Albion's under-23s lost 2-0 in Lancashire.
- The Seagulls lose 2-0 to Blackburn Rovers
- Lewis Mansell and Daniel Butterworth score for Rovers
- Harry Cardwell and Billy Collings make their first league starts
- Albion play league leaders Swansea City next Monday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s were beaten 2-0 by Blackburn Rovers at the Lancashire FA Headquarters this evening.
Lewis Mansell broke the deadlock for Rovers in the first half, before Daniel Butterworth doubled their advantage after the break, as Albion fell to their sixth league defeat this season.
Harry Cardwell and Billy Collings, who both joined on loan from Reading until the end of the season, made their first league starts for the Seagulls, with defender Ben White also returning to the starting line-up.
The hosts created the first opportunities of the game, as Mansell rolled the ball across the face of goal and wide of the target, before Matthew Platt looped a header over the crossbar.
Albion’s first chance dropped to Cardwell inside the box, after Jesse Starkey’s corner was deflected upwards, but the striker’s close-range header was comfortably gathered by Rovers goalkeeper Andrew Fisher.
Starkey then found himself in space at the back post, but the midfielder could only direct his header straight at Fisher, after Will Collar stood up a cross from the right wing.
Rovers took the lead on 33 minutes when Butterworth made it to the byline and cut inside his marker, and Mansell converted at the back post from his strike partner’s cross to open the scoring.
Albion had the ball in the back of the net a few minutes later, as Henrik Bjordal tapped home after James Tilley took advantage of Fisher’s heavy touch, but the referee blew his whistle for a foul on the Rovers shot-stopper.
Tom Dallison rose to meet Dessie Hutchinson’s corner soon after the re-start, but the defender’s firm header dropped wide of the target.
Rovers doubled their lead through Butterworth in the 76th minute, as the striker latched onto Connor Thomson’s perfectly-weighted through-ball and curled his shot past Collings into the bottom corner.
Joe Rankin-Costello cut inside and pulled the trigger from just outside the box, but Collings did well to palm away the winger’s fierce effort to his right-hand side.
Albion pushed forward and tried to half the deficit inside the closing stages, but were unable to break down Blackburn’s well-organised defence, as the Seagulls came away empty-handed.
ALBION: Collings; Collar, White, Dallison, Cox; Hutchinson, Barclay (Hornby-Forbes 46); Bjordal (J.Davies 63), Starkey (Barnett 75), Tilley; Cardwell.
SUBS NOT USED: Vose (GK), Hall.