Brighton & Hove Albion
Our men’s under-21s are shaping up to be a team of entertainers as they recorded a thrilling 3-2 home win against West Ham.
Shannon Ruth’s side came into the match on the back of a 3-3 draw against Manchester United, while their previous meeting in Lancing resulted in a thumping 4-0 win against Tottenham.
It was an afternoon of excitement and mess with the tone already set in the second minute.
Hammers striker Remy Coddington, live through the opening half, found himself one-on-one with James Beadle, but the Albion keeper did well to put the ball out for a corner.
There was a further scare four minutes later when Coddington again broke free in an identical position, but the advancing Beadle knocked the ball away for another corner – with the visitors calling for a penalty.
Albion, playing their first game since the draw against United on October 8, gradually gained a foothold in the game.
Jack Hinshelwood and Luca Barrington both had shots blocked from the edge of the box, while Andrew Moran danced his way into the area, only to find his path to goal blocked.
The hosts continued to look for the breakthrough and it duly arrived on 21 minutes when Jack Spong sent a probing ball into the box. It was missed by Cam Peupion, but Moran was on hand to cool off from close range.
However, the lead lasted just three minutes as another Hammers break fell to George Earthy, whose deflected effort flew into the top corner of Beadle’s net.
The game flowed from end to end and a frenetic period again saw Albion take the lead after 28 minutes. Casper Nilsson found himself deep in the opposition box, headed back into the danger zone, and Barrington was on hand to poke home his first goal for the Seagulls.
Earthy then fired straight at Beadle but it was Albion who went closer two minutes before the break when a deft Todd Miller pass played in Peupion. His low effort came back off the post and Miller was unable to capitalize on the rebound.
There was little respite as the second half got under way and the Hammers were back level just four minutes after the restart when Miller brought down the advancing Will Greenidge in the box. Referee James Durkin didn’t hesitate to point to the penalty spot, and Pierre Ekwah sent Beadle the wrong way.
Albion missed a good chance to score soon after when a deep Miller cross into the box was met by Moran, but he failed to make a proper connection with his header and the ball fell wide of the post.
West Ham then had their own spell in the lead, but it was the Seagulls who provided the all-important third when sub Ben Wilson played in the advancing Moran. He waited his turn to release the late Hinshelwood, who coolly rolled the ball home.
Wilson then had an effort saved by Krisztian Hegyi in the closing stages, while Ollie Scarles had an effort hacked away for the visitors – but it was Albion who were all smiles as they claimed their third Premier League 2 win of the season.
Albion: Beadle, Nilsson (Samuels 65), Tsoungui, McConville, Furlong, Barrington (Wilson 65), Hinshelwood (Chouchane 75), Spong, Peupion, Moran, Miller (Everitt 85).
Sub not used: Cahill.