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Pre-season: Crewe 1-1 West Brom - Report

Albion were held to a 1-1 draw by Crewe in a pre-season friendly at Gresty Road.

John Swift of West Bromwich Albion scores a goal to make it 0-1 at The Mornflake Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Crewe, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
John Swift of West Bromwich Albion scores a goal to make it 0-1 at The Mornflake Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Crewe, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The Baggies have lacked a cutting edge throughout the summer with Steve Bruce's side having struggled to convert the chances they have created.

And that continued in Cheshire with John Swift, Semi Ajayi and Conor Townsend all having decent opportunities to open the scoring for the Baggies in the first half.

Bruce's men did take the lead shortly after the interval when Swift turned home an excellent cross from Jed Wallace.

But Crewe grew in stature as the game wore on.

And they got themselves level when former Walsall striker Dan Agyei produced a brilliant finish after finding himself through on goal.

REPORT

Bruce has tended to shift between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 formation throughout pre-season.

And he opted for a 4-3-3 system in Cheshire.

It saw Taylor Gardner-Hickman get a chance to impress at right back with Alex Mowatt, John Swift and Matt Phillips the midfield three.

Semi Ajayi of West Bromwich Albion makes a block at The Mornflake Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Crewe, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Up front, Jed Wallace started on the right with Grady Diangana on the left and Daryl Dike the central striker.

It was Albion who started the game on the front foot with Diangana, Dike and Swift combining well in a flowing move that saw the former Reading man fire wide from 12 yards.

The Baggies continued to knock on the door from that point.

Diangana played a pass that looked to have sent Dike charging towards goal only for Billy Sass-Davies to charge back and make a brilliant recovery tackle.

Townsend then sent in a cross that Wallace was just inches away from sweeping home.

The Baggies were moving the ball brightly but in fairness to Crewe, they were as well at times with Alex Morris' side looking to play out from the back whenever possible.

Albion, though, were severely lacking a cutting edge with Bruce's men having two big chances just before the break.

Matt Phillips of West Bromwich Albion defends at The Mornflake Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Crewe, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

First, Wallace sent in a corner which Ajayi powerfully headed just past the upright.

A Gardner-Hickman cross then evaded a host of bodies to find its way through to Conor Townsend at the back post.

But despite having time, he then fired over when he should have done better.

Albion did finally open the scoring in the 54th minute - with Wallace delivering an excellent cross from the right that Swift turned in from close range.

The second-half, overall, was proving a bit of a non-event with Albion looking comfortable.

But in the 73rd minute, Crewe got themselves back on terms when substitute Jayson Molumby lost possession - with a lucky bounce then seeing Agyei run through on goal.

Jed Wallace of West Bromwich Albion at The Mornflake Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Crewe, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The former Walsall man still had a lot to do. But he did it brilliantly, with Agyei carrying the ball into the box before brilliantly lifting it over Alex Palmer and in.

Albion almost snatched a winner late on when Townsend sent in a dangerous cross that Grant, sliding in, was millimeters away from connecting with.

Overall, though, the second-half would have been a little too even for Bruce's liking with the hosts growing in stature the longer the game went on.

John Swift of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1 at The Mornflake Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Crewe, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

TEAMS

Albion (4-3-3): Button (Palmer 46), Gardner-Hickman, Ajayi, O'Shea, Townsend, Mowatt, Swift (Molumby 71), Phillips (Furlong 77), Wallace (Reach 63), Diangana (Livermore 46), Dike (Grant 63).

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