FRIENDLY REPORT: Wanderers 4 West Bromwich Albion 3

Dempsey Morley congratulations

Wanderers wanted goals to take into the new season and duly delivered them in a cracking final warm-up win against the Championship Baggies.

Kyle Dempsey scored a classy double and defender Will Forrester opened his account for the club as the Whites twice came from behind to lead mid-way through the second half.

An opportunist strike from West Brom dangerman Brandon Thomas-Asante looked as though it might deny Ian Evatt’s men a win to propel them into next Saturday’s League One opener at home to Lincoln City.

But Wanderers will go into the real thing unbeaten throughout their pre-season build-up and on the back of a confidence-boosting victory thanks to Aaron Morley’s superb injury-time winner.

With six minutes of added time played in a glimpse of what’s to come in the EFL the Whites kept going to the end.

And they were rewarded when pressure and a succession of passes around the Albion penalty area paid off with Carlos Mendes Gomes laying the ball off for fellow substitute Morley to create the space for a long-range strike he buried into the back of the net with a stunning strike.

Dempsey goal WBA

The Whites made three changes to their starting line-up for their final friendly and the end of the phoney war.

On-loan defender Zac Ashworth came in against his parent club with Jack Iredale nursing a minor knock.

In front of Ashworth there was also another outing for George Thomason, while Dan Nlundulu partnered Dion Charles in attack.

It took a while for the Whites to get going, though, and 10 minutes in they found themselves a goal behind when Darnell Furlong released Jed Wallace to fire past Nathan Baxter.

Playing off front man Thomas-Asante, the Baggies were dangerous on the break and it took a decent save from Baxter to prevent Matt Phillips from doubling the visitors’ lead with a low shot bound for the bottom corner of the net.

Dempsey second goal WBA

When Wanderers did start to put some passes together they made a decent chance of their own and could have been level.

Randell Williams’ pass to Kyle Dempsey got the Whites on the front foot and when Josh Dacres-Cogley laid off Dempsey’s diagonal ball, Dion Charles struck a first time effort over the bar.

Dempsey’s dangerous forward runs looked a likely avenue for a potential equaliser as Wanderers had the better of the exchanges ahead of the break.

And when they did make it 1-1 in the final minute of the first half it was through that man Dempsey.

This time he received the ball at his feet as Wanderers tried to work an opening and the midfielder did the rest by cutting inside and curling a beauty into the top corner from almost 25 yards out.

Will Forrester celebration WBA

There was an edge to the contest as referee Simon Mather issued a flurry of yellow cards and also some quality as Albion regained the lead 10 minutes into the second half.

Another fine pass from Furlong pierced Wanderers’ back line for Wallace to cross low to the impressive Thomas-Asante, who slotted home.

But if that was a good goal, so was the one the Whites scored to respond immediately.

Evatt’s men again worked the ball well through the middle before Josh Dacres-Cogley fed Dempsey to take a touch and then fire a low shot back across Josh Griffiths and into the far corner.

That was Dempsey’s final touch of an excellent afternoon as Evatt made changes and one of them, Forrester, made an instant impression.

Morley goal West Brom

The summer signing almost scored in the mid-week draw against Everton and this time he did get his first goal in a Wanderers’ shirt by moving forward from the back, collecting the ball just outside the penalty area and bending a low, right-footed shot into the bottom corner.

It didn’t prove to be a winner as mis-placed pass from Baxter handed Thomas-Asante an equaliser and a fourth goal in a frantic 15 minutes.

But Wanderers still had time to make sure they would come out on top in another impressive showing against higher-ranked opposition.

Griffiths denied Victor Adeboyejo with a flying save but had no answer to Morley's thunderbolt as the Whites signed off their summer in style.

Wanderers: Baxter; Jones (Sadlier 73), Almeida Santos, Ashworth (Forrester 62); Dacres-Cogley Thomason, Sheehan (Morley 62), Williams (Conway 83); Dempsey (Mendes Gomes); Nlundulu (Adeboyejo 67), Charles (Jerome 67). Substitutes: Coleman.

Booked: Ashworth, Sheehan, Nlundulu

West Bromwich Albion: Griffiths; Furlong, Ajayi, Kipre, Townsend; Yokuslu; Swift, Mowatt; Wallace, Thomas-Asante, Phillips. Substitutes (used): Bartley, Pieters, Chalabah, Gardner-Hickman, Fellows, Malcolm, Hall, Faal.

Booked: Furlong, Yokuslu

Referee: Simon Mather

Attendance: 4,900

Read Time: 4 mins