Under-18s progress in FA Youth Cup

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Chouchane and Ifill on target in third round victory over Plymouth.

By Cameron Weldon • 03 December 2021

Albion celebrate after Sami Chouchane put them in front from the spot in their 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle

Albion’s under-18s progressed to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup after a hard fought 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle at Home Park on Friday.

Samy Chouchane put James Baxter’s side ahead from the penalty spot midway through the first half before Marcus Ifill rifled in a second early in the second half to put Brighton in control.

Brandon Pursall pulled one back for the hosts with a looping header late on, but Albion defended well to secure their progress.

Albion were looking to return to winning ways after recent league defeats to Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the league but it was the home side started brightly with right-back Oscar Rutherford’s effort blocked for a corner.

Sami Chouchane put Albion in front from the penalty spot

Goalkeeper Tommy Reid was then called into action to deny Freddie Issaka at the near post with a smart save after Leigh Kavanagh had misread a pass to present the opportunity to the Plymouth attacker.

But Albion settled and took the lead. With 23 minutes on the clock Andrew Moran played through Ifill who was tripped in the box by the keeper and a penalty was awarded. Chouchane stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 1-0.

Chouchane then looked to turn provider when his corner fell to the feet of danger man Zac Emmerson but the forward’s effort went well wide.

Issaka, who was proving to be a real threat for the home side, saw an effort go just wide of Reid’s far corner while at the other end Moran had a shot blocked for a corner as the first half drew to a close.

Marcus Ifill battles for possession in midfield

Going into the second period with a lead to protect, Brighton started well. Chouchane was quickly closed down before Ifill saw an audacious attempt go over the bar.

Ifill wasn’t going to need another invitation to shoot, and he doubled Brighton’s lead on 50 minutes with a powerful strike into the corner.

Will Jenkins-Davies stung the hands of Reid with an effort from distance as Argyle tried to respond and the home side came close to pulling one back when a cross rattled the woodwork. They did score late on when Pursall saw a looping header beat Reid to get his side back in the tie.

Albion had to defend strongly in the closing stages but got the job done and can now look forward to a place in the next round.

Albion: Reid, McConville, Gee (Lucero 63), Jackson (capt), Kavanagh, Jenks, Duffus (Smith 85), Chouchane, Emmerson (Qureshi 73), Moran, Ifill.

Unused subs: Fisher (GK), Ryan

Bookings: Gee