ASTON VILLA 2
- Andrew Crofts on target for Albion
- Jerell Sellars and Libor Kozak secure win for Villa
- Connor Goldson makes his Seagulls debut
- Inigo Calderon plays the full 90 minutes
Brighton & Hove Albion's under-21s were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa at the Banks's Stadium tonight, as goals from Jerell Sellars and Libor Kozak cancelled out an Andrew Crofts opener.
Crofts got Albion off to the perfect start inside four minutes, as he took advantage of a gap in the Villa defence and fired the ball home.
Kozak had a chance to level the scores in the early stages but shot wide of Josh Smith's goal.
Striker Daniel Akindayini was next to break forward for the Seagulls but his shot went high and wide of the target.
Khalid Abdo came close for the hosts with a curling free-kick that cannoned off the post before rebounding to safety.
The Villans stepped up the pressure on the Albion defence, when Smith was forced to make a quick reaction save to deny Sellars, while debutant Connor Goldson had to be alert to clear Kozak's header off the line.
It was Sellars that cancelled out Albion's lead right on half time after he met Abdo's cut-back to level the scores.
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Substitute James Tilley was brought on to add fresh impetus to Albion's attack and he almost made an instant impact, after his shot forced a good save by Bradley Watkins.
But it was the West Midlands side that stole the points at the death when Lewis Kinsella was brought down inside the box and Kozak stepped up to fire home the penalty.
ALBION: Smith, Hunt, White, Goldson, Starkey; Calderon, Barclay (Barnett 55), Crofts; Akindayini, Kandi (Tilley 67), Ward.
SUBS NOT USED: Vose (GK), Deen, Tighe.