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Match report - Hannover 2 Albion 1

Sport | Published:

Albion kicked off their pre-season programme with defeat thanks to an unfortunate late own-goal from Craig Dawson.

The young defender deflected the ball into his own net with nine minutes remaining to hand Bundesliga side Hannover 96 victory in the Austrian town of Gleisdorf.

Nicolas Anelka made his Baggies debut but it was strike partner Markus Rosenberg who netted his first Albion goal in a public game on 42 minutes.

That cancelled out Mame Diouf's goal for Hannover on 28 minutes.

Most of Albion's senior men played for around an hour before boss Steve Clarke made wholesale changes.

The opening 15 minutes were uneventful but on 16 minutes Anelka produced a moment of quality, playing one-twos with Markus Rosenberg and Nicolas Anelka before testing keeper Ron-Robert Zieler with a bending shot.

There was a chance for Albion when Gabriel Tamas headed a Graham Dorrans free-kick across the face of goal for Gareth McAuley, who could not quite react quickly enough to direct a shot on target.

Hannover broke immediately and Diouf found himself in the clear but he blasted wide of the target.

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But it was 1-0 to the Germans on 28 minutes when Jan Schlaudraff intercepted a Ben Foster clearance and crossed for Diouf, who scored despite colliding with the Baggies keeper.

Albion wasted a free-kick that was awarded controversially for a backpass, but Rosenberg fired them level three minutes before half-time.

He finished bravely – colliding with Zieler in the process – from James Morrison's right-wing cut-back.

Hannover tested Foster early in the second half when Lars Stindl turned substitute Christian Pander's cross towards goal, but the Baggies keeper made a comfortable catch.

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And Foster made a better save moments later from Stindl's far-post effort after a cross by Szabolcs Huszti.

Albion made eight substitutions on 61 minutes and all 10 had changed by full-time, and it was the Germans who had the better chances with substitute Deniz Kadah nodding just wide from a Stindl cross.

Hannover made it 2-1 with nine minutes remaining when Pander stabbed a shot towards goal and Dawson stuck out a foot that deflected it past a helpless Foster.

Late on it should have been 3-1 when Dawson gifted possession to Artur Sobiech, but the striker hit the base of the post.

By Steve Madeley

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