Carlos Corberan was left to rue West Brom striker Brandon Thomas-Asante’s failure to manage the situation after he was handed two quick-fire yellow cards in the first half of his side’s 1-0 defeat to Sunderland at The Hawthorns.

West Brom were reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute when Thomas-Asante was booked twice in quick succession for fouls on Jack Clarke and Dan Ballard – the latter whose every touch was booed by the home fans after his challenge in the reverse fixture had ruled Josh Maja out for four months.

Albion’s situation worsened further in first half stoppage time when Pierre Ekwah struck the only goal and inflicted a first defeat in 11 matches on the hosts, who are still seeking to confirm their place in the Championship play-offs.

The Baggies were marginally the better side heading towards half-time and with the game goalless, but a dramatic few minutes saw them lose their striker and fall behind.

“The second yellow card had a massive impact. You can have desire, but when you have a yellow card, you need to increase the calm,” Corberan said.

“To concede from a set-piece after losing a player is painful.

“If the referee understood it to be a yellow card, it has been our mistake to achieve two yellow cards. It’s a lesson for Brandon and it’s a lesson for us.

“We haven’t had the experience to play with a player less since I arrived. I know for some teams how much of a disadvantage it can be.

“For me it was unfair that in the first game, they injured Maja. It was a terrible action. It was unbelievable. The player (Ballard) who scored that day injured a player and the referee didn’t send him off or give him a yellow card.

“It was ridiculous – not just because it was against us, I am talking about football. If somebody today breaks their limits with two actions, they’re two yellow cards. When you have a yellow card, you must control yourself.”

Sunderland interim manager Mike Dodds, who guided the Black Cats to only their second victory in 12 with this win, was pleased with Ballard’s application in a testing atmosphere.

The centre-half enjoyed conducting the celebrations with the travelling supporters at the final whistle.

“It can work that way,” Dodds replied, when asked whether the boos could act as a performance stimulus.

“When you have a group like ours, and the opposition fans want to give some stick, they’ll stick up for each other. It brings the group closer together, but Dan is a big boy. He’s an international, he’s a Premier League player in waiting for me. He can take it.

“I was a bit surprised. I am always respectful to the fans, but the first boo did take me by surprise.

“He’s a great kid, Dan. West Brom fans target him, that’s fine, it’s a part of the game. Dan showed today he can handle that side of the game, but I didn’t need today as confirmation.”

West Brom further cemented their position in the Championship play-off places with a thumping 4-1 win over struggling Blackburn at The Hawthorns.

Tom Fellows opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a header before Brandon Thomas-Asante doubled the hosts’ lead on the half-hour mark.

An unfortunate own goal by Dominic Hyam three minutes later all but wrapped up victory for the Baggies before half-time.

Blackburn pulled a goal back after 60 minutes through Jake Garrett, but the visitors badly missed top-scorer Sammy Szmodics, out through illness.

And the host put the game to bed as Thomas-Asante struck his ninth league goal of the season after 63 minutes.

West Brom stay fifth, while Blackburn drop to 18th, 10 points above the relegation zone but winless in six league matches.

West Brom opened the scoring after Darnell Furlong’s long throw was not dealt with by the Blackburn defence.

After initial contact from Kyle Bartley at the front post, Fellows was able to head the ball into the net from a yard out at the back post.

John Swift volleyed over a chance for the second when he was found in behind the Rovers defence by a delightful Alex Mowatt pass.

Furlong then also found himself in behind but could not pick out Thomas-Asante for a clear chance on goal.

Thomas-Asante, though, only needed one sight of goal as, from 18 yards, he fired a low strike across goal and beyond the stretching arm of Leopold Wahlstedt.

A Hyam own goal put the hosts 3-0 up, the ball deflecting in off him after Wahlstedt was unable to collect Mowatt’s strike.

An opportunity to add a was passed up when a deep cross found Fellows, who took the ball down well but struck a left-footed shot wide.

In first half added time Fellows was presented with another good opportunity which he fired over.

Five minutes into the second half Blackburn had their best chance of the match when they caught West Brom playing out from the back.

Harry Leonard only had the goalkeeper to beat but scuffed his shot and it was an easy save for Alex Palmer to make.

Wahlstedt pushed away Fellows’ near-post shot before Palmer leapt across his goal-line to beat away a Sondre Tronstad effort.

The visitors pulled a goal back with half-an-hour remaining when Garrett showed neat footwork and a precise finish into the bottom corner to beat Palmer.

However, Thomas-Asante scored his second of the afternoon with a close-range finish to restore the Baggies’ three-goal cushion.

Harry Winks scored a last-gasp winner as Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester beat West Brom 2-1 in a dramatic finish to give manager Enzo Maresca a winning first return to The Hawthorns.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s 72nd-minute header – his sixth goal of the season – gave Leicester the lead and the midfielder then set up Winks in the fourth minute of stoppage time after substitute Josh Maja looked like he had rescued a point.

Maresca, who started his professional career at West Brom and played 47 games there between 1998-2000, will have been relieved as there was little between the teams, who both hit the goal frame in the first half.

West Brom had a penalty claim turned down when Grady Diangana went down after it appeared he was pushed over in the box; VAR might have intervened if it was available.

Albion then failed to react quickly enough when goalkeeper Mads Hermansen played a poor pass out and it was intercepted, Brandon Thomas-Asante eventually having a shot blocked.

The home side went even closer in the 25th minute when Cedric Kipre stabbed against a post with the goalkeeper beaten after Matt Phillips’s corner had flicked off a couple of heads.

But Leicester returned fire to hit the goal frame themselves when Kelechi Iheanacho’s low angled drive was deflected onto the near post by Darnell Furlong’s lunge.

It looked like things might open up after the break when Diangana’s curling shot was deflected over the bar off Wout Faes.

But instead it became very scrappy, with both teams guilty of giving the ball away in midfield and defences remained on top.

That almost changed when Wilfred Ndidi got on the end of a cross from substitute Abdul Fatawu, but his flicked header under pressure lacked the power to beat Alex Palmer, who fumbled before the ball was cleared.

The Ndidi-Fatawu link-up combined again to devastating effect in the 72nd minute.

Fatawu spotted Ndidi’s run beyond the Albion midfield in the inside right position and the latter crossed for Dewsbury-Hall to nod the ball home ahead of Furlong from six yards out.

Albion equalised in very scrappy fashion. Furlong’s throw-in was headed away by Faes and, when the ball came back in, Kipre helped it on – a grounded Leicester defender could only tee up Maja to prod home his first goal since February 2022.

But Leicester hit Albion on the counter when they broke on a long throw-in and Iheanacho passed from inside his own half to Dewsbury-Hall, who ran 40 yards with the ball before drawing Palmer and slipping in Winks for an open goal.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.