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29 August 2017 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

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Match Previews

CHECKATRADE TROPHY PREVIEW: MK DONS V ALBION

29 August 2017

Bennett Dean
Albion under-23s captain Dessie Hutchinson.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s turn their attentions to the Checkatrade Trophy this evening, as they visit League One side MK Dons for their opening game in the competition, kick-off 7.45pm.

Simon Rusk’s team reached round three of the tournament last season, after progressing from Group G, before a 3-0 defeat to the eventual winners Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.

The Seagulls beat Leyton Orient in their final group-stage fixture and made it to the third round after sealing an impressive 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow.

Albion’s under-23s will travel to Oxford United after their game at stadium:mk tonight, before their group stage schedule concludes at Stevenage, where they drew 2-2 last season, before winning a penalty shootout for an extra point.

Rusk’s side started their Premier League 2 Division 2 campaign with back-to-back victories over Norwich City and Fulham, before narrowly losing 2-1 to Reading at the Amex on Friday evening.

Albion are one of 16 Category One academy teams to enter this season’s Checkatrade Trophy, along with Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, while the remaining 48 teams come from League One and League Two.

Six players in Albion’s starting line-up must have been under the age of 21 on 30th June 2016, meaning Rusk can call upon five members of Chris Hughton’s first-team squad if needed.

If this evening’s game ends all square after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout will take place between the sides, with an additional point the reward.

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Match Reports

U23 REPORT: MK DONS 2 ALBION 0

29 August 2017

Albion's under-23s in action at Stadium MK.
  • Albion open Checkatrade Trophy account with defeat to MK Dons
  • Gboly Ariyibi breaks the deadlock for the hosts
  • Aaron Tshibola adds with a second-half penalty
  • James Tilley hits the post with a 25-yard free-kick late on

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s were beaten 2-0 in their opening Checkatrade Trophy fixture this evening, as MK Dons claimed all three points at Stadium MK.

Simon Rusk’s young team were undone by goals either side of half time, as Gboly Ariyibi slotted home from close range, before Aaron Tshibola’s penalty rounded off a comfortable win for Albion’s League One opponents.

The Seagulls made an encouraging start to the game and enjoyed a fair share of possession inside the opening stages, with Aaron Connolly firing his team’s first effort at goal over the crossbar from long range.

Dons winger Ariyibi then replied with a ferocious effort from 25 yards, but his ambitious strike sailed high and wide of Robert Sanchez’s goal.

The Albion shot-stopper found himself stranded off his line after 23 minutes, and with Brandon Thomas-Asante looping a shot over the Spaniard, Josh Kerr raced back to brilliantly head off the line.

But as the hosts continued to apply pressure, they got their reward in the 32nd minute, when Brandon Thomas-Asante pounced on defensive error and slotted into an empty net to give his team the lead.

Max Sanders picked George Cox’s surging run down the left wing, and after finding Connolly at the back post, the forward’s first-time header sailed straight into the hands of Dons goalkeeper Wieger Sietsma.

Ariyibi went in search of his second goal shortly before the break, but the winger’s low-driven effort was comfortably saved by Sanchez.

James Tilley had Albion’s opening effort after the break, as he rose to meet Rian O’Sullivan’s pin-point cross to the back post, but the Albion winger glanced his header wide of the target.

Kerr then played a risky pass back to Sanchez just short of the hour mark, and after doing his best to control the ball inside the six-yard box, the Spaniard raced off his line to clear the danger with a perfectly-timed sliding challenge.

Sam Nombe came close to extending his team’s narrow lead when he crashed a header against the crossbar from a matter of yards, before Thomas Asante’s deflected effort was stopped low down by Sanchez.

The League one side continued to threaten in the final third and were awarded a penalty when Sanchez brought down Thomas-Asante inside the box, and Tshibola stepped up to convert with confidence to make it 2-0.

Tilley almost pulled a goal back for Albion in the closing stages, as his 25-yard free-kick curled over the wall and cannoned back off the post, but MK Dons held onto their clean sheet and took all three points.

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