- Albion advance to the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup semi-finals
- Henrik Bjordal scores a brace
- Tom Dallison also on target for the Seagulls
- Elliot Benyon scores a late consolation for Whitehawk
Brighton & Hove Albion secured their place in the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Whitehawk at The Terrapura Ground.
Henrik Bjordal’s brace and Tom Dallison’s strike put Albion into a 3-0 lead, before Elliot Benyon scored a consolation for the hosts late on.
Albion didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock, as Bjordal took advantage of some sloppy Whitehawk defending and rounded goalkeeper Daniel Wilks, before slotting the ball into an empty net with just five minutes on the clock.
Rusk’s side had a chance to extend their lead with a free-kick from just outside the box, but the set-piece by Max Sanders went just over the bar.
Bjordal was involved in the thick of proceedings again when the Norwegian was allowed to turn inside the box but saw his effort deflect wide.
Whitehawk’s Ky Marsh-Brown was allowed to cut inside from the left and drift into a set-piece position, and his shot took a deflection before going wide.
The hosts didn’t create too many chances of note in the first half, but there was a nervy moment in the Albion defence when Tom McGill spilled the ball inside the box, before the Seagulls defence cleared the danger.
Whitehawk had a brilliant chance to restore parity to the scoreline through Benyon, but after the striker rose highest inside the area, he watched his header go wide.
The Seagulls came close again through Tyler Forbes, who was allowed to drift inside from the right and shift the ball onto his left foot, but Wilks made a save down to his left.
The Hawks had a brilliant chance to level the scores deep in first-half stoppage time when the ball fell to Gold Omotayo inside the box, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Omotayo had another chance to bring the Hawks back onto level terms with a near-post header from Sam Chaney’s corner, but he couldn’t find the target.
But despite the hosts’ bright start to the second half, it was Albion who struck again through Bjordal, who was played through down the right and his low strike beat Wilks with 65 minutes on the clock.
The hosts were undeterred by the setback and kept peppering around the Albion penalty area, as Marsh-Brown raced to the byline before forcing McGill into a low save at his near post.
But the game was effectively ended as a contest thanks to Dallison, who slotted home from close range at the end of a brilliantly-worked free-kick to all but secure Rusk’s side a place in the semi-finals.
The hosts had the final word though, as Benyon headed home from deep inside the box from an in-swinging free-kick to make the final score 3-1.
ALBION: McGill; Moore, Hall, Dallison; Forbes (Longman 66), Sanders, A.Davies, O'Sullivan; Alzate (Morrison 80), Bjordal (Connolly 66), J Davies.
SUBS NOT USED: Collings (GK), Mateju.