- Steven Alzate heads Albion in front
- Armani Little levels the scores for Southampton
- Ulloa, Kayal, Krul and Goldson all feature for the Seagulls
- Side stretch their unbeaten run to eight matches
Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s played out a competitive 1-1 draw against Southampton on Monday evening at the Amex Stadium.
Steven Alzate’s header a minute before the interval was cancelled out by Armani Little’s nodded effort in the second period, with both sides taking a point from the game.
It meant that the Seagulls made it eight games unbeaten in all competitions, with the draw with the Saints keeping them inside the play-off positions in the division.
Albion named a strong side for the Premier League 2 Division 2 game under the lights, with the first team quartet of Tim Krul, Connor Goldson, Beram Kayal and Leonardo Ulloa all starting the game.
The first chances of the night went the way of the hosts as Tyler Forbes’ strong run into the area was deflected behind and Ulloa’s shot was blocked from close range from the resulting set-piece.
Kayal picked up a yellow card on 13 minutes for a foul on Michael Obafemi, before Forbes’ intelligent tackle on Nathan Tella was vitally timed as the visiting midfielder entered the area.
Much of the half was played between the two penalty areas, with neither side able to create clear-cut opportunities – both Goldson and Tom Dallison produced strong challenges to deny the visitors, before Tella’s header from Jake Hesketh’s cross was well held by Krul at the far post as the Dutchman dived to his right to hold onto the effort.
Henrik Bjordal’s shot on goal came after Kayal had skipped into the area and crossed from the right, before Max Sanders was thwarted as he entered the box after a neat exchange with Steven Alzate.
But Albion would take the lead a minute before the interval, when Alzate’s header was deflected in after a good move from the hosts.
Victor Gyokeres drove at the away defence and got to the byline, before fizzing a dangerous ball to the back post – it was headed goalwards by Alzate and despite the best efforts of the lunging Aaron O’Driscoll, the ball found the net as the home side went into the break ahead.
Sanders’ clever through-ball from deep nearly set Bjordal in, and Forbes’ dangerous cross was flicked off the head of Gyokeres inside the opening ten minutes of the second half.
Aaron Connolly entered the action for the final half hour when he replaced the influential Gyokeres, and the striker was straight into the action when his shot from inside the area was blocked by a Southampton defender.
James Tilley replaced Bjordal and Ulloa was crowded out in the area, before Alzate shot wide as the home side penned their opponents inside their own half for a period of the second half.
But the visitors headed themselves back on level terms with just under 20 minutes left of the contest, as Little nodded in at the back post following a corner from Jake Vokins from the right-hand side.
Albion went in search of a route back in-front, but despite the introductions of both Tilley and Connolly and for all their intricate approach work, they couldn’t produce a cutting edge in the final third inside the last stages of the contest.
Kayal saw an effort bounce away off Jack Rose in the visiting goal, and George Cox skewed wide after a clever ball from Tilley across the box, but that was the last action of the evening as the spoils were shared.
Albion line-up: Krul; Forbes, Goldson, Dallison, Cox; Alzate, Kayal, Sanders ©, Bjordal (Tilley 67); Gyokeres (Connolly 60), Ulloa.
Subs not used: Sanchez (GK), Moore, Mateju.
Southampton line-up: Rose; Rowthorn, O’Driscoll , Jones ©, Vokins; Slattery, Little; Tella (Olomola 65), Hesketh, Johnson, Obafemi.
Subs not used: Latham (GK), Klarer, O’Connor, Mdlalose.