- Glen Rea, James Tilley and Jesse Starkey on target for Albion
- Tom Dallison shown a straight red card in the second half
- Eddie Lecygne misses a penalty for Stoke
- Albion’s next match is against Aston Villa at Villa Park on 18th May
Brighton & Hove Albion under-21s secured a 3-0 win over Stoke City in their final home game of the season - played at the Amex Stadium.
Goals from Glen Rea, James Tilley and Jesse Starkey were enough to claim all three points for Simon Rusk’s side, ahead of their final match of the season away at Aston Villa on 18th May.
The game started on a rather cagey note with few chances for either side in the opening 15 minutes, but it soon livened up after Robin Deen cuts inside from the left and saw his strike fly over the crossbar.
Joe Ward was next to create a promising opening for Albion after beating Potters’ full-back Lewis Banks on the right, but his resulting cross did not find a blue-and-white-striped shirt.
However, the Seagulls took the lead in the 25th minute thanks to Rea, who headed home Charlie Harris’s corner at the far post.
Albion grew into the game from that point, with Ward and Starkey posing a real threat to the Stoke backline from both wings.
The two players almost combined to score a second Seagulls goal when Starkey whipped the ball towards Ward at the right-hand post, but Bobby Moseley cleared the danger.
Starkey then had a chance to double Albion’s advantage but his curling free-kick from the right was tipped away by keeper Daniel Gyollai.
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Rusk’s side began the second half in a similar fashion to the way they ended the first, as Harris was next to test Gyollai from a set-piece and the keeper produced another good save.
A second goal came in the 53rd minute when Tilley drove into space on the edge of the box and Gyollai could provide no response on this occasion as the ball flew into the bottom left-hand corner.
Starkey was involved in the thick of the action again just moments later, after his looping cross was met by Ward at the far post, but his strike hit the side-netting.
The visitors began to look more threatening in the closing stages; as Johnville Pringle forced a fine save from Christian Walton with a strike from distance, before Rea almost diverted a Lewis Banks cross into his own net.
The Potters then had a golden opportunity to bring themselves back into the game after Tom Dallison was shown a straight red card for a challenge inside the box, but Eddie Lecygne fired the resulting spot-kick into the South Stand.
Despite the one-man disadvantage, Rusk’s side wrapped up a convincing victory when Starkey capped off a fine individual display with a low left-footed strike to give Albion a 3-0 victory.
ALBION: Walton; Hunt, White, Dallison, Starkey; Rea, Hutchinson; Ward (Barnett 80), Harris, Deen (Davis 83); Tilley. Subs not used: Doherty (GK), Barry, Muitt.