Match Reports

U23 Report: Albion 1 Exeter City 1

By James Hilsum • 26 February 2018

  • Albion draw 1-1 with Exeter City in the Premier League Cup
  • Ryan Brunt gives Exeter the lead
  • Henrik Bjordal scores deep in stoppage time to earn the Seagulls a point
  • Albion qualify for the knockout stages in second place in Group H

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s claimed a 1-1 draw with Exeter City in the Premier League Cup group stages, thanks to Henrik Bjordal’s brilliant equaliser deep into stoppage time.

Ryan Brunt looked like he had sealed all three points for Exeter, but Bjordal struck with virtually the last kick of the game to secure Albion a point.

The result means Albion qualify for the knockout stages in second place in Group H with 10 points from six games, while the Grecians go through as group winners with 11 points.

Simon Rusk made four changes to the side that beat Blackburn Rovers last time out, with Ales Mateju, Ben Barclay, Max Sanders and Tyler Forbes all coming into the side.

Exeter City created the first meaningful chance of the game when Ryan Brunt latched onto a free kick into the box and fired his effort over the bar.

Albion had a good spell of possession that resulted in two balls into the box from Tyler Forbes and Bjordal, but neither caused the Grecians defence any problems.

The visitors then won a corner which fell into the path of Archie Collins, but his subsequent shot was blocked.

Albion had two chances in quick succession to break the deadlock, as James Tilley’s shot was blocked before Max Sanders curled his attempt wide.

The second half started in the same cagey manner, but Exeter struck first in the 61st minute thanks to Brunt, who latched onto a corner on the edge of the box and fired a close-range shot past Robert Sanchez.

Rusk attempted to add fresh impetus to the Albion attack and brought on Aaron Connolly for Jordan Davies.

Connolly looked to make a quick impact and had a chance to level the scores when he met George Cox’s whipped delivery from the left, but he headed wide at the near post.

The Grecians still carried a threat though, as Brunt found space on the edge of the box and lashed his attempt wide.

Cox turned provider for Albion once again, as his deep ball found Forbes in space on the right, but he shot wide with a first-time attempt.

Connolly had another chance to equalise, but his strike from distance was saved by Paul Jones.

Ryan Loft squandered a late chance to wrap up the points for City late on, as he fired wide from just inside the box.

But Bjordal struck late on when he cut in from the left and saw his strike beat Jones at his left post to seal a share of the spoils.

ALBION: Sanchez; Mateju (Cox 63), Barclay (Moore 46), Dallison, Forbes; Tilley, Sanders, J. Davies (Connolly 56); Gyokeres, Alzate, Bjordal.

SUBS NOT USED: Collings (GK), Kerr.

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