- Albion move to the top of their Premier League Cup group
- Three penalties are awarded to the Seagulls
- George Cox scores his first and has his second saved
- Steven Alzate and Aaron Connolly also on target
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s beat Hull City 3-0 in the Premier League Cup this evening, in a match which included three penalties for the Seagulls, as they stretched their winning run to five games.
Referee Marc Edwards pointed to the spot three times in the second half - George Cox scored his first and then watched Steven Alzate finish off his saved second, before Aaron Connolly rolled home the third late on.
Simon Rusk made four changes to the side that beat Aston Villa on Monday evening, with Alex Cochrane, Jordan Davies, James Tilley and Henrik Bjordal all coming into the team.
Bjordal was sent racing through on goal inside the opening minutes of the game, following a neat pass from Alzate, but the Norwegian dragged his shot wide of the target.
Hull were unable to fully clear a corner from Davies, and when the ball dropped for Tyler Forbes inside the box, the full-back’s ambitious overhead kick looped over the crossbar.
Albion almost went behind after 19 minutes when Hull forward Will Annan pulled the trigger from outside the box, but fortunately his rasping effort cannoned back off the post.
It was Annan again who caused problems for Albion, with his initial shot being blocked in front of goal, before Robert Sanchez produced a stunning save to keep out the striker’s follow-up.
Bjordal then broke away for the Seagulls and picked our Alzate, but as the angle tightened for the striker, his left-footed shot was blocked inside the six-yard box.
The remainder of the first-half was mainly played out between the penalty areas, as neither side could muster a clear-cut opportunity, which ensured the game remained level at the break.
Rusk’s team came out with confidence in the second half and were presented with a great chance to break the deadlock when James Tilley went over in the penalty area, which prompted the referee to point to the spot.
Cox stepped up for the Seagulls and powerfully stroked the ball into the bottom corner, and despite Will Mannion’s best efforts to keep the ball out, it hit the back of the net to put Albion ahead on 51 minutes.
The hosts came close to restoring parity soon afterwards when Robbie McKenzie’s stinging effort from 20 yards looked destined for the top corner, but Sanchez again pulled off a terrific one-handed stop at full stretch.
Cox then surged into the penalty area and was brought down by Hull’s Fergus McAughtrie - the referee had no hesitation in awarding Albion a second spot-kick and Rusk’s side had a chance to double their lead.
Mannion got the better of Cox from 12 yards, saving the full-back’s spot-kick to his right-hand side, but Alzate followed up to drill the ball home from close range to make it 2-0.
Davies then forced Mannion into a fine stop, as the Hull goalkeeper got down well to block the winger’s low shot, following his positive run and turn inside.
The match moved into stoppage time and the Seagulls were awarded their third penalty of the game following another clumsy foul - and Connolly chose the same corner to beat Mannion from 12 yards, to conclude another fine evening for Rusk’s in-form team.
ALBION: Sanchez; Forbes, Moore, Dallison, Cox; J.Davies (Connolly 79), Cochrane, Sanders, Alzate (Morrison 87); Tilley (Gyokeres 63); Bjordal.
Subs not used: Collings (GK), Kone.