Albion made it two wins from two games in the Premier League Cup.
WEST HAM 1
- Albion secure all three points to lead Group E
- Jayson Molumby opened the scoring
- Vashon Parfitt-Williams levelled the game
- Jesse Starkey and Joe Ward scored late on
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s secured a 3-1 victory over West Ham United to go top of Group E in the Premier League Cup this evening.
Jayson Molumby opened the scoring in the first half, before Vashon Parfitt-Williams levelled the game, but Jesse Starkey and Joe Ward added late goals to gain all three points.
Simon Rusk made five changes to the starting line-up that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night, with Casper Ankergren replacing Niki Maenpaa in goal and Dessie Hutchinson playing in central defence.
The game was played at a high tempo inside the opening stages, but neither team could create a clear-cut opportunity as Will Collar and Marcus Brown both shot wide from free kicks early on.
Courtney Duffus plucked the ball out of the air with a great touch before passing inside to Henrik Bjordal, who then played in Jack Harper, but the striker’s cross couldn’t find a target inside the penalty area.
Marcus Browne skilfully tricked his way into space on the edge of Albion’s box before firing at goal, but the attacking midfielder’s low-driven attempt rolled wide of the target.
Albion then came agonisingly close to taking the lead through Collar, when the midfielder’s 30-yard drive cannoned back off the crossbar, before Duffus’s follow up was blocked in front of goal.
Harper then had two opportunities in quick succession, as the striker’s bicycle-kick effort spun wide of Raphael Spiegel’s right-hand upright, before the West Ham shot-stopper then saved low down moments later.
Albion deservedly took the lead after 40 minutes through Molumby, as the Irish midfielder met George Cox’s cross with a controlled volley that crept through Spiegel's legs on the line.
Rusk’s team almost doubled their lead soon after the re-start, but Spiegel made up for his earlier mistake and saved well on the line from Vashon Neufville’s sliced clearance, following a dangerous cross from Bjordal.
Hammers striker Antonio Martinez then fired over the crossbar from the edge of Albion’s penalty area, before Bjordal’s one-two with Starkey ended with a wayward shot up the other end.
The pair combined again in the 77th minute, but this time Bjordal turned provider and Starkey made no mistake from just inside the penalty area, as the midfielder raced forward and coolly slotted the ball past Spiegel.
Ankergren was called upon to keep Albion’s narrow lead intact, as the Danish goalkeeper saved well from Martinez and Browne, before Collar had a ferocious effort tipped over the crossbar in the closing stages.
Albion’s two substitutes, Connor Tighe and Ward, combined deep into stoppage time to add a third goal, as the latter calmly stroked the ball past Spiegel in the 94th minute, and the Seagulls secured all three points.
ALBION: Ankergren; Hunt, Hall, Hutchinson, Cox; Collar, Molumby; Bjordal, Harper (Tighe 61), Starkey (Ward 83); Duffus.
SUBS NOT USED: Vose (GK), Cadman, Barnett.