Albion's under-23s began their Premier League Cup campaign with a resounding win.
Tilley 39, 45, 66
- Albion thump Forest in the Premier League Cup
- James Tilley scores a hat-trick
- Dessie Hutchinson and Jesse Starkey open the scoring
- Jonah Ayunga and Connor Tighe add late goals
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23 side started their Premier League Cup campaign with an emphatic 7-0 victory against Nottingham Forest at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre today.
James Tilley bagged a hat-trick, with Dessie Hutchinson, Jesse Starkey, Jonah Ayunga and Connor Tighe also getting on the scoresheet.
Simon Rusk made two changes to the starting line-up that drew 0-0 with West Ham United last Monday, with Joe Ward and Ben White replacing Jayson Molumby and Tighe.
Will Collar recorded Albion’s first attempt of the game, the versatile midfielder breaking forward before dragging his right-footed shot wide of the target.
A brilliant throw from Robert Sanchez sent Ward racing past his marker on the half-way line, but the winger was controversially brought down at the expense of a yellow card for Choz Charlesworth.
Hutchinson broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, brilliantly heading the ball past Tim Erlandsson from Ward’s chipped cross, following a clever spread of play by Ayunga.
Rusk’s team took confidence from the goal, started to enjoy long spells of possession, and nine minutes later they doubled their lead.
Ayunga robbed Forest centre-half Charlie Jemson before rolling the ball across the face of goal to Starkey, who easily netted with a side-footed finish into the bottom corner.
On 39 minutes, Tilley extended Albion’s lead following a foul on Hutchinson inside the box, and he confidently dispatched the ball from the penalty spot.
Albion continued to dominate and Tilley added his second shortly before the break, stroking the ball past Erlandsson from Hutchinson’s pass.
Albion defender Ben Hall clashed heads with a Forest player on the hour mark, and after receiving treatment, Tighe replaced him, with Ben White moving into central defence.
After some fantastic build-up play, Collar broke away and was chopped down inside the box, giving Tilley the chance to seal his hat-trick from the spot - and he made no mistake from 12 yards.
Minutes later, Albion scored a sixth through Ayunga, who raced through on goal and cooly slotted the ball under Erlandsson from the edge of the penalty area.
On 73 minutes, Tighe finished off the scoring with an audacious over-head kick from just inside the penalty area, which found the top corner.
Rusk introduced Jack Harper and Erico De Sousa in the closing stages, with goalscorers Starkey and Ayunga making way.
The visitors went in search of a consolation, with Jemson heading straight at Sanchez from Lewis Walters’ corner, before the Albion shot-stopper denied Ben Brereton’s angled shot.
But Albion managed to keep hold of their clean sheet, and opened their Premier League Cup campaign with an impressive home victory.
ALBION: Sanchez; White, Hall (Tighe 60), Barclay, Cox; Collar, Hutchinson, Starkey (De Sousa 74); Tilley, Ayunga (Harper 74), Ward.
SUBS NOT USED: Vose (GK), Skapetis.