- Albion’s under-23s narrowly defeated at Fulham
- A trialist breaks the deadlock for the Seagulls
- Two late strikes seal Fulham victory
- The Seagulls play Nottingham Forest on Monday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Fulham at Motspur Park this afternoon, as Simon Rusk’s side continue their preparation for the upcoming season.
A trialist gave the Seagulls a 1-0 lead in the second half, but two late strikes from the Cottagers turned the game around and gave the London club victory at their training ground.
Danny Mandroiu created the first chance of the game inside the opening ten minutes, but the Irishman’s speculative drive from 25 yards sailed over the crossbar.
Albion goalkeeper Hugo Keto was called into action soon afterwards, pushing the ball away from the bottom corner on two occasions, before Aaron Connolly caused problems in-behind Fulham’s defence.
The striker raced onto Ben Barclay’s defence-splitting pass and attracted the goalkeeper off his line, but the Fulham shot-stopper did enough to smother Connolly’s angled effort.
Keto pulled off two more impressive saves before the break, as an evenly-contested 45 minutes ended with neither side breaking the deadlock.
The second half began and some excellent hold-up play from Connolly led to Sanders picking up the ball just outside the penalty area, but the midfielder’s curling effort dropped just wide of the target from 25 yards.
Albion found the breakthrough in the 70th minute, and it was a trialist who rose highest at the back post to convert Archie Davies’s cross with a powerful downward header.
But the hosts were only behind for seven minutes, as Cameron Thompson found space inside Albion’s penalty area and calmly picked out the bottom corner to level the game.
A frustrating period was completed with another goal for the Cottagers in the 81st minute, as Matt O'Riley drilled a powerful effort past Keto from long distance to make it 2-1.
Connolly went in search of a quick response, as he wriggled away from his marker inside the box, but the forward’s effort from a tight angle rose over the crossbar
Fulham almost made it 3-1 when the ball rebounded off the post in the closing stages, but the hosts held on to their slender lead and secured victory over the Seagulls ahead of the new season.
ALBION: Keto; Collar, Barclay, Roberts (Kerr 74), Tomlinson (Moore 57); Sanders, Normann (Radulovic 79); J.Davies (Trialist 63), Mandroiu, Tilley (A.Davies 65); Connolly (Ljubicic 89).
Subs not used: Collings (GK)