ASTON VILLA 1
- Albion lose their final match of the season
- Graham Burke scores the winner in the 34th minute
- Daniel Akindayini goes close to netting an equaliser with a header
- Former Seagulls loanee Gary Gardner plays 81 minutes for Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion under-21s were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa in their final match of the season at Villa Park.
Graham Burke’s 34th-minute strike was enough to secure all three points for the Villains and leaves Simon Rusk’s side in eighth place with a total of 23 points from their 22 league games this season.
Villa had the first chance of the game when Gary Gardner met Tom Leggett’s ball into the box, but did not manage to test Christian Walton with his subsequent header.
Walton was called into action again just moments later after making a fine save to keep out Callum Robinson’s low drive.
Albion struggled to launch many attacks during the first half, with Jesse Starkey’s cross into the area being one of the better openings.
The West Midlands side came close to breaking the deadlock, only for Walton to superbly tip Robinson’s free-kick around the post, before Gardner saw his set-piece cannon off the woodwork. However, they did break the deadlock when Burke met Andre Green’s cross to end a swift counter-attack.
Albion could have brought parity to the scoreline right on half-time through James Tilley, but Nathan Baker was on hand to block the forward’s strike.
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Villa had a chance to double their advantage shortly after the restart as Jerell Sellars saw his close-range effort cleared, before the corner was headed wide.
Albion worked a couple of openings to level the scores as Jed Steer punched away Starkey’s cross, while the Villa shot-stopper made a fine save to prevent Daniel Akindayini’s header from crossing the line.
Tom Dallison was on hand to thwart Robinson in the closing stages, but Villa maintained their advantage to claim maximum points.
ALBION: Walton; Hunt, Dallison, White, Starkey; Rea, Hutchinson; Ward (Muitt 82), Harris (Davis 62), Deen (Akindayini 57); Tilley. Subs not used: Doherty (GK), Barnett.