Wiltshire 38, Maguire-Drew 67
Albion’s Under-18s recovered from an early scare to confidently cast aside their Birmingham City counterparts at the club’s Wast Hills Training Ground.
Simon Rusk’s side made the worst possible start, when City’s Kyle McFarlane tapped home with just 80 seconds on the clock.
But the Seagulls responded by gradually increasing their grip on the game; causing the Blues plenty of problems with some slick, attacking football.
Jordan Maquire-Drew was a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes; and he saw his free-kick cleared off the line by Josh Martin. Maguire-Drew then nearly profited from Will Collar’s excellent delivery into the box, but keeper Connell Trueman kept out the lively winger’s header.
The home side did carry a threat on the counter-attack, as goalscorer McFarlane was free inside the box, but blazed his shot over the crossbar.
Albion managed to get a well-deserved equaliser in the 38th minute, thanks to Cameron Wiltshire. The midfielder had a go from distance and saw his strike take a deflection before sailing into the net.
Rusk’s team started the second-half in the same vain as they ended the first; as Wiltshire’s corner lead to Dylan Barnett’s header being cleared off the line by Martin, before a delivery by Maguire-Drew somehow missed both Matt Benham and Josh Courtney inside the area.
Charlie Harris then strode into the Birmingham box and picked out James Muitt, but the forward’s shot was once again cleared off the line and the hosts breathed a sigh of relief.
Albion finally gained the lead in the 67th minute after a lovely individual goal by Maguire-Drew. The winger dispossessed the Blues defender Martin and cleverly dinked the ball over Trueman.
There was still time for another scare for Albion, when George O’Neil found McFarlane in space, but the striker’s shot cannoned behind off the outside of the post as Albion held on for a deserved win.
Albion: Wray (GK); Collar, Barclay, Courtney, Barnatt; Wiltshire (Hutchinson 78), Benham, Harris; Deen, Muitt, Maguire-Drew.
Subs not used: Colquhoun (GK), Pring, Tighe, Lall.