Report: West Bromwich Albion Under-18s 0-2 Blues Under-18s

I was really pleased with our strategy.

Martyn Olorenshaw

Blues Under-18s comfortably beat West Bromwich Albion away on Saturday lunchtime.

The Premier League Cup success was just reward for a controlled performance on the road that saw the hosts fail to register an effort on target.

A goal in either half secured victory across the West Midlands, with Rico Patterson's header setting Blues on their way midway through the first-half. A short-corner routine gave Jordan James the chance to deliver, and his cross was headed back across the 'keeper by the midfielder for the opener.

Further chances came and went for the visitors before the win was wrapped up with 15 minutes left to play. An impressive team move saw the ball work across the entire backline and then through the heart of Albion. George Hall was slipped in behind and his cutback was confidently slotted home from the edge of the area by Brandon Khela.

Speaking after the game, Martyn Olorenshaw gave his reaction as Blues returned to winning ways with success over their local rivals. 

He told "We are delighted as staff and delighted for the players. It has been a tough set of fixtures and it was nice to get a win. But most importantly, it was a really good performance in and out of possession. We had a sloppy spell just after half-time but we then got back on track and killed the game off.

"We changed how we built up from the back a little bit. We tweaked a few details that we felt would help and cause West Brom some problems. The players are getting clearer, better at executing things and more consistent. Especially out of possession, I was really pleased with our strategy."

The victory was Blues' first of the campaign in the PL Cup and lifts them to second in the current Group F standings behind Manchester United, with the Under-18s Lead Coach hoping the result can be used as a launchpad ahead of facing Crystal Palace next.

Olorenshaw said: "It is something that we really want to build on. Unfortunately, we have let an early goal in during most games this season. That is something we are trying to address and change by being more patient. We can build ourselves into the game and build upon the good stuff we have done against West Brom.

"[Against Crystal Palace] we are expecting a really tough game. They are a very athletic team with some good players. Plus, we have a long journey, so it will be tough but if we can build on Saturday and get to grips with it then I still think we can come away with a positive result."

Blues: A. Brooks, Oni, Carsley, Browne, Ogor, Manton, James (Oduwa 80), Home, Hall (Rushton 73), Patterson (Khela 70), Wakefield.

Substitutes not used: Mayo, Beresford.

Goalscorers: Patterson 23, Khela 75.