Andrew Crofts returned to action as Albion’s development squad were denied victory by a late penalty at Brentford.Shamir Goodwin gave the Seagulls the lead on the stroke of 90 minutes to seemingly secure a late victory but the hosts were awarded a last-gasp spot-kick; Grant Smith did excellently to save from Luke Norris but the striker tucked home the rebound.
Midfielder Crofts has been sidelined with a persistent hamstring injury but was impressive during his 30-minute cameo, before Rohan Ince replaced him.
The result puts an end to a six-game winning streak by Luke Williams' side, however they remain unbeaten in 2013.
Solly March crashed a strike off the crossbar in a goalless first half, before both sides created opportunities in the second period.
Williams’ disappointment was evident at the final whistle although feels his side will take something from the game that he cannot teach.
He told, “It was a difficult game; they were very organised and pressed aggressively, but we made too many schoolboy errors on a difficult pitch. Other than that we were good and created chances, we played out from the back and defended with a purpose.
“It was a definite penalty that came about from a bit of inexperience by about five players; it was a scenario you cannot account for. You cannot train for that so if you are lucky it happens to you in a game; if you are a player in development you need it to happen so you learn.
“Five players made errors in the build-up, with one who played a poor pass, then there was bad defending and players diving in but it is a fantastic opportunity for them to learn. It hurts us so they can use that pain to make sure it doesn’t happen again."
Despite missing out on the three points, Albion’s development squad remain poised for a play-off push.
“I believe we deserved to win but I will use what happened today and we are still in with a great chance of finishing within top two. To do that not only do we need to stay unbeaten, we need to go one better and keep winning because we had a slow start.
“I would say the play-offs are a minimum and the players should expect that from themselves because we have the ability and the right group of players.”
Albion: Smith (GK); Sampayo, Dunk (King 77), Maksimenko, Hunt; Rodgers, Richards, Crofts (Ince 35); Goodwin, March (Oatway 77), Agdestein. Subs not used: Barry, Jones.

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