Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-21s were beaten 1-0 by Fulham in their opening game of the season, following a late winner from Stephen Humphrys.
Andrew Crofts was named in the starting line-up to face the Cottagers, as he continues his recovery from a long-term knee injury, and featured alongside Charlie Harris in the centre of midfield.
Crofts and Adam Chicksen both went close to breaking the deadlock for the Seagulls in the opening stages, but their shots went wide of the target.
Daniel Akindayini was next to test the Cottagers’ backline, only to see his attempt saved by keeper Marek Rodak.
James Tilley then took advantage of some sloppy Fulham defending and went clear through on goal, but he poked his shot wide of the target.
Akindayini had another opportunity to give Albion the lead after striking an attempt towards Rodak’s near post, but the shot-stopper did well to hold on to the ball.
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The hosts began to look more dangerous after the break and an inviting cross from Humphrys went just beyond the oncoming Aaron Redford.
Humphrys almost turned from provider to goalscorer just moments later after he met Ryheem Sheckleford’s bouncing cross, but fired over the bar.
Albion winger Joe Ward could have opened the scoring for the visitors, only to see his curling strike from distance sail narrowly over the bar.
But it was Humphrys that scored the decisive goal of the game on 86 minutes, following some good work by Luca de la Torre, and he sent a low shot past Harry Doherty to earn the west Londoners all three points.
ALBION: Doherty; Hunt, Cadman, Barclay; Chicksen; Ward, Crofts (Tighe 67), Harris, Starkey; Akindayini, Tilley (Kandi 75).
SUBS NOT USED: Vose (GK), Meyers, Davies.
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