U23 Report: Richards with the winner on City return

Brought to you by...

Taylor Richards scored the winner against his former club, as Albion’s under-23s claimed back-to-back wins with a 1-0 win away at Manchester City.

By Ciaran Wiseman • 19 October 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Taylor Richards scored on his return to Manchester City.
  • Albion’s under-23s triumph 1-0 at the Academy Stadium
  • Taylor Richards’s goal is the difference against his former club
  • Three points see Albion move up to fifth in Premier League 2 Division 1
  • Simon Rusk’s side are next in action against Derby County on 26th October

Richards struck midway through the second half to seal all three points, in what was an exceptional defensive display, helped by Jason Steele’s goalkeeping heroics.

Despite early pressure from the Seagulls, it was City that created the game’s first opening when Jayden Braaf was played in on goal. However, the Dutch teenager was comfortably denied by the onrushing Steele.

The experienced Steele continued his strong first-half showing, as he pulled off a stunning double save to firstly block Tommy Doyle’s square ball, and then kept out Adrian Bernabe’s fiercely struck volley in the first 20 minutes.

Rusk’s young Brighton side showed their defensive resilience as the first half progressed, as their opponents enjoyed a lot of the ball, but were restricted to shooting from outside the area by the excellent Albion defence.

Albion did look threatening on the counter-attack though, with Bojan Radulovic and Richards linking up well on a number of occasions as both sides searched for the breakthrough in the first half.

The second half brought about a much more open game, and as it progressed, Albion began to enjoy more of the ball in the City half. Richards moved back to midfield and Peter Gwargis partnered Radulovic upfront.

This added possession allowed Rusk’s youngsters to take the lead in the 66th minute, as Richards diverted Danny Cashman’s dangerous cross beyond Daniel Grimshaw in the hosts’ goal. The former City man made an intelligent unmarked run to convert after the hosts had failed to clear a corner.

The introduction of Jack Spong inside the final 20 minutes beefed up Albion’s defensive resolve, as they looked to see out what would be a third consecutive win over City.

As the hosts pushed for a late leveller, additional space was afforded to Brighton in the attacking third, and Tudor Baluta almost added a spectacular second only for his audacious volley to whistle over Grimshaw’s crossbar.

City produced one dangerous late flurry, which saw Taylor Harwood-Bellis’s header cannon back of the underside of the bar, before Steele saved from Braaf once again but, ultimately, Albion held on to come away with a hard-fought away win.

Albion now look to continue their winning run at home to Derby County on 26th October at The American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

ALBION: Steele; Davies, Tsoungui, O’Hora, Cochrane; Cashman, Baluta, Jenks (Yapi 45), Longman (Gwargis 23); Radulovic, Richards (Spong 71)

SUBS NOT USED: Keto (GK), Roberts.