Match Reports

Rushworth heroics earn Albion a point

Goalkeeper puts in sterling performance in goalless draw with Chelsea.

By Luke Nicoli • 07 March 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Carl Rushworth tips the ball over the crossbar against the Blues.
  • Chelsea 0, Albion 0

Albion put in a fine rearguard action – and had the woodwork to thank – as they earned a share of the spoils at Kingsmeadow.

The hosts' dominance, in terms of possession and chances created, made for a long afternoon but the Seagulls stood firm – most notably goalkeeper Carl Rushworth, who pulled off a number of fine saves to help earn a valuable point.

On a bright spring afternoon, Chelsea showed their intentions from the start, forcing four corners inside the opening ten minutes.

Of their forward forays during that spell, Jude Soonsup-Bell came closest to breaking the deadlock but his close-range effort was palmed away by Rushworth.

By Paul Hazlewood
Carl Rushworth pulled off some excellent saves on the afternoon.

The Blues continued to up the ante and they again came close when a George McEachran corner fell to Henry Lawrence at the far post, but his effort flashed across the face of goal.

Albion's first real attack came on 18 minutes when Danny Cashman broke down the right, but having played the ball back to Ayo Tanimowo, the full-back's inviting low cross evaded the yellow shirts breaking into the box.

By Paul Hazlewood
Evan Ferguson saw his first half effort well saved.

Tino Anjorin and Soonsup-Bell had further efforts for the hosts but Albion were growing in confidence and created their best chance of the half on 28 minutes when Evan Ferguson showed good feet to shift the ball inside, but his low effort was pushed away by keeper Karlo Ziger.

The Seagulls were now finding joy playing between the thirds, with Teddy Jenks seeing an effort blocked from the edge of the box and Jack Spong volleying the rebound wide from 25 yards.

In fact, it was all Albion for a spell and Jenks, having been teed up by Ben Wilson, curled an effort over the bar with the outside of his foot when he should have tested the keeper.

By Paul Hazlewood
Teddy Jenks has a go from the edge of the box.

The start of the second half was a carbon copy of the first and the hosts thought they had broken the deadlock on 48 minutes when a Tino Livramento cross into the box was met by the head of Levi Colwill. Rushworth did superbly to block the point-blank effort at his far post and he was called into action moments later when he showed great agility to tip a Marcel Lewis effort over the bar.

Rushworth then completed a triumvirate of superb saves to palm a long-range Harvey Vale effort onto the upright and away for a corner.

Colwill also tested Rushworth from distance while Livramento crashed a 25-yard effort off the crossbar as the Seagulls were penned in their own half.

Albion were forced into playing on the break and their best chance of the half came on 67 minutes when James Furlong sent a dangerous ball into the box from the left but Cashman failed to get a clean connection.

Chelsea were growing frustrated at not having made the breakthrough and heads were in hands again with 12 minutes remaining as a Livramento cross was met by the onrushing Vale, but his effort hit the woodwork.

Albion, though, maintained their shape under pressure, were dogged when they needed to be, and will be delighted to head back to Sussex with a point in the bag.

Albion: Rushworth; Tanimowo, Dendoncker (Leonard 45), Turns, Furlong; Cashman, Weir, Jenks, Spong, Wilson; Ferguson (Vukoje 66).

Subs not used: Packham, Rees, Ella