- Albion’s under-18 beat Chelsea at Cobham
- Ben Wilson scores last-gasp winning goal
- Albion inflict second home defeat on Chelsea since 2015
- The Seagulls win third successive away game
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18s recorded a memorable 1-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday, as Ben Wilson’s stoppage-time goal inflicted defeat on the hosts for only the second time at their Cobham training ground since April 2015.
The Seagulls were denied a point in stoppage time when the Blues visited the south coast back in October, but Mikey Harris and Mark Beard’s team produced a superb performance this time around to clinch an eye-catching victory.
Wilson’s cool finish from Ryan Longman’s cutback broke the deadlock in the final moments at Cobham, as the Seagulls produced a stunning reaction to their 3-1 defeat at Southampton earlier this month.
The sides had to deal with difficult weather conditions throughout, as the wind proved a constant factor, but Julian Carre fired the first attempt of the game in the early stages, but saw his effort rise over the crossbar.
Marcel Lewis provided an early threat for the hosts, darting to the front post to meet Marcel Lavinier’s cross, but thankfully for Albion, the Chelsea winger was unable to keep his header on target.
Wilson went in search of an opener for the Seagulls soon after, but fired narrowly wide of the target, before Jack Spong’s curling free kick dropped just wide of Jake Askew’s goal.
Spong had another go at beating the Chelsea shot-stopper, as his powerful header forced Askew into a full-stretch save, moments before Armando Broja raced in-behind and found the side-netting.
Albion goalkeeper Carl Rushworth came to his team’s rescue shortly before the break, making two fine stops to deny Broja and Thierno Ballo from putting the home side ahead.
Stefan Vukoje and Danny Cashman combined well at the start of the second half to almost give Albion the lead, but Askew was alert to race off his line and smother the latter’s shot.
Chances were few and far between during the second 45 minutes, however Rushworth showed concentration and reliability in the Albion goal, saving well from Ekwah Elimby in the closing stages of the match.
Time was running out for the Seagulls to find an unexpected winning goal, but Rushworth triggered a quick break down the left wing, finding Ryan Longman, who skipped past a number of challenged to enter the final third.
Longman reached the byline and cut the ball back for Wilson inside the box, and the Albion forward applied a composed finished from close range to find the back of the net and seal a memorable last-gasp victory against the reigning Under-18 Premier League champions.
ALBION: Rushworth; Tanimowo, Clark-Eden, Cocoracchio, Turns; Carre, Spong; Wilson, Vukoje (Everitt 78), Longman; Cashman.
Subs not used: Zalewski (GK), Lopata, Tutt, Tolaj.