West Brom claim hard-fought Carabao Cup win over Mansfield

West Brom academy products Jonathan Leko and Kyle Edwards both scored their first senior goals for the club to earn the side a hard-fought 2-1 win against Mansfield in the Carabao Cup.

Leko pounced after 26 minutes to put Albion in control only for Neal Bishop’s first goal for Mansfield to draw Town level in the 69th minute.

Mansfield, who had arrived at The Hawthorns boosted by an unbeaten start to the season, were far from overawed but saw their giant killing hopes extinguished by Edwards in the 75th minute.

Mansfield then squandered a fantastic second minute chance to shock Albion when Craig Davies found himself free in the Albion area after being picked out by a cross from CJ Hamilton.

Davies was six yards from goal with only goalkeeper Boaz Myhill to beat, but fired his shot across the face of goal.

Albion then almost gifted Mansfield the opening goal in bizarre fashion after 18 minutes when central defender Craig Dawson, who was making his first start seeking a summer move, sliced the ball towards his own goal and was relieved to see Myhill tip the ball away.

It was an escape that Albion cashed in on when a swift attack was finished by Leko. Edwards released Burke and the Scotland international showed the Mansfield defence a clean pair of heels before rolling the ball to Leko who made no mistake from eight yards.

Burke should have doubled Albion’s advantage three minutes later only to be superbly denied by goalkeeper Robert Olejnik who frustrated Albion for a second time nine minutes into the second-half when he beat away Leko’s drive.

Olejnik was starting to become overworked as he then tipped away a drive by Dawson and denied Leko again in the space of a couple of minutes.

Mansfield then almost cashed in on his good play after 65 minutes when substitute Danny Rose, with his first touch, let fly from 25 yards only to see his shot fly off the post.

Rose may have been denied his own moment of glory but he had a hand in Mansfield’s equaliser when he collected a pass from Hamilton and fed Bishop who guided his shot past Myhill from 25 yards.

But Mansfield’s hopes of going on to pull off an upset were dashed six minutes later when Edwards cut in to the left hand side of the area and beat Olejnik with a rising right foot drive that whistled into the top corner of the net.

Mansfield refused to go down without a fight with Myhill saving from Rose before Jordan Graham and Krystian Pearce were narrowly off target on a frantic finale.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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