- Albion defeat Manchester City away from home
- Danny Cashman fires the winning goal for the Seagulls
- Tom McGill pulls off a string of important saves
- Simon Rusk’s team move to within one point of top spot
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s produced a disciplined performance to complete an impressive league double over Manchester City, as they clinched a 1-0 victory at the Academy Stadium.
The Seagulls withstood large periods of pressure to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League 2 Division 1 to five matches, as Danny Cashman’s clinical finish secured all three points.
Jayson Molumby made his long-awaited return from injury against the Citizens, while Tom McGill replaced Robert Sanchez in goal and Jack Spong started his second successive game for the under-23s.
After a slow start to the contest, Albion broke forward at speed and created their first opportunity on goal after 13 minutes, and Cashman made no mistake from just inside the penalty area to break the deadlock.
Alex Cochrane raced into City’s half before rolling the ball into Cashman, and the forward showed great composure to pick out the bottom corner and score his first goal in the Premier League 2.
The hosts reacted by pressing Albion high up the pitch, giving them little time to think on the ball, but Simon Rusk’s side coped well and showed great concentration to avoid giving their opponents anything for free.
Jeremy Frimpong had an opportunity to draw his team level when he arrived at the back post to meet a loose ball, but the winger’s powerful shot thankfully found the side-netting.
City’s pressure didn’t ease as the game approached the interval, and Owen Moore was called upon to make a terrific block from Benjamin Garre’s goal-bound effort from 25 yards.
Albion’s defenders gave McGill little to do during the opening half, but shortly before the break the goalkeeper showed brilliant reactions to tip Adrian Bernabe’s drilled effort around the post.
Molumby made way at the start of the second half for Ayo Tanimowo, as he played his first minutes since Albion’s 3-2 victory at Stoke City in November 2017.
It was attack versus defence from the outset of the second half, as City committed numerous bodies forward, but Albion held their shape well and gave their opponents minimal room to work with.
With City looking for an opening in-behind Albion’s backline, Tommy Doyle tried his luck from long range instead, but McGill was equal to the substitute’s dipping effort, as he showed great hands to hang on.
Albion’s disciplined display continued and Soufyan Ahannach looked to double his team’s advantage with just under 20 minutes remaining, but the winger’s ambitious attempt from 25 yards sailed over.
The game entered the final ten minutes and McGill pulled off another excellent stop to keep Albion’s narrow advantage intact, as he tipped Bernabe’s back-post header over the crossbar.
Bernabe’s frustration was clear to see, but his persistence to test McGill continued, and the Albion shot-stopper showed great hands to hold on to the Spaniard’s dipping effort.
The hosts forced a string of late corners, but Albion kept their focus and saw out the final minutes of the game tomove to within one point of league leaders Everton.
ALBION: McGill; Moore, O’Hora, Tomlinson; A.Davies, Spong, Molumby (Tanimowo 46), Cochrane; Cashman, Ahannach (Longman 75); Radulovic.
Subs not used: Collings (GK), Leonard, Gwargis.