- Albion end 2018 with a 4-2 win over West Ham
- Anders Dreyer breaks the deadlock
- Leo Ostigard nets twice for the Seagulls
- Viktor Gyokeres adds a fourth late on
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s rounded off a positive year with another hard-earned victory, as they secured a 4-2 win over West Ham United at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
The Seagulls climbed to third position in the Premier League 2 Division 1, and now have over three weeks to rest and prepare for their next league meeting against Arsenal at the Broadfield Stadium.
Leo Ostigard’s brace and a goal from Anders Dreyer put Albion 3-0 ahead, and despite Amadou Diallo and Moses Makasi replying for the hosts either side of the break, Viktor Gyokeres rounded off the scoring to confirm victory.
Simon Rusk named the same 16-man squad that were narrowly beaten by Leicester City on the south coast, with first-team goalkeeper David Button playing his second game after recovering from injury.
Albion made a positive start to the match and create a fine opportunity after just five minutes when George Cox and Gyokeres linked up to find Dreyer, but the Dane’s powerful effort was tipped over the crossbar.
Dan Kemp then surged forward for the hosts and tried his luck from a tight angle, only to see his left-footed shot rise over the target, as the teams continued to feel their way into the contest.
It was Albion who drew first blood when Ben Barclay laid the ball back for Dreyer on the edge of the penalty area, and the Danish winger connected with the ball sweetly to pick out the bottom corner.
Just three minutes passed and the Seagulls found themselves two goals ahead, when a deflected shot looped into the air, causing problems for West Ham goalkeeper Nathan Trott, and Ostigard simply headed home on the goal line.
Albion’s stunning start got even better on 31 minutes from James Tilley’s inswinging corner — Ostigard rose at the front to powerfully head home his second goal of the afternoon to make it 3-0.
Aaron Connolly was desperate to get in amongst the goals, but after Dreyer find the Irishman with a clever back-heel, Trott got down well to push the striker’s low-driven effort away from goal.
West Ham pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time, and it was Diallo who showed composure inside the box to find the bottom corner to make it 3-1 and give his side hope for a comeback.
The Hammers reduced Albion’s advantage further just six minutes after returning for the second half — Joe Powell swung a corner towards the front post and Makasi found the back of the net with na instinctive flick.
The Seagulls had to withstand a barrage of pressure from the hosts, as numerous balls were delivered into the penalty area, but Barclay and half-time replacement Warren O’Hora held strong.
Sean Adarkwa came off the bench for the hosts in the closing stages just hours after netting twice against Albion’s under-18s, as West Ham’s search for an equalising goal continued.
But in the third minute of stoppage time, Gyokeres fired into the bottom corner to wrap up the points and ensure Rusk’s side would end 2018 on a positive note.
ALBION: Button; A.Davies, Barclay, Ostigard (O’Hora 46), Cox; Dreyer, Sanders, Normann, Tilley (Cochrane 65); Gyokeres; Connolly.
Subs not used: Keto (GK), Gwargis, Ljubicic.