- Albion draw 0-0 with Newcastle United at home
- Max Sanders strikes the crossbar in the second half
- Henrik Bjordal has a shot cleared off the line
- The Seagulls play Aston Villa at Villa Park next Monday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s were held to a goalless draw by Newcastle United at the Checkatrade.com Stadium this evening, in a game packed with chances for the Seagulls.
Henrik Bjordal went close for Albion on a number of occasions, including a shot that was cleared off the line, while Max Sanders struck the crossbar in the second half, as neither side could find a breakthrough.
Simon Rusk made five changes to the starting line-up that lost 5-1 at West Bromwich Albion last time out, with summer signing Soufyan Ahannach retaining his place on the left wing.
The visitors had the first chance to break the deadlock after just six minutes, but Stefan O’Connor pierced through the middle of the park, Albion goalkeeper Bailey Vose made a smart save with his feet.
Sanders then saw his powerful shot deflected over the crossbar, before the midfielder curled just wide of Freddie Woodman’s left-hand post after Ahannach played the ball inside.
David Ajiboye almost connected with Ahannach’s left-footed delivery, but couldn't quite leap high enough to meet the Dutchman’s cross, as the Seagulls pressed for an opening goal.
Albion’s best chance fell to Bjordal after Sanders chested the ball down for the striker in the penalty area, but the Norwegian’s half-volley flew narrowly wide of the post from eight yards.
Woodman pulled off a fine save to prevent Ajiboye’s powerful shot from giving Albion the lead, before Vose dived to his left-hand side to push Liam Smith’s curling effort away from goal.
Bjordal then found himself through on goal after latching onto Will Collar’s defence-splitting pass, but Woodman raced off his line to save well at the feet of the Norwegian.
Bjordal and Ahannach both had good chances shortly before the break, but Woodman continued his impressive display, as he pushed the latter’s curling shot away from the top corner to keep the scores level.
Albion started the second half in the same vein, with Ajiboye finding the side-netting from inside the box, before Ahannach saw his low shot from 30 yards deflected behind for a corner.
Sanders came close to finding the breakthrough shortly before the hour mark, but the midfielder’s controlled effort from the corner of the penalty area clipped the top of the crossbar and went behind.
After dancing his way past Newcastle’s defence and goalkeeper, it looks as if Bjordal would give Albion the lead from a tight angle, but a Magpies defender recovered to clear the Norwegian’s shot off the goal line.
O’Connor and Dan Barlaser had late chances to snatch all three points for the visitors, but neither could beat Vose in Albion’s goal, as both teams had to settle for a point in Crawley.