REPORT: SOUTHEND 0 ALBION 1
- Albion advance to the Capital One Cup second round
- Kazenga LuaLua scores his second goal in as many games in stoppage time
- Niki Maenpaa makes his competitive debut for Albion
- Maenpaa makes a terrific save to deny Anthony Wordsworth late on with the score at 0-0
Brighton & Hove Albion sealed their place in the Capital One Cup second round, thanks to a late goal from Kazenga LuaLua.
The winger's injury-time strike secured a safe passage into the next round after a hard-fought game against Phil Brown’s men.
Albion started the game brightly and a lovely exchange of crisp passes saw Gaetan Bong combine intelligently with LuaLua down the left flank. The midfielder skipped effortlessly past John White and drilled in a low cross for Inigo Calderon, whose shot appeared to have struck Cian Bolger on the arm, only for the referee to wave away Albion's appeals.
LuaLua was involved in the thick of the action again when he accelerated past White, but the defender fouled him to give the Seagulls a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Danny Holla stepped up to take the set-piece and whipped in a sublime cross, which was superbly parried away by Daniel Bentley at his near post.
Ryan Leonard created Southend's first chance of the game after he squared the ball to David Worrell on the left wing. The latter advanced forward, but his curling effort failed to trouble Maenpaa in the Albion goal.
The hosts improved after the interval, as White floated a cross into the box, but Leonard's header went wide of the post.
Intricate passing between Chris O’Grady and LuaLua created Albion's next chance and the latter drilled a ball across the face of goal, which was nearly turned into his own net by Ben Coker.
Wordsworth had a glorious chance to seal the Shrimpers' place in the second round when he unleashed a tantalising strike from 25 yards, which saw Maenpaa make a spectacular save to keep Albion in the game.
But LuaLua calmly slotted home past Bentley in the dying moments of the game to put the Seagulls in round two of the competition.