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Club News


22 July 2023

Club News


22 July 2023

COLE Stockton and Bobby Kamwa both scored as football returned to the Pirelli Stadium in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Championship side West Bromwich Albion.

Stockton showed his predatory prowess to nod home Mason Bennett’s chipped cross to equalise for Albion five minutes after Erik Pieters had fired the Baggies ahead after a quarter of an hour. Matt Phillips produced a quality finish to put Carlos Corberan’s men back in front in the first half but Kamwa’s late equaliser gave Albion a third successive 2-2 draw in their preseason programme.

With two weeks to go until the new campaign starts Albion fielded a side with no trialists and the side looked strong with Tom Hamer resigning this week and Jake Caprice added to the ranks along with Jasper Moon.

Hamer’s foul on Phillips just outside the box gave the Baggies an early chance to test Albion from a set-piece but Taylor Gardner-Hickman fired wastefully wide of the far post with an attempted curler.

Home fans got the first sight of what could be in store from Cole Stockton this season when the striker was played in by Hamer on eight minutes. After checking onto his right foot, he wasted little time in firing in an angled effort that was just wide of Alex Palmer’s post.

Brandon Thomas-Asante snuck into the box to guide a header on target on twelve minutes but Jamal Blackman calmly stuck out a hand to prevent the ball passing him.

The Baggies grabbed the lead on the fifteen minutes. After some patient build up the ball was worked to PIETERS whose low shot flew through a ruck of legs and skidded off the greasy surface to find the bottom corner despite Blackman getting a hand to it.

Albion were level five minutes later, Mason Bennett cleverly hung the ball up to the back post where STOCKTON did well to get up and head back across Alex Palmer and into the far corner.

The Brewers were threading some lovely passing moves together and they almost caught West Brom on a counter-attack just before the half hour mark, Steve Seddon leading the break out with Mark Helm and Joe Powell eventually working the ball to the right where Hamer had advanced into the box but could not quite reach the cross.

After a spell where the game was pretty even it was the visitors who went back ahead on 37 minutes, Alex Mowatt picking a pass through the Burton rear-guard to find the run of PHILLIPS who outpaced the defence to drive a rising effort into the net.

Bennett almost immediately had a chance to equaliser again, Helm dummying Seddon’s chip forwards allowing the former Millwall man to turn on the edge of the shot but his tame effort was straight at Palmer.

Blackman got down superbly well to deny Thomas-Asante as the game ticked towards half-time amidst something of a scramble in the Burton box and as the play switched quickly to the other end again Bennett was unlucky to see an angled shot deflect wide of the post for a corner.

Half Time: Burton Albion 1-2 West Bromwich Albion

Whilst Albion remained unchanged after the break, as the players build up their match fitness, the visitors changed their whole team for the second half.

Albion almost fell 3-1 behind on 50 minutes when Blackman dwelt on the ball on the edge of his box and was closed down by Mo Faal who turned a hit a low shot that clipped the outside of the post.

Rekeem Harper was not far away from scoring against his former side when Jo Powell’s curling free kick was headed out to him lurking outside the box but his placed effort across keeper Josh Griffiths also missed the upright.

The Baggies threatened just after the hour mark with aquick break down their right but Blackman was equal to the cross with a good save in his six yard box.

Albion then made their first changes with Kegs Chauke and Jake Caprice replacing Helm and Hamer.

Blackman cut an imposing figure when Tom Fellows had a sight of goal midway through the second half, the giant keeper standing tall to block a good effort from the Baggies youngster.

Caprice almost had an assist on 68 minutes when Albion swept forwards and Stockton laid the ball into his path and then advanced into the box to receive the ball back and curl an effort over the bar.

Stockton then left the pitch as Josh Gordon replaced him and Moon saw Sweeney take over in the back three for the remainder of the game.

John Swift thought he had added to the visitors lead on 74 minutes when he strode onto Fellow’s cut back but Blackman again made a good save to deny him and Swift was also denied from his follow-up header.

Late substitutes Ciaran Gilligan and Charlie Lakin almost managed to fashion an equaliser when the latter nicked possession and drove into the box but his pass to Gilligan left him with an acute angle and the Baggies able to block.

Albion’s persistence paid off when KAMWA was able to curl home a lovely effort after Hughes had picked up the ball at the back post and laid it into his path to round off another promising performance as the League One season edges closer.

ALBION: Blackman; Brayford, Hughes, Moon (Sweeney, 68); Hamer (Caprice, 62), Harper (Gilligan, 82), Powell, Seddon (Lakin, 82); Helm (Chauke, 62), Bennett (Kamwa, 77); Stockton (Gordon, 68).

Substitutes: Crocombe, Carayol, Delap.

GOALS: ALBION: Stockton (20) Kamwa (89) ; WEST BROM: Pieters (15), Phillips (37)

Referee: Tom Reeves

Attendance: 2,633

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