met Moran’s corner at the near post and his flicked header flew in.

Albion took the momentum from that goal into the second half and were in control of the contest after Moran struck twice in the space of four minutes.

He made it 2-1 in the 61st minute, opening his body to side-foot neatly past Odunze after Samuels had funnelled another fine ball into the six-yard box from the left.

By Paul Hazlewood
Andrew Moran takes the congratulations from Luca Barrington and Julio Encizo after scoring his second goal.

Albion then opened Leicester up on the counter. Enciso burst into the box and although his shot came off the post he had the presence of mind when the ball came back to him to square it to the unmarked Moran, who tapped in.

Moran could have completed his hat-trick shortly afterwards. After volleying over from 12 yards he was put through by Enciso’s pass but shot wide under pressure from Paul Appiah.

Striker Mark O’Mahony, signed from Cork City last week, came on for his debut eight minutes from time and fellow Irishman Jamie Mullins stung Odunze’s palms with a shot before Jack Spong went close to a fourth when his long-range free-kick clipped the crossbar.

Albion: McGill, Furlong (Nilsson 76), Offiah, Jackson, Samuels, Spong, Hinshelwood, Moran, Peupion, Enciso (O’Mahony 82), Barrington (Mullins 68).

Subs not used: Talley, Chouchane.