- Albion seal comfortable victory over Hastings United
- Danny Cashman opens the scoring
- Stefan Ljubicic nets twice after the break
- Ryan Longman adds fourth late on
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s sealed their place in the quarter finals of the Sussex Senior Cup with a 4-0 victory over Hastings United at The Pilot Field.
Danny Cashman found the back of the net to get the ball rolling, before Stefan Ljubicic’s second-half brace and Ryan Longman’s thunderous fourth rounded off a commanding performance from the Seagulls.
Alex Cochrane raced down the left wing to create Albion’s first chance of the game, but Cashman’s first-time effort from his team-mate’s low cross flew straight into the arms of Charlie Horlock.
The hosts were inches away from taking the lead soon after when Antonio Walker-Barth trickled a shot back across goal to beat Hugo Keto, but Josh Kerr raced back to make a vital clearance off the line.
The Seagulls gradually managed to get on top of their opponents and opened the scoring in the 25th minute through Cashman, after the striker flicked Kerr’s header over the line from close range.
Peter Gwargis had a good chance to double Albion’s lead on the hour mark when he fired towards the bottom corner from Cashman’s square pass, but Horlock denied the winger to his left-hand side.
Gwargis then saw a powerful effort tipped over the crossbar and Roberts had a close-range effort cleared off the line, before Jack Dixon’s swerving strike from distance almost caught out Keto.
Simon Rusk’s team returned for the second half and again it was Cashman causing problems inside the Hastings penalty area, as the striker’s fierce drive cannoned back off the post after Horlock parried a long-range effort.
The Arrows offered little going forward and Keto remained untested, and that allowed Albion to press forward in search of a second goal, which came following a defence-splitting pass in the 70th minute.
Teddy Jenks showed composure to get his head up and slip a brilliant pass in behind the Hastings defence to release Ljubicic, and the Icelandic forward cooly finished past Horlock to extend Albion’s lead.
Five minutes later and Ljubicic bagged his second goal of the game, as he raced into the penalty area and slotted home from Joe Tomlinson’s low-driven cross, which effectively put the game out of sight.
There was still time for a fourth goal in the 90th minute, as Longman shifted the ball onto his right foot and drilled a ferocious effort beyond Horlock to make it 4-0 and confirm Albion’s progress to the next round.
ALBION: Keto; Tomlinson, Kerr, O’Hora, Cochrane; Gwargis, Roberts (Packham 82), Jenks (Spong 78), Longman; Cashman, Ljubicic (Tolaj 86).
Subs not used: Collings (GK), Lopata.