Liverpool Res 4 Albion Res 1
JUNICHI Inamoto's first appearance in a Baggies shirt ended in defeat after Liverpool struck three times in the final 11 minutes.
The Japan international took centre stage at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground as he enjoyed his first action since suffering a hairline fracture of his leg against England in June.
'Ina' belied his four-month injury lay off in an encouraging first-half display before being subbed at half-time as a precaution with the game goalless.
Inamoto's replacement Adam Chambers set up the match's opening goal for Rob Elvins in the 53rd minute before the visitors' defensive frailties saw them convert a promising display into a heavy defeat.
Darren Potter clawed Liverpool level in the 62nd minute and goals from Neil Mellor in the 79th and 87th minutes, sandwiching Robbie Foy's 86th-minute effort, sentenced Albion to a third successive defeat.
But Gary Shelton insisted Inamoto's first outing for his new club was a big consolation for Albion on an otherwise disappointing night.
"Ina was very good for 45 minutes," said the reserve team manager.
"He showed one or two good touches but obviously lacked match fitness.
"Ina said at half time his ankle was a bit sore so we took him off as a precautionary measure.
"But the signs were encouraging and he can hopefully now build on that."
Shelton was left wondering how Albion had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on the coach journey back to the Black Country.
"We played particularly well in the first half and created two very good chances," said Shelton.
"Rob Elvins, Scott Dobie and James O'Connor worked really hard throughout while Artim Sakiri showed flashes.
"We looked very good until we scored - then the wheels came off.
"Players stopped doing what they had been doing for the first 53 minutes and our overall defending let us down.
"Four-one flattered Liverpool. They didn't win the game - we lost it."