- Albion’s under-23s draw 1-1 against Tottenham Hotspur
- Viktor Gyokeres breaks the deadlock in the first half
- Shayon Harrison replies for Spurs after the break
- The Seagulls host Manchester City next Friday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s continued their unbeaten start to the Premier League 2 Division 1 season with hard-earned 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at the Lamex Stadium.
Viktor Gyokeres fired Albion into a 1-0 lead shortly before the break, but Shayon Harrison levelled for the hosts in the second half to secure a share of the spoils, as the Seagulls drew their third game in a row.
After a cagey opening to the match, Will Collar drove forward and tried his luck from 25 yards, but the midfielder’s ambitious effort was blocked by Connor Ogilvie, as the Spurs defender flung himself in front of the shot.
Marcus Edwards then went down the other end and fashioned a shot of his own, as he cut inside off the right wing and fired towards the bottom corner, but Hugo Keto made a comfortable stop to his left-hand side.
Aaron Connolly came close to connecting with Anders Dreyer’s inviting cross from the right flank, but Spurs shot-stopper Alfie Whiteman beat the Irishman to the front post and rescued his team-mates.
Josh Kerr and Haydon Roberts were then called into action with crucial blocks inside Albion’s penalty area, with the latter throwing himself in front of Josh Onomah’s fierce drive.
From the 16-year-old’s block, Albion broke forward and Connolly came inside onto his right foot, but the striker’s curling effort dropped just wide of the target, as the Seagulls looked to capitalise on one of their few opportunities.
The Seagulls were then forced into a change when Owen Moore went down injured - Archie Davies came on to replace the full-back, and just five minutes later, in the 41st minute, Rusk’s team found themselves in front.
Mathias Normann showed excellent composure inside Albion’s penalty area and picked out Connolly with a searching pass, and with two Spurs defenders applying pressure, the Irishman found Gyokeres in space and the Swedish striker lashed home to break the deadlock.
The teams returned for the second half and Connolly almost doubled Albion’s advantage from close range, but the striker’s angled effort found the side-netting after Dreyer slid the ball through.
Josh Onomah struck the woodwork soon after, as the Spurs striker curled a free-kick towards goal and clipped the crossbar - but the hosts found their breakthrough in the 59th minute after a sustained period of pressure.
Harrison picked up the ball on the left wing and drove inside to create an angle to shoot, and the Spurs winger picked out the far corner with a well-executed effort from just inside the penalty area.
Jordan Davies was introduced in the 72nd minute and the winger was inches away from putting the Seagulls back in front after latching onto a loose ball, but his ferocious, deflected drive sailed over the crossbar.
Dreyer and Collar then had chances in quick succession to make it 2-1, but the Dane’s close-range volley flew just wide, before the latter’s effort deflected straight into the hands of Whiteman.
It was almost a cruel finish for Rusk’s team in the 90th minute, as Jack Roles dragged his shot inches wide of the target, but the Seagulls held on for a third hard-earned point of the season.
ALBION: Keto; Moore (A.Davies 36), Kerr, Roberts, Cochrane; Collar, Normann; Dreyer, Gyokeres, Tilley (J.Davies 72); Connolly (Ljubicic 90+2).
Subs not used: Collings (GK), Tomlinson.