Express & Star

West Brom 1 Leicester 2: Albion denied point by stoppage time Harry Winks winner

A dramatic stoppage-time Harry Winks winner condemned Albion to just a second home defeat of the season - seconds after Josh Maja thought he had salvaged a point.


A chaotic finale saw Maja strike from the bench for his first Albion goal in the 89th-minute in what appeared to have earned Carlos Corberan's side a deserved and hard-working point against the Championship's leaders.

But the hosts paid the price for a last-gasp stoppage-time attack from Darnel Furlong's long throw. Enzo Maresca's Foxes broke with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, scorer of the 72nd-minute opener, in on goal. He smartly squared for England international Winks to slot into an empty net.

A shell-shocked Hawthorns emptied with memories of the 2-1 home defeat to Huddersfield in early September flooding back. Maja's goal felt more like a winner than an equaliser, but Albion switched off in pushing for a winner and were punished.

Baggies fans would have no complaints for pushing for a winner in the 94th minute, but kamikaze defending left space open and the Foxes pounced to punish to check any growing Albion momentum.

Jeremy Sarmiento (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

To condemn a frustrating afternoon the Baggies lost Matt Phillips to a worrying looking hamstring injury, while star man Okay Yokuslu was booked and is suspended for Sunderland next week.

Jed Wallace, as expected, could not recover from a shoulder injury that forced him out early in Tuesday's victory at Cardiff. He was replaced by striker Brandon Thomas-Asante as Grady Diangana and match-winner Jeremy Sarmiento kept their places.

Phillips returned to the fold for John Swift, who dropped down to the bench. In-form centre-back Kyle Bartley was a surprising omission, he missed out with a minor hamstring problem, from which he should recover by next weekend. Semi Ajayi was handed a first Baggies start in more than two months.

Alex Palmer shields his eyes from the low winter sun (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Maresca, who received a commemorative cap at The Hawthorns for the first time since his 2000 sale to Juventus - which raised vital funds to helped the club rebuild - made five alterations to his side that surprisingly struggled to a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

The only shot in a cagey first 10 minutes saw visiting full-back fires into the Birmingham Road end from distance. Leicester upped the tempo and swarmed Albion's defence, sensing errors and hesitancy, but Albion's backline - specifically Cedric Kipre - stood tall. Ajayi was bright but the hosts got away with one as Kelechi Iheanacho was flagged offside after a loose pass.

It took the hosts 20 minutes to get to grips with the table-toppers, but once they did, Corberan's men were a threat.

It started with the Baggies sensing joy in Leicester's own third. Keeper Mads Hermansen was unconvincing with his feet. Leicester were brave with the ball but Albion got in among them.

Cedric Kipre (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

One move saw Albion in three-on-one with Diangana and Sarmiento with the ball worked to Thomas-Asante. He steadied himself but the shot was well blocked.

The result corner swung in by Phillips reached Kipre at the back stick and the Ivorian's outstretched leg sent the ball crashing on to the left post with Hermansen well beaten.

Yokuslu grew well into the contest and headed an Alex Mowatt free-kick over before Thomas-Asante fired a stinging drive at Hermansen and Phillips lashed a bouncing ball over the crossbar after Yokuslu's fine long pass.

The Foxes struck back in the final five or 10 minutes of the half as Stephy Mavididi found Alex Palmer's near post via a crucial Darnell Furlong interception.

But their big chance came as Iheanacho spun his compatriot Ajayi, who sold himself, and sent a poor effort wide across goal. It was a let off.

The half ended on the sour note of Phillips hobbling off crutching his hamstring after beating the turf after an innocuous piece of closing down, as fears of the winger's injuries of years gone by returned. He was replaced by Swift.

Albion were bright after the interval and Diangana was unlucky to see a well-struck goalbound shot deflected over by Wout Faes.

Leicester were well in it, though, and working the hosts hard. Dewsbury-Hall sent a fizzed cross right along Palmer's six-yard box.

Semi Ajayi (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The contest was on a knife-edge either side of the hour with both teams showing signs of finding the breakthrough.

Chances were at a premium at both ends but one came - and was dispatched - 18 minutes from time.

Leicester spread the play left to right and had a two-v-one on Conor Townsend. Ndidi was the spare runner and released to the byline, where he clipped in a fine cross met flush by Dewsbury-Hall's bullet header from six yards in front of the away end.

It was a gutter for the hosts, who had Yokuslu booked moments later, meaning he misses Sunderland through suspension.

Corberan issued a triple change and Albion tried to rally and rally they did. Maja poked home showing real predatory nous for what looked like a very well-deserved point.

Heartbreak would follow, though, deep into stoppage time. The hosts sensed a winner with momentum in their sails. Long throw after long throw came. Furlong's latest was cleared, and one simple pass dissected Albion, for Dewsbury-Hall and Winks to combine devastatingly and condemn the Baggies.


Albion (4-2-3-1): Palmer; Furlong, Ajayi, Kipre, Townsend (c); Mowatt (Molumby, 76), Yokuslu (Chalobah, 86); Phillips (Swift, 45+1), Diangana (Maja, 76), Sarmiento (Fellows, 76); Thomas-Asante.

Subs not used: Griffiths, Taylor, Pieters, Pipa.

Leicester City (4-3-3):

Hermansen; Pereira (c), Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Winks, Ndidi (Casadei, 87), Dewsbury-Hall; McAteer, Mavididi (Fatawu, 62), Iheanacho.

Subs not used: Stolarczyk, Coady, Vardy, Souttar, Choudhury, Cannon, Akgun.

Attendance: 24,382 (2,009 Leicester fans)

Referee: Tim Robinson