- Albion denied a point in stoppage time
- Ryan Longman levels the game for the Seagulls
- Tino Anjorin and Henry Lawrence fire home for Chelsea
- Albion are next in action against Fulham at home
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18s were cruelly denied a point in stoppage time on the south coast, as Chelsea found a winning goal to seal a 2-1 victory over the Seagulls in the Premier League South.
Ryan Longman’s late strike looked to have earned a share of the spoils after Tino Anjorin’s opener for the visitors, but Henry Lawrence found the back of net in the dying seconds to snatch maximum points.
Roco Rees was forced into an early save when George Nunn pounced on a loose ball and tested the Albion shot-stopper, as he adjusted his feet to deny the striker’s deflected effort.
Albion’s opening chance fell to Danny Cashman soon afterwards, but the forward was unable to make a firm connection on the ball and Chelsea goalkeeper Jake Askew made a comfortable stop.
After Armando Broja forced another stop from Rees, Jack Spong took responsibility of a free-kick up the other end of the pitch, but his left-footed attempt failed to beat the Blues wall.
Longman then set off on a positive run down the left wing before cutting inside into Chelsea’s penalty area, but with the angle narrowing, the winger’s firm drive could only find the side-netting.
Tareq Shihab, who had replaced Cameron Tutt after just 18 minutes, made a crucial block just before the break, as the substitute managed to get his body in the way of Marcel Lavinier’s goal-bound effort.
The visitors started brightly in the second half and Rees pulled off a fine stop to deny Thierno Ballo’s close-range shot, before Cashman drilled just wide of the target after latching onto Steffan Vukoje’s intelligent pass.
Rees continued to rescue the team from going behind, as he brilliantly tipped Broja’s looping header over the crossbar just after the hour mark.
Peter Gwargis then saw his deflected drive drop just over the goal frame, before Cashman’s low effort flew across the six-yard box without getting a decisive touch.
But the visitors found the breakthrough in the 76th minute through Anjorin. The substitute managed to get the better of Rees with a dipping effort that found the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Albion could have fallen apart but instead showed a brilliant reaction, as Longman turned the ball home from an unmarked position just four minutes after the Blues had broken the deadlock.
Rees made another fine stop to keep Albion level, but with just seconds of the contest remaining, Lawrence was there to cushion the ball into the far corner from Marcel Lewis’s delivery, to cruelly snatch the points.
ALBION: Rees (GK); Tanimowo, Roberts, Clark-Eden, Tutt (Shihab 18); Longman, Jenks (Leonard 46), Spong, Vukoje, Gwargis; Cashman.
Subs not used: Zalewski (GK), Weaire, Tolaj.