- Albion lose their first league game of the season
- Jacob Butterfield fires an impressive long-range winner
- Viktor Gyokeres has Albion’s best chance at 0-0
- The Seagulls now play Peterborough United in the Checkatrade Trophy
Brighton & Hove Albion’s impressive unbeaten start to the Premier League 2 Division 1 season came to an end this evening, as they were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Derby County at Loughborough University.
It took a moment of genuine quality to win the game — Jacob Butterfield’s stunning effort flew into the top corner from long distance to seal victory for the hosts, despite Albion’s best efforts to get back in the game.
Simon Rusk gave summer signing Leo Ostigard his Albion debut alongside Ben Barclay in defence, while first-team goalkeeper Jason Steele came into the side in place of Hugo Keto.
The hosts enjoyed the greater share of possession inside the opening stages of the game, with Jayden Mitchell-Lawson looking lively down the left wing and Butterfield showing his presence in the centre of the park.
But Albion held their shape well and showed discipline across the pitch, as they restricted their opponents and allowed them no success inside the final third.
Jordan Davies floated a free-kick towards the back post, which Ostigard rose to meet in space, but the Norwegian’s header looped over the crossbar.
Albion survived a scare when Louie Sibley’s powerful effort from inside the penalty area cannoned back off the crossbar just after the half-hour mark, following some neat wing play from Mitchell-Lawson again.
Aaron Connolly was next to try his luck, as he received the ball, turned and fired towards goal from 25 yards, but the Irishman’s dipping effort dropped just over the crossbar.
Anders Dreyer then had a low drive blocked from just outside the 18-yard box, before Rams defender Joe Bateman showed a lack of composure to head over from close range.
Gyokeres found himself racing through on goal just before the break, following a neat pass from James Tilley, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside and the sides went in level.
Albion’s Swedish frontman beat the offside trap shortly after returning for the second half, as he surged forward and had just Henrich Ravas to beat, but his side-footed effort rolled agonisingly wide.
Steele then made an important save at the feet of Cameron Cresswell, before Ostigard bravely threw himself in front of McAllister’s ferocious drive to block the winger’s goal-bound shot.
A moment of quality was required to break the deadlock, and unfortunately for the Seagulls, it came from experienced Rams midfielder Jacob Butterfield, who rifled a shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
Warren O’Hora, Alex Cochrane and Mathias Normann all entered the fray as Rusk rolled the dice in search of an equaliser, but the organised hosts continued to be difficult to break down.
Archie Davies kept his team in the game with an excellent last-ditch challenge in stoppage time, and seconds after Barclay’s late header looped over the crossbar, the final whistle was blown to end Albion’s undefeated league run.
ALBION: Steele; A.Davies, Barclay, Ostigard (O’Hora 66), Cox (Cochrane 72); Dreyer (Normann 79), Collar, J.Davies, Tilley; Gyokeres, Connolly.
Subs not used: Keto (GK), Gwargis.