Simon Rusk's side got their season underway with a draw.
- Albion’s under-23s begin their season with a draw
- Three players make their U23 Albion debuts
- Robert Sanchez makes a vital save in second half
- Albion face Aston Villa at Crawley next Monday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s began their Premier League 2 (Division 2) season with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Neither team were able to make the breakthrough in a game of very few chances, with goalkeeper Robert Sanchez saving well on a few occasions to keep the stalemate intact.
Simon Rusk handed debuts to three summer arrivals, including Sam Adekugbe and Ben Hall, who arrived from Vancouver Whitecaps and Motherwell respectively and Tyler Hornby-Forbes, who lined up in midfield.
The game began slowly with neither team able to create a clear-cut opportunity within the opening 15 minutes, with Adekugbe’s last-ditch tackle denying Mondal from getting a shot away early on.
Will Collar raced down the wing before crossing for Jack Harper, but the striker was unable to get to the ball ahead of his marker and the hosts cleared the danger.
Boro then went close through Arnel Jakupovic, with the striker heading over the crossbar following Ben Barclay’s sliced clearance that led to a corner.
Jesse Starkey was handed a great opportunity to put Albion in front, but the attacking midfielder curled a free-kick comfortably wide of the target from 25 yards.
Starkey was in action at the other end of the pitch, clearing Robbie Tinkler’s goal-bound header, before Sanchez rushed out to claim the loose ball.
Albion’s best chance to take the lead fell to Harper just before half-time, as the Scotsman found space inside the box, before his powerful strike was blocked by Adam Jackson.
Joe Ward tried his luck from long range after the restart, letting fly from the corner of Boro’s box, but his rising effort failed to test Joseph Fryer in goal.
Ward then cut in off the left wing and beat a player in the process, before unleashing a fierce effort that hit the side-netting.
Hall prevented Jakupovic getting on the scoresheet at the back post, blocking the striker’s header that looked to be heading for Sanchez’s far corner.
The Albion keeper was called into action moments later, reacting well to parry Tinkler’s side-footed attempt away from goal to keep his team on level terms.
James Tilley and Jonah Ayunga were introduced late on, but Albion failed to create any clear-cut chances.
Albion won a corner in stoppage-time, but Starkey’s delivery was headed to safety and the spoils were shared.
ALBION: Sanchez; Collar, Hall, Barclay, Adekugbe; Hornby-Forbes, Molumby, Hutchinson (Ayunga 85); Ward, Starkey, Harper (Tilley 76).
SUBS NOT USED: Vose (GK), Cadman, Tighe.