Albion's under-23s overcame Eastbourne Borough to reach the final.
Tilley 81, 85
Romain 24, 55
Collings (og) 30
- Albion reach the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup final
- Aaron Connolly, Dessie Hutchinson and James Tilley (2) find the back of the net
- Elliot Romain (2) and Billy Collings (og) score for Eastbourne Borough
The Seagulls will play Crawley Town in the final
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s scored two late goals to reach the final of the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup, in an entertaining match against Eastbourne Borough that ended 4-3 at Culver Road this evening.
Jayson Molumby had Albion’s final effort before the break as he raced onto Tighe’s defence-splitting pass, but the Irishman’s strike was well saved by Carey low down.
The comeback was completed in the 30th minute and it was a moment to forget for Collings. Miguel Baptista delivered a tame corner into the hands of Collings, but the Albion shot-stopper mishandled and pushed the ball into his own net.
But Eastbourne halved the deficit within two minutes and it was Romain who cut inside and fired into the bottom corner from inside the box.
Albion doubled their lead on 22 minutes when Hutchinson’s sublime flick over two defenders inside the box gave him the opportunity to shoot, and the midfielder made no mistake as he fired past Carey from close range.
Tighe played a one-two and cut inside from the right wing before curling a shot wide, which was then followed by Connolly’s angled attempt that sailed over after rounding Eastbourne goalkeeper Lewis Carey.
Cox’s speed down the left wing was causing Eastbourne problems and after Tilley played a delightful through-ball for the full-back, Connolly was on hand to volley home from Cox’s cross to give Albion the lead on 11 minutes.
The Seagulls broke at speed moments later as Tilley released George Cox into the penalty area, but Tighe could only fire wide of the target from the full-back’s low cross.
Eastbourne striker Romain created the first opportunity of the game inside the opening minutes, but Albion goalkeeper Collings got down to comfortably claim the forward’s low shot.
Albion made four changes to the team that beat Middlesborough 4-2 at the Amex last Friday, with Collings replacing Niki Maenpaa in goal, while Dessie Hutchinson, Connor Tighe and Danny Mandroiu also returned.
Goals from Aaron Connolly and Dessie Hutchinson were cancelled out by Elliot Romain’s brace and an own goal from Billy Collings, but James Tilley’s late brace restored Albion’s lead to set up a final date against Crawley Town.
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
REPORT: ROTHERHAM 0 ALBION 2
- U23 REPORT: ALBION 4 MIDDLESBROUGH 2
- ALBION BOOST DEFENSIVE OPTIONS
- 2017-18 SEASON-TICKET RENEWAL INFORMATION
- KNOCKAERT SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION
Eastbourne turned the game on its head in the 55th minute as they completed the turnaround, and it was Romain who headed past Collings from Baptista’s corner to claim his second goal of the game.
It looked as if Eastbourne’s lead would be extended when Nathaniel Piney raced through on goal and only had Collings to beat, but the striker’s powerful effort cannoned back off the post.
Piney tried his luck again with a dipping shot from distance that sailed over the crossbar, before Connolly worked himself an angle to shoot but saw his curling effort drop wide of Carey’s right-hand upright.
But Albion did restore parity to the scoreline in the 81st minute when Tilley met Hutchinson’s front-post corner with an exceptional glancing header that found the top corner.
Eastbourne looked unsettled after Albion’s leveller and just four minutes later Tilley got his name on the scoresheet again, as the winger met a loose ball inside the box and fired past Carey to put the Seagulls in front late on.
Romain and Kiran Khinda-John went close in the closing stages but Albion were able to hold on and secured their place in the final.
ALBION: Collings; Collar, Hall, Barclay (Cadman 46), Cox; Tilley, Hutchinson, Molumby, Tighe (J.Davies 69); Mandroiu (A.Davies 78); Connolly.
SUBS NOT USED: Sanchez (GK), Barker.
Tweets by @OfficialBHAFC