Kenneth Zohore’s first half goal was enough to see Albion through to the fourth round of the FA Cup as they defeated Charlton Athletic 1-0 at The Valley.
This was a tie where both sides rested the majority of their first team players as Charlton made nine changes and Albion made 11.
Albion controlled the majority the game, building the ball up nicely but crucially missing the end product.
Rakeem Harper had the first of the opportunities twisting and shooting with his left foot, but straight at the the Addicks keeper Dillon Phillips.
In the 32nd minute, the Baggies got themselves in front. Zohore linking up nicely with Kyle Edwards, who threaded the ball back through for the Dane, who from a narrow angle slotted the ball under Phillips’ legs for his first goal from open play this season.
Albion were looking to double their lead quickly, and Harper threatened to do just that, shooting over the bar from the edge of the box following a corner.
In the second half, the hosts were aiming to get back into the game and threatened early on with debutant Andre Green forcing Jonathan Bond in to an impressive save.
The Baggies really should have doubled their lead and killed the tie off late on, as Chris Brunt clipped an effort onto the bar, before Phillips saved from Charlie Austin’s rebound.
Austin then crashed the post whilst Albion were on the counter attack, driving the ball low towards the bottom far corner and was left puzzled as to how he didn’t get on the scoresheet this afternoon.
Charlton had the last two glorious chances of the game, both falling to substitute Tomer Hemed. He firstly, crashed the bar with an effort as Sarr headed the ball back across the face of goal from the cross. He then shot narrowly over the bar with the last kick of the game and the Baggies held on to book their place in round four.
This will be a much needed confidence booster as the Baggies earn their first win in five games.
Here’s how we rated the WBA players in the 1-0 win:
Jonathan Bond - 7
Was hardly tested in the first half but made two crucial saves in the second half, denying Green before palming a dangerous cross away from goal.
Dara O'Shea - 7
Completed the whole game at right back and was superb. Got up the flank well and put in some dangerous deliveries whilst doing his defensive duties just as good.
Jack Fitzwater - 7
A surprise to see Fitzwater make his debut but he was very assured and composed on the ball. Dealt with the Charlton forwards really well too. Definitely grasped his opportunity.
Ahmed Hegazi - 7
Every ball that came into the box was headed away by the Egyptian. Held the defensive line well and was a huge reason why Albion kept a clean sheet.
Conor Townsend - 7
Townsend was causing danger down the left and fizzed over numerous crosses, mainly in to Austin. Was composed defensively too and put in a solid shift.
Rakeem Harper - 6
Flashed a couple of efforts over in the first half but in the second half, he didn’t see a lot of the ball. Was replaced late on.
Gareth Barry - 7
Dictated the midfield in large parts and sprayed some beautiful passes around to set up chances for his team mates. A full 95 minutes for Barry will do him the world of good.
Chris Brunt - 6
A bit wasteful in possession at times from Brunt who was used on the wings. Provided dangerous set piece deliveries and was so unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as his clipped effort hit the bar.
Kyle Edwards - 6
Started today and was effective in the first half linking up with Zohore for the goal. Nearly set up Austin late on in the second half with a sweeping cross but the Addicks defence dealt with it. Was withdrawn at the closing the stages.
Charlie Austin - 7
Was a force all afternoon up top with Zohore hassling the hosts defence. Was denied at point blank range by Phillips before hitting the post late on in the second half from the edge of the box.
Kenneth Zohore - 8
Man of the Match today. Provided a much needed outlet to hold the ball up and get Albion forward. Worked hard pressuring the Addicks defence at every opportunity and was rewarded by grabbing his goal towards the end of the first half.