Match Reports

U23 Report: Swansea City 2 Albion 3

By Kieran Cleeves • 26 November 2018

  • Albion record stunning comeback victory
  • Liam Cullen and Keiran Evans put the hosts 2-0 ahead
  • Aaron Connolly nets twice for the Seagulls
  • Viktor Gyokeres hits late winner to clinch three points

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s produced an exceptional second-half performance to complete a remarkable comeback from two goals down to beat Swansea City 3-2 at the Landore Training Ground this evening.

After going behind to early goals from Liam Cullen and Keiran Evans, the Seagulls showed determination and character to turn the game around, thanks to a brace from Aaron Connolly and Viktor Gyokeres’s 90th-minute winner.

There were also three assists for Ben White, as the full-back showed pinpoint accuracy to find his team-mates, who showed their clinical nature in front of Swansea’s goal.

Simon Rusk welcomed back Leo Ostigard to the heart of Albion’s defence, while Jordan Davies lined up behind top goalscorer Connolly in the number ten position.

Albion made a positive start to the contest, creating two chances inside the opening minutes, but Connolly’s angled shot flew just wide, before Gyokeres powered a header past the far post.

Despite their early pressure, the Seagulls fell behind in the tenth minute from a long throw-in, as the ball dropped kindly for Cullen inside the penalty area, which allowed the striker to finish low past Hugo Keto.

It proved just the start of a disappointing period for Rusk’s team, because just six minutes later they found themselves 2-0 behind, when Evans picked out the bottom corner from long distance.

The Seagulls had done themselves no favours and quickly went in search of halving the deficit, but Anders Dreyer’s firm effort at the back post was blocked after George Cox picked out the Danish winger.

Albion returned for the second half and enjoyed more of the ball leading into the hour mark, but a string of corners caused little trouble for the hosts, as the Swans defended well to quash any potential danger.

Rusk was forced into his first change of the game in the 64th minute, as Davies went down with an ankle injury, which opened the door for his namesake Archie to enter the field as his replacement.

Despite being two goals behind, the Seagulls continued to work hard and were rewarded with a lifeline in the 74th minute, and it was Connolly who latched onto White’s searching pass and finished for his 16th goal of the season.

Just two minutes later and Connolly extended that tally further to draw the game level — a fine pass from Davies released White down the right wing and the full-back picked out the Irishman, who confidently dispatched to make it 2-2.

Gyokeres was inches away from completely turning the game on its head in the 79th minute, but the Swede’s powerful header from Dreyer’s cross hit the underside of the crossbar and arguably looked to have crossed the goal line.

Both sides looked determined to find a winning goal and just moments before the fourth official lifted the board to signal three minutes of additional time, the Seagulls completed their breathtaking turnaround.

Another brilliant pass from White released Gyokeres into the final third, and the Swede showed composure to poke the ball past the onrushing Swans goalkeeper to find the back of the net and seal three hard-earned points for the Seagulls.

The result moved Albion into third position in the Premier League 2 Division 1, and Rusk’s team welcome Leicester City to the south coast in their next fixture on Monday 10th December.

ALBION: Keto; White, Barclay, Ostigard, Cox; Sanders, Normann; Dreyer, J.Davies (A.Davies 64), Gyokeres; Connolly.

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