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West Brom U23s secure bragging rights in win over Aston Villa

Albion’s under-23s secured some derby bragging rights by beating Villa in Premier League 2.

Over the past few years, Villa have poached a host of promising youngsters from the academy set-up at The Hawthorns. And five of them played in this Premier League 2, division two clash.

But it was the Baggies who came away with the points thanks to first-half goals from Rayhaan Tulloch and Kenneth Zohore.

Cameron Archer pulled one back for Villa just before the interval.

But, overall, the Baggies deserved the win following an impressive performance.

Albion’s under-23s play the same 3-4-3 formation as Valerien Ismael’s first team as the boss works to strengthen the pathway between the academy and the senior side.

And the Baggies named a strong side at the New Bucks Head with striker Kenneth Zohore, who is understood to have been made available for transfer, leading the line.

He was supported by Rayaan Tulloch and Tom Fellows - two promising forwards who have both made their first-team debuts this season.

At centre-back, a trialist lined-up alongside Caleb Taylor and Zac Ashworth.

West Bromwich Albions Caleb Taylor Battling in the air to win the header with Aston Villas Brad Young

Villa, who lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, included five ex-Albion youngsters in their side in the shape of Arjan Raikhy, Tim Iroegbunam, Finley Thorndike, Brad Young and Louie Barry. Villa almost got themselves in front inside the opening few minutes when Barry burst into the box before curling inches wide.

It was Albion who threatened next when a smart ball from keeper Ted Cann found Josh Shaw.

He then moved the ball on to Fellows who sent in a low cross which Zohore side-footed wide.

Overall, the opening half-an-hour was even and keenly contested.

But a crazy couple of minutes then followed which started with a glorious chance for Barry.

A cross from Ben Christine broke kindy for the striker who only had Cann to beat. But he fired wide when he really should have scored.

Just 60 seconds later, Albion were ahead when Ingram sent in a low cross which Tulloch slided past Viljami Sinisalo.

Aston Villa's Cameron Archer putting the ball 8nto the net past West Bromwich Albion keeper Ted Cann

And two minutes after that, the Baggies doubled their lead when Zohore brought down a cross before holding off his marker and firing in.

Villa almost pulled level shortly past the hour. Barry did well to trick his way past Ingram before curling a strike that Cann did well to parry away. Albion could have extended their lead in the 70th minute when substitutes Rico Richards and Reyes Cleary combined. Richards hit the byline before sending in a cross, with Cleary meeting it with a powerful drive that flew over.

Villa almost nicked an equaliser in the closing stages when former Walsall loanee Tyreik Wright let fly, but Cann was again equal to it.

Albion: Cann, Trialist, Taylor, Ashworth, Ingram (Windsor 77), Teixeria, Andrews, Shaw, Fellows, Zohore (Cleary 46), Tulloch (Richards 60). Not used: Hollingshead, King.

Villa: Sinisalo, Barber, Lindley, Feeney, Chrisene (Hart 71), Raikhy, Iroegbunam, Thorndike, Archer, Young (Goodridge 80), Barry (Wright 81). Not used: Zych, O’Reilly.

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