West Brom secured an expected victory over League Two newcomers Harrogate Town but despite the reasonably strong scoreline, the performance itself left a lot to be desired.
Harrogate arguably looked the better side for the first fifteen minutes, with their forwards putting heavy pressure on Albion’s backline, attempting to force mistakes and capitalise on them.
A few wayward passes from new goalkeeper David Button were cause for concern but the defenders recovered the ball before Harrogate were able to step in and intercept.
Rekeem Harper opened the scoring for the Baggies as his long-ranged effort eighteen minutes in soared past the outstretched gloves of Joe Cracknell.Embed from Getty Images
Hal Robson-Kanu, who was captain for the game, curled the ball past Cracknell five minutes later from a similar position to Harper to put the Albion two ahead.
Harrogate didn’t give up the fight and continued to apply pressure to Albion, putting the Premier League side on the backfoot.
This was likely a concerning sight for Bilic who, like the fans, expected his side to boss proceedings without a struggle, but the scoreline remained the same going into half-time.Embed from Getty Images
The second-half was rather quiet in comparison to the first and you could argue that the Baggies were becoming complacent, switching to cruise control up until the final whistle.
A nice bit of trickery from Kyle Edwards on the left saw him slip past Warren Burrell and square it along the ground for Callum Robinson to tap in, making it three goals to the good and effectively sealing the win for the Baggies.Embed from Getty Images
Whilst it wasn’t a performance to write home about, the second-string Albion side nevertheless got the job done and secured a spot in the third round of the EFL Cup.
Match Ratings: Button (7); Peltier (6), Kipre (6), O’Shea (7), Townsend (6); Grosicki (6), Field (7), Harper (7), Edwards (7); Robson-Kanu (6), Austin (3). Subs: Sawyers (6), Phillips (5), Robinson (6).
WBA: Button; Peltier, Kipre, O’Shea, Townsend; Grosicki (Phillips 55′), Field, Harper, Edwards; Robson-Kanu (Sawyers 61′), Austin (Robinson 73′).
Harrogate Town: Cracknell; Fallowfield (Jones 73′), Smith, Hall, Burrell; Thomson, Falkingham, Kerry (Kirby 79′), Muldoon; Beck (Stead 61′), Martin.