Hemed 76, 85
- Anthony Knockaert opens scoring for Albion
- Under-23 Tom Cadman taps in second
- Tomer Hemed grabs brace
- Seagulls face Lazio in final pre-season game on Sunday
Albion cruised to a comfortable pre-season victory at League One newcomers Oxford United.
Keen to make amends for Saturday’s defeats at Luton and Stevenage, Chris Hughton’s side were on the front foot from the start and made their intentions clear as early as the third minute when Beram Kayal tested keeper Simon Eastwood from distance.
Sam Baldock, Jiri Skalak and Glenn Murray also went close in the opening stages before the Oxford rearguard buckled on 19 minutes, when Anthony Knockaert controlled a Skalak cross before neatly firing home.
Albion should have doubled their account when Chey Dunkley bundled Baldock over in the box, but Murray side-footed the resulting penalty kick wide.
The hosts were finding it difficult to get out of their own half and Baldock had the next effort on goal, narrowly dragging his shot wide following good build-up play from Kayal and Knockaert.
United had to wait until the 35 minute for their first meaningful attack but David Stockdale showed great agility to keep out Christian Ribeiro’s cross-shot.
The Albion keeper was again called into action minutes later, this time making an excellent reaction save from Dunkley.
Liam Rosenior picked up a knock shortly before half-time and having failed to run it off, was replaced by Rob Hunt.
It was more of the same after the break, this time Knockaert embarked on a super run only to be foiled when one-on-one with Eastwood.
Dale Stephens was replaced by Rohan Ince after receiving treatment and it signaled a raft of Albion substitutes soon after – eight in total.
It failed to halt the visitors’ flow, however, and the second goal came on 67 minutes when a Jamie Murphy corner was headed onto the bar by Tomer Hemed – leaving Tom Cadman to tuck home the rebound from close range.
Albion put the game out of reach on 76 minutes when Hemed fired home following a quickfire run and cross from Murphy, and the Israeli international completed his brace seven minutes before full-time from the same outlet.
All in all, a good night’s work for the Seagulls, with Lazio set to visit the Amex on Sunday before the real action gets underway at Derby County the following weekend.