Albion's under-23s earned victory in their final home league game.
- Albion beat Stoke City 2-0 at the Amex
- James Tilley and Tyler Forbes score the goals
- Niki Maenpaa, Vegard Forren and Richie Towell play 90 minutes
- The Seagulls end their league campaign at Norwich City in two weeks
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s left it late to overcome Stoke City at the Amex this evening, but two late strikes in the final 10 minutes sealed a 2-0 victory for the Seagulls in their penultimate league game of the season.
After numerous chances went untaken for either side, James Tilley found the breakthrough late on with a well-taken volley inside the box, before Tyler Forbes added a second minutes before full time with a side-footed finish to wrap up the points.
Simon Rusk made five changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Swansea City in the Premier League Cup, with first-team players Niki Maenpaa, Vegard Forren and Richie Towell all coming into the team.
Towell created the first chance of the game, as he picked up the ball inside and pulled the trigger, but the midfielder dragged his low shot wide of the target from 25 yards.
Maenpaa comfortably saved Jack Devlin’s tame effort up the other end, as Stoke recorded their first opportunity on goal, before Tyrese Campbell got in the way of Thomas Edwards’s goal-bound strike.
Eddy Lecygne was next to test Maenpaa with a well-controlled effort from long range, but the Finnish goalkeeper got across his goal to cancel the danger.
Stoke’s first-team goalkeeper Jack Butland was then made to work as Towell fired a fierce free kick on target from the corner of the penalty area, before Harry Cardwell headed over the crossbar from Jordan Davies’s cross.
Dessie Hutchinson showed great control to bring the ball down but drilled his following shot over from 20 yards, and when Tilley released Davies through on goal moments later, Butland raced off his line to save at the winger’s feet.
Campbell wasted a great chance for the visitors when he skipped past Ben White and blazed his effort high and wide of the target, before Towell looped a header wide of Butland’s right-hand upright before the break.
Danny Mandroiu brought the ball down well from George Cox’s cross, and after a clever turn inside the box, the Irishman bent his shot wide of the target shortly after the re-start.
Tilley showed positivity as he cut in off the wing and fired a powerful shot towards goal, but the winger’s swerving effort flew narrowly wide of Butland’s right-hand post after the hour mark.
Forbes found Cardwell inside the box with a delightful cross, but the striker glanced his header wide of the target, before Maenpaa comfortably saved a close-range header from Liam Edwards.
Forbes went for goal himself after surging forward and firing a powerful shot from just outside the box, but Harry Souttar intervened with a brilliant block to deny the Albion full-back.
But with time running out, Albion took the lead and it was their top goalscorer who found the back of the net in the 84th minute, when Tilley’s close-range volley beat Butland from Cox’s superb delivery.
With Stoke committing players forward in search of an equalising goal, Albion took advantage and doubled their lead in the 89th minute, and this time it was Forbes who raced onto Towell’s through-ball to find the bottom corner with a calmly-taken finish.
The visitors pressed for a consolation goal in the dying stages but were unable to break down Albion’s resilient defence, as the Seagulls took maximum points and secured another clean sheet.
ALBION: Maenpaa; Forbes, White, Forren, Cox; Hutchinson, Towell; J.Davies (Dallison 82), Mandroiu (Molumby 58), Tilley; Cardwell (Hall 72).
SUBS NOT USED: Collings (GK), Barclay.