- Albion’s under-18s rescue late point at the Amex
- Stefan Ljubicic seals brace with 90th-minute strike
- Dimitri Sea and Jacob Ramsey score for Aston Villa
- The Seagulls welcome Chelsea in the Premier League Cup on Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18s struck late to claim a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa, in an entertaining contest at the Amex.
Stefan Ljubicic’s brace, including a last-minute strike, gave Albion a share of the spoils, after goals from Dimitri Sea and Jacob Ramsey gave Villa a 2-1 lead.
Alex Cochrane had Albion’s first chance of the game inside the opening minute, as his free-kick was spilled by Villa keeper Mani Idem before the danger was cleared.
The Seagulls had another free-kick from the corner of the box after Danny Cashman was fouled, and Jayden Onen fired the resulting set piece over the bar.
Cashman was involved in the thick of the action again just moments later, after he was played through on goal by Isaac Hutchinson, but the former’s shot went straight at Idem.
Lewis Brunt had the first opportunity for Villa after he spotted Thomas McGill off his line, but his effort sailed wide of the target from long distance.
Ian Buckman’s side thought they had broken the deadlock when Ljubicic rose highest inside the box to meet Cochrane’s cross, but his header was cleared off the line by Dominic Revon.
Albion continued their dominance and this time Hutchinson fired wide from the edge of the box after being teed up by Ryan Longman.
McGill was then called into action moments later, as he produced a fine one-handed save to keep out Dimitri Sea’s header.
Sea wasn’t denied moments later though, as he beat McGill with a close-range strike from Mason Birch’s cross to give Villa the lead with 43 minutes on the clock.
The West Midlands side could have doubled their advantage just moments after the re-start when Jacob Ramsey showed good strength to reach the byline, only to see his shot flash across the face of goal.
Albion struck next though and levelled the scores through Ljubicic, who fired home past Idem from Longman’s cross with 52 minutes played.
The Seagulls nearly turned the scoreline on its head when Cashman set up Hutchinson on the edge of the box, but Idem made a fine save to deny the latter.
Aston Villa re-took the lead through Ramsey after McGill twice denied full-back Jake Walker, but the former was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Cashman looked to restore parity to the scoreline with a shot from distance, but Idem made brilliant one-handed save.
Longman then had a chance to eliminate the deficit, however his deft header clipped the outside of the post.
But Ljubicic ensured Albion claimed a share of the spoils when he shotted home from inside the box in the 90th minute, to conclude an end-to-end game at the Amex.
ALBION: McGill; Longman, Shihab, Roberts, Cochrane; Araujo, Morrison, Hutchinson (Kone 80); Cashman, Onen (Fornah 67), Ljubicic.
SUBS NOT USED: Bentley (GK), Tutt, Ferguson.