REPORT: SWINDON 2 ALBION 4
Debutant Adrian Colunga made one goal and scored another as Brighton & Hove Albion battled past Swindon Town 4-2 in the Capital One Cup.
The League One outfit took the Championship Seagulls to extra time, but it was Sami Hyypia’s men who found a way through to the third round thanks to extra-time goals from Colunga and two Jake Forster-Caskey penalties.
Swindon started the game the brighter of the two teams, but it was Albion who struck early on in spectacular fashion through Rohan Ince. New signing Colunga picked out the Brighton youngster who made no mistake as he thundered a superb volley past Wes Foderingham from the edge of the area.
Michael Smith should have restored parity just three minutes later but the forward fired over from close range, while former Albion player Yasir Kasim couldn’t get his attempts through a sea of blue-and-white defenders.
Lewis Dunk was next to put himself in the way as he headed Nathan Byrne’s curling strike over before Forster-Caskey found himself perfectly placed to hack Raphael Rossi-Branco’s effort off the line from the resulting corner.
The Robins had been the better of the two sides but were almost sucker punched again as Dunk played Colunga through but the Spaniard couldn’t find the target from an acute angle.
Hyypia’s men led at the break but the Seagulls were caught cold inside the first minute of the second half as Louis Thompson broke through and fired Swindon level.
It was almost a rapid turnaround as Michael Smith curled agonisingly wide two minutes later but after weathering the storm, Brighton almost regained the lead, as Dunk saw his header tipped onto the bar by Foderingham.
Louis Thompson struck over for the hosts after a promising move, while Dunk was denied by some excellent defending from Nathan Thompson as the tie headed to extra time.
Kasim almost gave the hosts another early goal as he fired wide within 60 seconds of extra time kicking off, but the Robins were then dealt a blow as former Seagull George Barker went off with a shoulder injury, leaving Mark Cooper’s side down to ten men as all their substitutes had been used.
Albion took advantage of the numerical advantage straight away, as Adam Chicksen’s low cross gave Colunga a simple tap-in to open his Brighton account. Four minutes later Jordan Turnbull brought down the Spaniard to concede a penalty that Forster-Caskey dispatched.
Kasim did give Swindon hope as he pulled a goal back with eight minutes to go, but Nathan Thompson's clumsy tackle on Forster-Caskey with the midfielder through on goal gave Albion a second spot-kick of extra time.
The defender saw red for his indiscretion as Forster-Caskey dusted himself down and buried his second penalty of the night to put Brighton in the third round.