Express & Star

Lewis Cox analysis: Gung-ho West Brom come out on wrong side of Leicester late show - but right call?

Stick or twist? That was the debate over post-match pints across West Bromwich after Saturday’s excruciating last-gasp defeat.

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Albion’s Josh Maja is in the right place at the right time to level the score against Leicester at The Hawthorns (Getty/Adam Fradgley)

Baggies fans had barely finished celebrating Josh Maja’s first goal for the club, an 89th-minute equaliser against Championship leaders and best side in the division Leicester, when disaster struck.

Maja’s goal felt as close to a winner as an equaliser could. But there was one side celebrating victory at full-time – and it was Enzo Maresca’s visitors. Indeed the Italian, who used to grace The Hawthorns surface so delightfully, leapt forward on to the turf in celebration as Harry Winks slotted in the 94th-minute winner in front of a delirious away end.

Only a second Hawthorns defeat of the season for Albion – and only a fourth in Carlos Corberan’s 13 months at the helm – but it carried similar hallmarks of the 2-1 stoppage-time defeat against Huddersfield in early September.

The debate between Albion fans staring wistfully into their beer on Saturday afternoon was whether or not Corberan got it badly wrong in those dramatic dying moments.

A long Darnell Furlong throw-in – undoubtedly a great and probably under-appreciated weapon in Albion’s armoury – had just brought about Maja’s equaliser, when Leicester’s half-cleared effort was tossed back into the box and Maja was coolest in the ensuing scramble.

There was a real din inside the stadium. A minimum of five minutes were added and it had the look and feel of both sides still trying to ‘go for it’. Corberan admitted afterwards he was unhappy at Albion’s lack of care with the ball even before the decisive drama.

So when a throw-in was awarded in Furlong territory in minute 94, the right-back was waved over to the left, the decibels cranked up and Albion sensed a statement winner.

What happened was the opposite. The Foxes cleared, Nathaniel Chalobah and Jayson Molumby – who Corberan revealed should have been the midfield ‘shield’ – were bypassed (could the latter have made a telling professional foul?) and Conor Townsend was exposed.