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U21 REPORT: ALBION 1 STOKE 1

19 July 2014



ALBION 1

Cole 66

STOKE 1

Thomas 47

Brighton & Hove Albion under-21s earned a draw against a strong Stoke City side at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

This was the first match for Simon Ireland’s side since their return from Spain and they were given a stern test by the Potters.

The visitors had a couple of chances in the early stages, as James Alabi’s shot forced a good save from keeper Josh Smith before Mason Watkins had a set-piece that went just past the near post.

Jimmy Muitt was one of the liveliest players going forward for Albion, and after linking up well with George Cole, he saw his angled effort tipped behind by Potters keeper Dale Eve.

Stoke continued to look threatening themselves, as Eddy Lecygne saw two long-range strikes rise just over the crossbar after some neat attacking play on the edge of the box.

Curtis Strong then cut inside the box and Tom Dallison had to be alert to make a last-ditch interception.

The Seagulls could have taken the lead in first-half stoppage time when Muitt’s in-swinging cross was narrowly missed by the outstretched Cole from inside the area.

But Albion were behind within moments of the restart, with substitutes Peter Skapetis and Adam Thomas combining to give Stoke the lead, as the latter slotted home past Smith.

The Potters had further chances to double their advantage when Jack Nardiello headed wide from Charlie Ward’s free-kick before another close-range strike cannoned off the crossbar.

Ireland’s side struck next though, as Cole’s free-kick appeared to take a deflection amidst a congested penalty box to bring parity to the scoreline.

Cameron Wiltshire and Jason Davis were brought on 12 minutes into the half to add fresh impetus to Albion’s attacking play and the latter’s pace troubled the Stoke defence.

The quick-footed forward nearly set up for Cole for his second only for his effort to go wide of the post.

Seagulls shot-stopper Smith remained on his toes during the close stages, as he tipped away Ben Barber’s dangerous ball into the box.

Stoke nearly stole victory in stoppage time when George Waring attempted to bundle the ball into the net, but Smith stood firm to ensure both sides shared the spoils.

ALBION: Smith (GK); Barry, Dallison, Pappoe, Touray; Deen (Wiltshire 57), Collar, Starkey (Davis 57); Muitt, Hutchinson, Cole.

SUBS NOT USED
: King, Barclay, Pring, Barnett.



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