- The Seagulls draw to extend unbeaten league run to five games
- Will Collar breaks the deadlock for Albion
- Pedro Goncalves levels for the visitors in the closing stages
- Albion travel to Exeter City in the Premier League Cup next Monday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s were denied a third successive league victory as Wolverhampton Wanderers struck in the closing stages to make it 1-1 at the Checkatrade.com Stadium this evening.
After an hour of evenly-contested football between the sides, Will Collar struck from close range to put Albion ahead - but Pedro Goncalves’s fine finish ten minutes from time secured a share of the spoils for the visitors.
Aaron Connolly had Albion’s first change of the game after just four minutes, but the Irishman’s first-time shot from inside the penalty area was deflected behind off Ben Goodliffe.
The visitors then enjoyed a good spell of possession and created a handful of chances to take the lead, but Aaron Collins failed to test Christian Walton significantly, as he fired a low shot into the goalkeeper's hands.
Christian Herc tried his luck from 25 yards but the attacker’s powerful shot was blocked in front of goal, before Michael John sliced wide of the target after breaking forward and rounding Walton inside the penalty area.
Rusk’s team enjoyed their fair share of possession and came close to breaking the deadlock when George Cox delivered a teasing ball across the face of goal, but Henrik Bjordal’s first-time connection went just wide.
Collins continued to look lively for the West Midlanders as he surged through the spine of Albion’s team before the break, but his low-driven effort was easily claimed by Walton to his left-hand side.
The Seagulls made a positive start to the second half, with Soufyan Ahannach firing just over the crossbar from 25 yards, before Bjordal glanced a header narrowly wide of the target from close range.
Connolly then cut inside onto his right foot and drilled a low shot into the hands of Ruddy, and when Jose Xavier looked destined to score up the other end, the striker fired over from Burr’s dangerous cross into the six-yard box.
But Albion broke the deadlock through Will Collar in the 64th minute, as the 20-year-old, who played in central defence, lashed home from inside the penalty area, after Ahannach’s free-kick delivery wasn’t dealt with by Wolves.
Connolly almost doubled Albion’s lead soon afterwards, as he showed great strength to hold off his marker and race in behind, but the forward’s powerful effort was parried away from goal by Ruddy.
Xavier arrived late in Albion’s box and looked to be getting on the end of a inswinging cross, but Collar intercepted with a vital touch that enabled Walton to punch clear and cancel out the danger.
The visitors continued to press for an equaliser and they got their reward in the 80th minute, as Goncalves beat Walton with a smart, first-time finish from Herc’s brilliant lofted pass over Albion’s defensive line.
Ales Mateju fizzed a dangerous cross into the box in the dying stages but no Albion player was able to connect, and time ran out on both sides, meaning Rusk's team had to settle for a point in Sussex.
ALBION: Walton; Forbes, Collar, Hall, Cox; Sanders, Hutchinson; Alzate (Alzate 76), Bjordal (Tilley 65), Ahannach; Connolly.
SUBS NOT USED: Vose (GK), Kerr, J.Davies.