- Albion lift the Sussex Community Shield
- Steven Alzate scores two on his debut
- Aaron Connolly, James Tilley and Max Sanders add goals
- Danny Mandroiu and Jordan Davies finish off the scoring
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s won the Sussex Community Shield after recording an emphatic 7-0 victory over Shoreham at Culver Road this evening.
New signing Steven Alzate bagged a brace on his Albion debut, with Aaron Connolly, James Tilley, Max Sanders, Danny Mandroiu and Jordan Davies also finding the back of the net, to condemn the Musselmen to a convincing defeat.
Albion began the game on the front foot and tested Shoreham goalkeeper James Broadbent inside the opening minutes, but close-range efforts from Tyler Forbes and Connolly were comfortably dealt with.
The Seagulls did, however, take the lead in the sixth minute, and it was Connolly who latched onto a searching pass over Shoreham’s defence, before rounding Broadbent and rolling the ball into an empty net.
Sanders then received the ball inside the box and created space for a shot, but Broadbent was on hand to deny the midfielder, before Connolly had an effort cleared off the line after rolling the ball under the Shoreham shot-stopper.
Tilley tested Broadbent with a powerful inswinging free kick from the corner of the penalty area, and although the striker was unable to find the back of the net on that occasion, he made no mistake with his next effort.
After winning a free kick just outside the box, Tilley calmly stepped up and curled the ball over the wall and into the left-hand side of Broadbent’s goal, to extend Albion’s lead in the 17th minute.
Debutant Alzate made it 3-0 in the 25th minute after slotting a penalty into the bottom corner, following some neat play from the winger that drew a foul from Lee Denyer inside the box.
Two quick-fire goals from Sanders and Mandroiu extended Albion’s advantage to five goals before the break, with the former bending an effort into the far corner, before the latter finished off a brilliant passing move with a well-placed volley.
The Musselmen had their best opportunity to cut Albion’s lead shortly after the interval, but Tom Caplin fired over the crossbar after arriving late inside the penalty area.
Rian O’Sullivan found Alzate in space inside the 18-yard box, but the former Leyton Orient man’s first-time header looped over the crossbar as Albion went in search of a sixth goal.
And just minutes after substitute Davies came on, the Seagulls had their next goal, and it was the Welshman who cut inside and fired a powerful left-footed strike past Broadbent.
Alzate bagged his second goal of the game in the 67th minute, as he raced into the box and latched onto Forbes’s parried shot, before drilling the ball home for Albion’s seventh.
The number 11 almost secured his hat-trick when he steadied himself to shoot from ten yards, but his curling left-footed strike sailed narrowly wide of the target, before Sanders fired over the crossbar with an ambitious effort from 25 yards.
Shoreham were reduced to ten men in the closing stages, after Denyer lunged in on Collar with a late tackle, and referee Michael Ryan produced a second yellow card for the defender, who was already walking on thin ice.
Sanders went close to adding an eight goal for the Seagulls, but the score remained at 7-0 and Albion lifted the Sussex Community Shield after a commanding performance at Culver Road.