- Albion win penalty shootout to seal extra point
- Aaron Connolly and Jordan Davies level the game for the Seagulls
- Matt Godden and Jason Cummings put the hosts 2-0 ahead
- Billy Collings makes important stop in the shootout
A Brighton & Hove Albion under-21 side fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium this evening, before winning a penalty shootout to claim an extra point in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The Seagulls fell behind to goals from Matt Godden and Jason Cummings, but Aaron Connolly’s long-range effort halved the deficit before Jordan Davies powered home a header to level the contest.
Albion’s top goalscorer, Connolly, then fired the winning penalty to earn his side an extra point in the shootout, after Billy Collings denied Posh goalscorer Godden.
Viktor Gyokeres forced the first save of the game when the Swede latched onto Mathias Normann’s forward pass and curled towards the bottom corner, but it was a comfortable stop for Aaron Chapman.
The Peterborough shot-stopper had to work harder from Gyokeres’s next effort, as he scooped a shot towards goal from close range, but Chapman showed impressive reactions to tip over for a corner.
James Tilley and George Cox combined well to fashion another opportunity for the Seagulls, but the former’s back-post effort from his team-mate’s low-driven cross sailed wide of the target, as Albion continued their positive start.
But to Albion’s disappointment, the hosts broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 21st minute, as Godden controlled the ball inside the penalty area before unleashing a powerful volley past Collings.
Peterborough grew in confidence after taking the lead and Collings was almost beaten by a ferocious 25-yard effort from Callum Cooke that narrowly cleared the crossbar shortly before the break.
Albion were let off the hook within 20 seconds of the restart, as Cooke controlled inside the penalty area, shifted the ball onto his right foot and saw his curling effort crash back off the upright.
The home side showed a noticeable improvement after the break, and they controversially doubled their lead on 52 minutes after Tilley went to ground on the halfway line and the referee played on.
Despite Albion’s appeals for a free-kick, Peterborough raced forward and found Cummings on the right-hand side of Albion’s penalty area, and the forward delicately chipped the ball over Collings to make it 2-0.
But just as they did at Oxford United last season, Rusk’s team continued to believe and halved the deficit on 72 minutes, and it was Connolly who cut inside onto his right foot and powered an effort into the bottom corner.
The Irishman’s strike injected confidence into the side and seven minutes later they found themselves on level terms, as Davies crashed home a header from Cox’s inch-perfect cross.
Albion almost won it deep into stoppage time, when the ball came back off the crossbar, but the full-time whistle was blown and the game headed for a penalty shootout.
Collings pulled off a fine save to stop Godden’s penalty, and after well-taken spot-kicks from Davies, Gyokeres, Normann and White, Connolly fired home the winning penalty to seal an extra point.
ALBION: Collings (GK); Moore (A.Davies 56), White, Ostigard, Barclay, Cox; Tilley (Gwargis 62), Normann, J.Davies, Gyokeres; Connolly.
Subs not used: Rees (GK), O’Hora, Longman, Cashman.