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Match Reports


22 August 2017

Paul Hazlewood
James Tilley wheels away in celebration.
  • James Tilley's first-ever senior goal secures Albion's place in the third round
  • Jayson Molumby, Ales Mateju and Aaron Connolly make their first-team debuts
  • Chris Hughton named 11 changes to the side that lost to Leicester City
  • Albion now turn their attentions to a league match with Watford on Saturday

Teenager James Tilley was Brighton & Hove Albion’s hero as they reached the Carabao Cup third round.

Hardworking Barnet had proved difficult to break down before 19-year-old Tilley struck eight minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute.

The 19-year-old from Billingshurst, who was making only his third senior appearance, volleyed home after skipper Liam Rosenior had seen his shot blocked.

Barnet went close to equalising when Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro hit the post and they dominated the closing stages, but the Seagulls defended resolutely to secure their first win of the season.

As anticipated, boss Chris Hughton made 11 changes to the side beaten by Leicester City on Saturday. The most eye-catching name in the starting line-up was 18-year-old midfielder Jayson Molumby, who was neat and tidy in possession throughout and involved in the goal.

Albion predictably dominated possession early on, but their only chance in the opening third of the contest came after Richie Towell and Knockeart had combined nicely in midfield. Anthony Knockeart threaded a pass into the path of Tomer Hemed, but Ricardo Santos did enough to prevent it from testing former Whitehawk goalkeeper Craig Ross.

Barnet were quick to funnel men behind the ball when the hosts threatened, but Albion should have scored in the 33rd minute. David Tutonda gave the ball away to Knockeart, who raced into the box and side-stepped a defender to make space but Ross blocked his shot with his left leg.

Knockeart was booked for dissent as the teams left the field at the break and Tilley replaced him at half-time in a double change, which saw Ales Mateju come on for Gaetan Bong to make his senior debut for the Seagulls.

And it took just eight minutes for Tilley to make an impact. Skipper Liam Rosenior was found by Molumby’s inch-perfect pass, as he burst into the penalty area and when his shot was blocked, Tilley was on hand to volley it past Ross from ten yards.

It was a deserved reward for a purposeful start to the second half by the Seagulls, but Barnet should have levelled three minutes later. Jack Taylor’s cross was met by a powerful header from Jamal Campbell-Ryce which Niki Maenpaa brilliantly parried. Ricardo Santos reacted quickest but could only find the side-netting with this close-range header.

The visitors had responded impressively to going behind and went even closer in the 70th minute when Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro thudded a close-range effort against the post, with Uwe Huenemeier getting an important deflection on his effort.

There was a special moment in the 75th minute when 17-year-old striker Aaron Connolly became the first player born in this century to represent the senior side when he replaced Hemed.

Connolly had little chance to impress in the closing stages with Albion forced to protect their lead doggedly, as Barnet pushed more men forward, but thanks to Tilley’s composed finish they will be in Thursday’s draw.

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