Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s coach Simon Rusk was pleased with the professionalism his side showed in their 6-0 victory over Pagham on Tuesday evening at Culver Road.
The Seagulls advanced to the final of the competition to set up a tie with Crawley Town at the Amex Stadium in just under two months time, and the coach was pleased with the way his side dealt with the semi-final and their opponents.
He said, “It was a professional display in the end and the boys got the job done, but credit to Pagham because they came here and did cause us some problems.
“What we’ve got in this country is a lot of levels all the way down the pyramid that have players who’ve played a good level of football - and they were the perfect example of that tonight.
“I’d say credit to them and then well done to our team for getting the job done.”
The win made it 10 games unbeaten across all competitions for the Albion side, and Rusk highlighted the rotation and subsequent result were both equally as pleasing for him, as the Seagulls continued their strong run of form.
“We rotated a bit and we gave some under-18 faces a chance in the side - we saw it as a good opportunity to do that because the under-23s have played a lot of games lately.
“It was about making sure that we kept the momentum we have, whilst also balancing the workload so that everyone got the minutes they needed.
“We’ve got to the final now and that was our objective at the start of the season, so we’re very happy with the players.
One of many influential performances on the night came from Danny Mandroiu, who was returning from a long-term knee injury.
The midfielder had a hand in goals in either half, as well getting on the scoresheet himself in the second period, and the coach was delighted with his contribution following his return to the fold.
“Danny has been out for a while since he picked up a nasty injury earlier in the season, and we’re really pleased that he’s back in action.
“He’s had to work very hard to get back and he had an impact in the game tonight, so now it’s about him maintaining that and building his sharpness.
“We’ve got everyone in for the game with Everton on Saturday and then we’ll have a few of the boys who will go away on international duty, so it’s all positive.”