Albion's under-23s claimed all three points against the league leaders.
- Albion beat the league leaders at home
- Harry Cardwell scores the winning goal early on
- Sam Adekugbe leaves the field with an injury
- Richie Towell completes 90 minutes for under-23s
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s recorded an impressive victory over the league leaders, as they overcame Swansea City with a hard-working performance at the Checkatrade.com Stadium this evening.
Harry Cardwell was the match-winner for the Seagulls after scoring from a tight angle early on, before they saw out the second half with a fine defensive display to seal maximum points on home soil.
Simon Rusk included Sam Adekugbe in the starting line-up after his recent involvement with the first team, and Richie Towell also earned some valuable game time after he played the full 90 minutes.
The visitors began the game on the front and recorded the first effort of the game, but Ryan Blair’s deflected attempt from long range looped over the crossbar.
Jordan Garrick then tested Albion goalkeeper Robert Sanchez with a low-driven effort from the edge of the penalty area, before Adekugbe had to leave the field due to injury, with George Cox coming on to replace the Canadian.
The Seagulls took the lead in the 16th minute when Jordan Davies received the ball from Ben White inside Swansea’s penalty area, which drew visiting goalkeeper Gregor Zabret off his line, leaving the winger to roll the ball across for Cardwell to finish into an empty net from a tight angle.
The Swans searched for a quick equaliser, as Jay Fulton broke forward and unleashed a firm effort from just outside the box, but the ball sailed wide of Sanchez’s right-hand upright.
Ollie McBurnie, the match-winner in the reverse fixture last November, shot narrowly over the crossbar from close range after Garrick broke down the right and crossed for the striker inside the box.
Davies cut inside and tried his luck with a unique attempt with the outside of his left foot, but Joe Roden did well to block the goal-bound effort, before Towell and James Tilley both shot wide of the target before the break.
Albion almost found themselves in trouble soon after the re-start as Sanchez’s under-hit clearance fell to the feet of McBurnie, but the Spaniard recovered well to rush off his line and save at the striker’s feet.
McBurnie rose high inside the box to head over from a Swansea corner, before Towell blazed a right-footed effort over the crossbar up the other end, as Albion looked to double their lead and ease the pressure.
Sanchez was on hand to claim the ball down low after Connor Roberts surged forward and drilled a shot on target, before McBurnie headed wide of the target from the Swansea full-back’s cross from the left wing moments later.
Albion survived a scare in the closing stages when McBurnie headed against the post from Blair’s corner, before Sanchez swept up the loose ball in front of goal, as the Seagulls held on for all three points.
ALBION: Sanchez; Collar (Hornby-Forbes 76), White, Dallison, Adekugbe (Cox 15); Tilley (Barclay 66), Hutchinson, Towell, J.Davies; Bjordal; Cardwell.
SUBS NOT USED: Collings (GK), Barnett.