Albion’s under-23s lost their first preseason game 1-0 to Whitehawk
- Albion under-23s beaten for the first time in pre-season
- Danny Mills scored the only goal of the game for Whitehawk
- Jack Harper hits bar for Albion
- Joe Ward comes close to late equaliser for Seagulls
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s suffered their first preseason defeat with a narrow 1-0 loss to Whitehawk at the Enclosed Ground.
Danny Mills scored the only goal in a game of very few clear-cut chances, finding the back of the net with a fine finish, despite Albion enjoying much of the ball throughout.
Albion dominated possession in the match’s opening quarter, but struggled to muster a worthy attempt on the home side’s goal, with Dessie Hutchinson’s blocked effort from the edge of the box their best offering.
Vahid Hambo cleverly worked space for himself on the edge of the box, before rolling the ball to Jack Harper, who saw his low-driven effort sail wide of Covolan’s upright.
Sam Adekugbe was next to try his luck, blazing over from a tight angle, before trialist Bradley Roscoe saw his glancing header parried away from goal.
On 28 minutes, Albion had their best chance to break the deadlock. Jesse Starkey played a perfectly-weighted ball into the path of Henrik Bjordal, who only had the keeper to beat, but the striker rolled the ball under Covolan and wide of the target.
Harper almost opened the scoring moments later, when the striker swivelled inside the penalty area, only to have his goal-bound shot heroically blocked by Ramon Marimon.
With Albion on top of possession but struggling to find a breakthrough, Whitehawk took the lead against the run of play on 43 minutes. Danny Mills found himself on the corner of Albion’s 18-yard box, before lobbing the ball over Robert Sanchez and into the net.
Albion made three changes at the break, as Bailey Vose, Joe Ward and Ben White were introduced to replace Sanchez, Bjordal and Ben Barclay.
Ward found himself in the thick of the action soon after coming on, fizzing a dangerous ball across the face of Whitehawk’s goal before hanging a cross to the back post, where Tilley was unable to re-adjust his body to meet the ball.
Vose then saved well to keep Albion within touching distance, as substitute Ribeiro powered the ball on goal, only for Albion’s second-half goalkeeper to clear to safety.
Harper then had Albion’s best chance to draw level, as the Scotsman found space inside the box, before unleashing a powerful shot that crashed off the crossbar and over.
Another teasing cross from Ward failed to find a team-mate inside the box, before Hornby-Forbes set his sights from 30-yards, only to see his ambitious effort trickle wide of Colovan’s upright.
Ward then found himself through on goal on 90 minutes, but his effort was comfortably saved and Whitehawk held out for a hard-fought win.
ALBION: Sanchez (Vose 45); Hornby-Forbes, Barclay (White 45), Roscoe, Adekugbe; Tilley (Sanders 60), Hutchinson, Starkey, Bjordal (Ward 45); Hambo (Tighe 60), Harper (Ayunga 76)
SUBS NOT USED: Davies, Cox.