A late goal saw Albion’s under-21s narrowly defeated in a friendly against Southampton.
In the first fixture of 2014 for both sides there was a lack of fluency in a disjointed affair but it was the hosts who nicked the win shortly before full-time.
After clearing a set piece the ball was quickly returned to the Albion danger area by the Saints and despite an initial save from Christian Walton, the rebound was tapped home.
Under-21 coach Simon Ireland admitted the game wasn’t a particularly great spectacle but had laid down a marker for the rest of the campaign.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “It was a scrappy game that neither side deserved to win. It was a game between two teams that haven’t played for two weeks and that was evident.
“We were not up to our usual standard of performance that we have seen so far this season, so I have challenged the boys to keep the standards high for the rest of the campaign.
“There is a real buzz around after Solly [March] made his first start for the senior side at the weekend so I have also challenged the boys to make sure that they are the next one to make their first-team debut.”
Smith [Walton 45]; Deen, Rea, Maksimenko [Starkey 60], Hunt; Richards [Harris 45], Starkey [Dallsion 45], Asmundsson; Goodwin [Barnett 65], Dickenson, Triallist. Sub not used: Muitt.