Tilley '36, '42
- Glenn Middleton gives Norwich the lead
- Connor Goldson, James Tilley (2) and Jack Harper respond to give Albion a comfortable win
- The victory is Albion’s biggest of the season to date
- The Seagulls progress to the last 16 of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Cup
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-21s comfortably progressed into the last 16 of the Barclays Premier League Cup with a 4-1 victory over Norwich City.
A brace from James Tilley and a goal each from Connor Goldson and Jack Harper secured an emphatic win against the Canaries-who play one tier above Albion in the category one pyramid.
Coach Simon Rusk named a strong line-up for the match, with Casper Ankergren, Goldson, Rohan Ince, and Elvis Manu all included in the starting eleven.
But it was Norwich that took the lead in the fourth minute, when Glenn Middleton fired home a loose ball inside the box past Ankergren.
The Canaries could have doubled their advantage with a set-piece on the edge of the box, as Jamar Loza’s curling strike sailed past the left post.
Albion grew into the game and Harper’s speculative strike from distance forced a low save from City keeper Ben Killip.
Rusk’s side restored parity to the score-line in the 21st minute, when Tilley’s corner was met by Goldson’s diving header inside the box, which sailed past Killip.
Ince was next to test the Canaries shot-stopper with a strike from distance, but it was Tilley that put the Seagulls in front for the first time after 36 minutes.
Manu made a superb driving run down the left-hand side to reach the byline and set up Tilley, who slid the ball home from close range.
Manu and Tilley linked up again to give Albion a 3-1 lead going into the interval, as the Dutchman ended a free-flowing move to tee up the youngster with a high strike into the top corner.
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The Seagulls increased their lead even further five minutes into the second half, when Harper weaved his way past three Norwich defenders and smashed the ball past Killip to make it 4-1.
The Canaries had limited chances to reduce the deficit, as a strike from Jamie Eaton-Collins failed to trouble Ankergren.
It could have been 5-1 to Rusk’s side when some excellent work by Manu again almost set up a chance for Harris, but Norwich managed to clear the danger on this occasion.
The visitors broke forward through Middleton, who exploited some space down the left-hand side, but his subsequent strike was saved by Albion’s shot-stopper.
Tilley continued to be a threat from set-pieces and his corner was narrowly headed over the target by Goldson.
Loza took advantage of some indecisive Albion defending in the closing stages to race one-on-one with Ankergren, but the Danish keeper blocked the shot.
Tilley almost completed a hat-trick as the game edged towards stoppage time, but Killip tipped his free-kick over the bar and the Seagulls claimed an impressive win.
ALBION: Ankergren; Hunt, Goldson, Dallison, Starkey; Ward (Akindayini 79), Ince, Harris (Harris 73); Manu, Harper (Molumby 64), Tilley.
SUBS NOT USED: Doherty (GK), Barclay.