Ruth: We were fortunate to get winner

Albion threw away a two-goal lead before scoring late on to snatch all three points.

By Nick Szczepanik • 02 September 2023

By DCFC/Andrew Clarke
Former Albion midfielder Bradley Johnson is now Derby's Under-21 overage player/coach.

Men’s under-21 head coach Shannon Ruth admits that Friday's 3-2 victory away to Derby County gave him plenty to think about. 

Albion led 2-0 at half time after Luca Barrington created goals for Jamie Mullins and Mark O’Mahony.  

But the Rams came back strongly after the break to level before substitute Louis Flower hit the winner in added time, his first goal for Albion.

By James Boardman
Louis Flower scored his first goal for Albion in the win over Derby.

Ruth said, “It was certainly a game of two halves. In the first half we were good and played with an identity and could have been more than 2-0 ahead.   

“I think how well we were playing possibly lulled us into a false sense of security and we got a little complacent, because there were some good opportunities in the first half to go more than two goals up. With the dominance we showed and the chances we had, the game should have been done there and then. 

“But in the second half Derby came out and had a real good go, and it put us on the back foot. They got their goals and we were perhaps a little fortunate to get the winner. So the game had some things for us to be pleased with and others not to be so pleased.” 

However, he believes that evenings of Friday’s type can be a valuable part of his squad’s learning process. 

“There is certainly a lot for us to delve into - how we can kill the game off or control of the game or at least finish 2-0. To keep a clean sheet is something we don’t do too often and we are really striving for that.  

“When you have the ball as much as the first team do and as much as we try to it always leads to a little bit of risk, just by the nature of our style. Young players don’t always make the best choices because they are still learning and sometimes they can get punished.”