REPORT: ALBION 4 COLCHESTER 0
- Albion go through to the EFL Cup second round
- Four players make their Brighton debuts
- Sam Baldock and Jamie Murphy (2) on target
- Elvis Manu scores his first goal for the club
Brighton & Hove Albion progressed to second round of the EFL Cup following a 4-0 victory over Colchester United, in the first competitive fixture to be played at the Amex Stadium this season.
The League Two side held firm for more than hour, but Jamie Murphy’s brace and a goal each from Sam Baldock and Elvis Manu secured Albion’s safe passage into the next round.
Chris Hughton made wholesale changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Derby County on Saturday, with Oliver Norwood, Rob Hunt, Sam Adekugbe and Ben White all making their first-team debuts.
Albion were on the front foot early on, as Manu found skipper Baldock, whose effort was cleared behind for a corner.
The subsequent set-piece found Kazenga LuaLua out on the left flank, and the winger cut inside but fired his shot into the side netting.
Hunt then found Manu in space inside the box, but the forward’s shot was blocked and the Colchester defence cleared the danger.
LuaLua set up a chance for Murphy inside the box, but the winger could not divert his header towards the target.
Two debutants combined for Brighton’s next chance, as Norwood’s corner was met by White inside the box and the latter’s header went narrowly over the bar.
Adekugbe looked lively on his debut, as his rising angled strike forced a one-handed stop from Dillon Barnes.
The Canadian international then combined with Norwood to set up a chance for Danny Holla, and the Dutchman’s attempt lob was caught by Barnes.
Norwood then came close with a shot from the edge of the area that swerved just past the right post.
Hughton’s men created another opportunity within seconds of the re-start; Adekugbe’s low delivery from the left narrowly missing the onrushing Baldock and Manu inside the area.
The deadlock was broken with 64 minutes on the clock when LuaLua found Baldock on the edge of the box and Albion’s number nine clinically dispatched his curling strike beyond Barnes.
The Seagulls looked to double their advantage when Adekugbe broke down the left flank again and his subsequent cross picked out Manu, whose header went wide of the far post.
The lead was extended in the 70th minute when Murphy latched onto a superb pass by LuaLua, took a touch and deftly lifted the ball over Barnes.
The lead was made more emphatic four minutes later; Manu adding a third with a close-range finish after being picked out by Baldock inside the box.
LuaLua came within inches of making it 4-0 when he was allowed to cut inside once again, while another shot from the man-of-the-match fell into the path of Holla, who forced another fine save from Barnes.
Murphy added a fourth in the 86th minute when he embarked on a superb driving run through the Colchester defence before firing his shot into the far corner.