Match Reports

U23 Report: Albion 0 Nottingham Forest 0

By Alex Stedman • 06 August 2018

  • Albion's under-23s draw 0-0 against Nottingham Forest
  • Lorent Tolaj and Aaron Connolly have best chances for the Seagulls
  • Summer signings Joe Tomlinson and Hugo Keto both feature
  • Simon Rusk’s side face Haywards Heath Town on Tuesday evening

Brighton & Hove Albion's under-23s concluded their pre-season campaign with a 0-0 draw against Nottingham Forest on Monday afternoon at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

A tight opening period began with defender Joe Tomlinson twice finding space down the left-hand side, linking up well with Lorent Tolaj.

The summer arrival from Yeovil Town saw his first cross blocked, before the second soon after dangerously reached the area, but was hacked away by the Forest defence. 

Jordan Davies then produced a smart turn and volley that went just wide from outside the area, before the visitors began to create notable opportunities of their own.

A spell of pressure around the Albion area culminated in Arvin Appiah being brought down for a free-kick on the byline, but Toby Edser curled the set-piece wide of Hugo Keto’s right-hand post.

Virgil Gomis was looking dangerous for the visiting side, but the Seagulls blocked two efforts from the striker in quick succession, before the best chance of the contest fell Albion’s way seven minutes before the break.

Tolaj capitalised on a misplaced pass, drove towards goal and his fierce shot was knocked behind well by the Forest goalkeeper Liam Bossin.

Another dangerous Davies corner caused problems for the visiting defence from the resulting set-piece, but the ball deflected wide after a scramble in the area and the teams went in goalless at the interval. 

Rusk made seven changes for the second half, with Tom McGill, Ben Barclay, Max Sanders, Mathias Normann, Alex Cochrane, Aaron Connolly and Bojan Radulovic all entering the action for the home side.

It was Connolly who had the ball in the net five minutes after the restart, as he met Archie Davies’s cross in the centre and found the bottom corner – but the forward was flagged offside and the teams remained level. 

The Irish striker continued to look a threat with runs off the shoulder of the opposition defenders, and he was inches away from meeting Alex Cochrane’s inviting half-volleyed cross on the hour mark, but the ball into the centre was just too strong.

Sanders looked calm and composed in the centre of the field and produced a vital challenge on the edge of the area as Forest nearly fashioned a chance.

Gomis then volleyed over moments after as the game began to open up inside the final half an hour, before Ne-Neyah sent a dipping effort narrowly over McGill’s crossbar as Forest had two good openings of their own. 

Danny Mandriou saw a free-kick find its way under the wall and into the arms of Bossin on 75 minutes, and Cochrane stung the palms of the visiting keeper again when his swerving effort was tipped away as the game entered the final ten minutes.

Connolly was well tracked and saw an effort blocked in the closing stages, and that was to be the last of the action as the referee brought an evenly-fought contest to a close.

Albion line-up: Keto (GK) (McGill 45); Moore, Kerr, Roberts (Barclay 45), Tomlinson (Everitt 70); A.Davies, Collar (Sanders 45), Mandriou (Wilson 70), Tolaj (Cochrane 45); J. Davies (Connolly 45); Trialist (Radulovic 45)

Subs not used: Ljubicic, Offiah, Normann.

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