Barker 11, Richards 90+2
Courtney Richards’s goal, two minutes into added time, clinched a dramatic 2-1 win over QPR and maintained the under-21s’ 100-per-cent start to the new season.
There was further good news for the Seagulls as right-back Bruno marked his return with a 30-minute cameo as he continues his recovery from a hamstring problem.
In the scorching heat Ireland’s fell behind in the sixth minute as a low deflected cross fell into the path of Tom Hitchcock, and he turned the ball home from close range.
The home side’s lead lasted just minutes, as George Barker was given too much time inside the box and unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner from a tight angle.
Mo Shariff was a constant threat in the opening 45 minutes, testing Peter Brezovan on three separate occasions.
For Albion Solly March also came close; firstly keeper Joe Lumley denied the midfielder before his next effort flew just wide of the post.
Brennan Dickenson was next to be denied by Lumley as his strike from an acute angle was blocked by the keeper’s legs, as a full blooded first half finished level.
Rangers were disappointed not to take the lead at the start of the second half as Bruno Andrade blazed over on 54 minutes in a second half of limited chances.
Albion’s Bruno returned to action on 59 minutes, and the full back was denied a likely assist as his low cross was well defended by QPR.
The hosts finished the game with ten men, as Frankie Sutherland picked up an injury late on, before sub Shamir Goodwin almost stole the points as he fired over.
However Richards did grab the points for Albion in the second minute of stoppage time, when a wicked deflection wrong footed Lumley and dropped into the net.
Albion: Brezovan; Barry (Bruno 59), Rea, Dunk, Hunt; Richards, Forster-Caskey, Triallist (Starkey 78); March, Dickenson (Goodwin 78), Barker.
Subs: Smith, Harris.