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Match Reports

U23 REPORT: LEICESTER CITY 2 ALBION 2

24 September 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Connolly celebrates with Viktor Gyokeres.
  • Albion’s under-23s draw 2-2 with Leicester City
  • Anders Dreyer opens the scoring against the Foxes
  • Callum Wright and Hugo Keto (OG) put Leicester ahead
  • Aaron Connolly fires late equaliser for the Seagulls

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s scored a stoppage-time equaliser to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League 2 Division 1, as they drew 2-2 against Leicester City at Holmes Park.

Goals either side of half-time cancelled out Anders Dreyer’s opener against the Foxes, but with a matter of minutes remaining on the clock, Aaron Connolly found the back of the net to claim a point in a dramatic finish.

Simon Rusk introduced Jose Izquierdo to the starting line-up, as the Colombian made his return from injury, while Archie Davies returned at right-back for the Seagulls.

The hosts began the game on the front foot and tested Hugo Keto inside the opening ten minutes, as Andy King’s powerful effort was parried away from goal by the Finnish goalkeeper.

Alex Cochrane delivered a delightful cross into the penalty area shortly afterwards, and with Connolly stooping to get his head on the ball, the Irishman’s unorthodox attempt dropped just wide of the target.

Viktor Gyokeres cut in and curled wide from 20 yards, before Connolly glanced a header behind at the back post - and Albion were then thankful for Keto’s heroics up the other end of the pitch.

Leicester midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall pulled the trigger from long distance and the ball flew towards the top corner, but Keto leaped to claw the ball away, before the home side’s follow-up effort was ruled out for offside.

Albion’s forward pairing linked up just after the hour mark when Gyokeres slipped a pass through for Connolly inside the box, but the striker’s bending effort dropped comfortably wide.

The Seagulls got the reward for their patient play in the 35th minute and it was Dreyer who came inside onto his left foot and found the bottom corner from long distance, as his low-driven effort took a deflection en route.

But the hosts got themselves back on level terms just four minutes before the break, and it was Callum Wright who attacked Louis Ramsay’s cross from the right wing and planted a header past Keto.

Albion returned for the second half and had to soak up some early pressure from the hosts, but the Foxes continued to pin the Seagulls back and found a second goal for their efforts.

Danny Simpson’s cross was headed against the post by Wright inside the penalty area, and Keto was unfortunate to see the ball hit his back and drop over the goal line to put the Foxes 2-1 ahead.

Second-half substitute James Tilley, who replaced Izquierdo at half-time, rose highest to meet a precise cross from Davies to the back post, but his tame header dropped wide of goal from close range.

Ben Barclay went close to levelling the game with four minutes remaining on the clock, but his downward header from Jordan Davies’s corner was blocked on the goal line.

However, just like they did at the Emirates Stadium, Rusk’s side showed their never-say-die attitude in stoppage time and Connolly clinically converted Barclay’s knock-down from a long free-kick into Leicester’s penalty area.

The Irishman’s 92nd-minute strike and sixth goal of the season was the last of the action at Holmes Park, as Albion extended their unbeaten league run to six matches.

ALBION: Keto; A.Davies, White, Barclay, Cochrane; Dreyer (Gwargis 75), Collar (O’Hora 89), J.Davies, Izquierdo (Tilley 46); Gyokeres, Connolly.

Subs not used: Collings (GK), Moore.


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