- Albion are edged out 1-0 by Southampton
- Stefan Ljubicic hits the bar for the Seagulls
- Harlem Hale fires the winning goal for the Saints
- Albion play Blackburn Rovers at home next weekend
Brighton & Hove Albion under-18s were narrowly beaten 1-0 against Southampton this afternoon, in a tight affair at the Staplewood Training Ground.
The Saints struck late on through Harlem Hale to snatch all three points, despite a hard-working display from the Seagulls, who’s search for a league victory stretched to seven games.
The hosts went close to taking the lead inside the opening exchanges, but efforts from Kornelius Hansen and Michael Obafemi failed to beat Tom McGill between the sticks.
Isaac Hutchinson had Albion’s first opportunity to break the deadlock after latching onto Alex Cochrane’s forward pass, but the winger’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was saved by Alex Cull.
Another chance came when the Seagulls were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, however Jayden Onen’s curling effort cleared the crossbar from 25 yards.
Albion continued to press and the best opportunity of the first half fell to Stefan Ljubicic, as his close-range effort came back off the woodwork following some positive attacking play from Hutchinson.
Ryan Longman tested Cull shortly before the break, but neither side were able to find a breakthrough after 45 minutes as they headed in on level terms.
The Hampshire side came out positively in the second half, but McGill was on hand to make a superb save from Hansen after Will Ferry lifted an impressive pass over Albion’s defence.
Hamish Morrison then drove down the wing, beating two players en route, but after the full-back’s cross was laid back into Longman by Ljubicic, the winger’s firm strike was saved by Cull.
Longman arrived inside the box to meet a Hutchinson set-piece delivery, but his glancing header dropped wide of the target - and with the game heading towards a draw, the Seagulls were dealt a late blow.
Hale fired past McGill with 11 minutes remaining after some excellent hold-up play from Obafemi, and despite some late pressure from Albion - they were unable to find an equaliser.
ALBION: McGill; Morrison, Clark-Eden, Roberts, Kone; Longman (Shihab 72), Araujo, Cochrane, Hutchinson (Fornah 84); Onen (Cashman 60), Ljubicic.
SUBS NOT USED: Bentley (GK), Ferguson.