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Kick off 12:00 (UK)

0-2
12 May 2018 Venue Villa Park Attendance

Kick off 12:00 (UK)

Aston Villa PL2
0 - 2
FT
Brighton and Hove Albion PL2

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4-4-2
  • 1
    Matija Sarcic
    GK
  • 2
    Isaiha Bazeley-Graham
    GK
  • 4
    Easah Suliman
    GK
  • 5
    Jacob Bedeau
    GK
  • 3
    Mitchell Clark
    GK
  • 6
    Jack Clarke
    GK
  • 8
    Jake Doyle-Hayes
    GK
  • 10
    Andre Green
    GK
  • 11
    Jordan Lyden (C)
    GK
  • 7
    Callum O'Hare
    GK
  • 9
    Rushian Hepburn-Murphy
    GK

Substitutes

  • 13
    Viktor Johansson
    SUB
  • 12
    Corey Blackett-Taylor
    SUB
  • 14
    Alex Prosser
    SUB
  • 15
    Kelsey Mooney
    SUB
  • 16
    Jordan Cox
    SUB

Manager

  • -

4-4-2
  • 1
    Robert Sanchez
    GK
  • 2
    Ales Mateju
    DF
  • 3
    George Cox
    DF
  • 4
    Max Sanders (C)
    MF
  • 5
    Ben Barclay
    DF
  • 6
    Tom Dallison
    DF
  • 7
    Henrik Bjordal
    MF
  • 8
    Steven Alzate
    MF
  • 9
    Aaron Connolly
    FW
  • 10
    Danny Mandroiu
    FW
  • 11
    Viktor Gyokeres
    MF

Substitutes

  • 12
    James Tilley
    SUB
  • 13
    Billy Collings
    SUB
  • 14
    Warren O'Hora
    SUB
  • 15
    Bojan Radulovic
    SUB
  • 16
    Alex Cochrane
    SUB

Manager

  • -
    Simon Rusk

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Match Previews

U23 PLAY-OFF FINAL PREVIEW: ASTON VILLA V ALBION

11 May 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Albion's under-23 squad gather round for a team talk.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s meet Aston Villa in the Premier League 2 Division 2 Play-Off Final at Villa Park tomorrow afternoon, kick-off 12pm.

The Seagulls can reach the top tier of under-23 football with victory over the West Midland club, who finished one place ahead of Simon Rusk’s team in second after 22 league matches.

Albion overcame Middlesbrough at the Amex Stadium in the play-off semi-finals - when Henrik Bjordal’s goal and a brace from Viktor Gyokeres secured a 3-0 victory on the south coast.

The Villans reached the final after a scintillating game at Villa Park against Reading ended 4-3 to the hosts, with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s stoppage-time winner breaking the Royals’ hearts.

Rusk’s side have since won the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup, following a late comeback win against Crawley Town at the Amex, which extended their unbeaten run - within 90 minutes - to 17 games.

A stunning run of form since January lifted the Seagulls up the league table into third position, and Rusk’s team currently sit on 87 goals from 39 matches in all competitions this season.

Gyokeres has found the back of the net in seven consecutive matches for Albion’s under-23s, and the Swede will be looking to extend his impressive goalscoring run on the big stage at Villa Park.

The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur await for Saturday’s Play-Off Final winners, as both clubs look to finish off the season with promotion to the Premier League 2 Division 1.

Albion supporters can follow a live text blog from the game on the Match Centre, with a report being uploaded after the full-time whistle.

Fans are encouraged to make the journey to Villa Park en route to Albion’s first team game at Liverpool on the Sunday - and tickets can be purchased from Villa Park.

Tickets are priced at £4 for adults and £1 for concessions.

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Match Reports

U23 REPORT: ASTON VILLA 0 ALBION 2

12 May 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion's under-23s celebrate after winning the Premier League 2 Division 2 Play
  • Albion’s under-23s win the PL2 Play-Off Final
  • Henrik Bjordal fires home in the opening half
  • Aaron Connolly adds a second after the break
  • The Seagulls will play in Premier League 2 Division 1 next season


Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s won promotion to the Premier League 2 Division 1 after sealing a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Division 2 Play-Off Final at Villa Park this afternoon.

Henrik Bjordal fired home for the Seagulls in the opening half, before Aaron Connolly’s header after the break secured victory for Simon Rusk’s team - who ended the season 18 matches unbeaten - within 90 minutes.

Albion will now come up against the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the top flight of under-23 football next season.

The hosts created the first opportunity of the game after ten minutes, when Jordan Lyden slipped the ball into the path of Callum O’Hare, but the Villa winger fired over the crossbar from a tight angle.

Tom Dallison then raced into the box to meet Danny Mandroiu’s corner, but volleyed over the crossbar from the penalty spot, before Robert Sanchez made a comfortable stop from Andre Green up the other end.

The Seagulls were agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when Viktor Gyokeres cut inside off the left wing and bent a low effort towards the bottom corner, but the Swede saw his shot come back off the post.

But two minutes later, in the 23rd minute, Albion took the lead through Bjordal, as the Norwegian made the most of Connolly’s parried shot and made no mistake from close range, as he lashed the ball home.

Villa goalkeeper Matija Sarkic then pulled off a fine save at full stretch to deny Bjordal a second goal of the game, as he leaped across his goal to push the winger’s curling effort away at the back post.

Steven Alzate was next to go close for Rusk’s team, as he ran onto Mandroiu’s cut-back to the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder saw his first-time effort roll just wide of the target.

A series of efforts on Albion’s goal came just before the break, as the ball pinged around the penalty area, but a number of important blocks were made as Albion’s defenders showed desperation to keep the ball out.

Sanchez was forced into making a spectacular save soon after the teams returned for the second half, as he leapt across his goal to make a one-handed save from Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s powerful strike, which was heading towards the top corner.

Villa had the ball in the back of the net on the hour mark, as Hepburn-Murphy lashed home at the back post from Green’s cross - but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside, to the relief of Albion’s players.

But despite Villa’s early pressure in the second half, the Seagulls doubled their lead in the 69th minute to put one hand on the Premier League 2 Division 2 Play-Off Final trophy.

Max Sanders picked up the ball and delivered an inviting cross into the six-yard box, and there was Connolly to glance a header past Sarkic to double Albion’s lead from close range at Villa Park.

Gyokeres almost made it 3-0 when James Tilley’s shot rebounded into the Swede’s path, but Sarkic was on hand to tip his powerful half-volley over the crossbar from inside the box.

Callum O’Hare attempted a spectacular overhead kick in the closing stages, but Sanchez wasn't troubled as he came to claim the midfielder’s effort at goal.

Mandroiu fired just wide in stoppage time for the Seagulls, but moments later the full-time whistle was blown and Albion's promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1 was confirmed - a fine way to end the campaign.

ALBION: Sanchez; Mateju, Dallison, Barclay, Cox; Bjordal, Sanders, Alzate, Gyokeres; Mandroiu; Connolly (Tilley 70).

Subs not used: Collings (GK), O’Hora, Cochrane, Radulovic.

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