- Albion seal 2-0 victory to reach the semi-finals
- Danny Cashman fires Albion ahead in extra time
- Ben Wilson wraps up the game for Simon Rusk’s side
- The Seagulls will travel to Bognor Regis Town in the last four
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s booked their place in the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup this evening, following a hard-fought 2-0 victory after extra time against Eastbourne Town.
The teams couldn’t be separated after 90 hard-working minutes at The Saffrons, but goals from Danny Cashman and Ben Wilson secured victory for the Seagulls after 30 minutes of extra time.
Rusk made eight changes to the side that beat Manchester City’s under-23s on Friday night, with only Joe Tomlinson, Archie Davies and Cashman remaining in the starting line-up.
The hosts created the first chance of the game after just six minutes, when Daniel Perry burst through on goal, but the forward dragged his angled effort inches wide of the bottom corner.
Teddy Jenks was then dispossessed of the ball by George Taggart, before the Eastbourne forward darted through on goal, but Haydon Roberts raced back to intervene with an important sliding tackle.
Albion were forced into making a change on the half-hour mark when Sam Packham went down with an injury — Ayo Tanimowo was introduced and Rusk’s side switched to a 4-3-2-1 formation.
Both teams struggled to get to grips with a tough surface at The Saffrons, but Albion continued to look for openings, with Cashman and Davies combining well down the right flank.
It was Davies who found the time and space to deliver a dangerous cross into the penalty area shortly before the break, but Eastbourne managed to clear the ball at the first time of asking, after numerous Albion shirts attacked the box.
The sides returned for the second half, and within the opening minute Albion were able to fashion a chance on goal, but Cashman’s dipping half-volley was palmed away by Eastbourne goalkeeper Jason Tibble.
Davies continued to make positive runs down the right flank for the Seagulls, and squared the ball across the edge of the box for Tomlinson, but the wing-back’s left-footed strike sailed over the crossbar.
Billy Collings made his first notable stop of the contest soon after the hour mark, when Taggart shifted the ball onto his left foot and forced the Albion shot-stopper to palm the ball behind for a corner.
As both teams went in search of a winning goal, Cashman took aim from long distance in an attempt to break the deadlock, but the forward’s ambitious effort dropped comfortably wide of the target.
Neither side were able to get the job done in normal time, therefore the match went into 30 minutes of extra time and Albion had a big shout for handball turned down after just six minutes when Ayo Tanimowo’s cross appeared to strike an Eastbourne arm.
But after maintaining their pressure on the home side's goal, the Seagulls found themselves a breakthrough, and it was Cashman’s close-range effort that put Rusk’s side ahead.
Marc Leonard floated in an excellent corner, which Tomlinson met with a header that crashed against the crossbar, and that allowed Cashman to roll the ball over the goal line from a matter of yards.
The home side were reduced to ten men after Bradley Pritchard received a straight red for a late challenge, and Albion took full advantage just one minute later to double their lead.
With the home side’s goalkeeper forward to attack a late set-piece, Albion broke away and found Wilson racing through on an unguarded goal - the forward calmly slotted home to ensure victory and book a place in the semi-finals.
ALBION: Collings; Packham (Tanimowo 29), Roberts (O’Hora 63), Lopata; A.Davies, Jenks, Leonard, Tomlinson; Vukoje, Ljubicic (Wilson 91), Cashman.
Subs not used: Rees (GK), Radulovic.