Albion under-23s put seven past Shoreham to lift Sussex Community Shield

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s romped to a 7-0 win over Bostik League South Shoreham to lift the Sussex Community Shield at Culver Road this evening.
Albion under-23s with the Sussex Community Shield trophy. Picture by Simon RoeAlbion under-23s with the Sussex Community Shield trophy. Picture by Simon Roe
Albion under-23s with the Sussex Community Shield trophy. Picture by Simon Roe

Southern Combination League Premier Division champions Mussels met Sussex Senior Cup winners Albion's young guns as the two fought it out for the first piece of silverware to handed out in the county this season.

Albion debutant Steven Alzate netted twice on debut, while Aaron Connolly, James Tilley, Max Sanders, Dan Mandroiu and substitute Jordan Davies also struck to help Brighton cruise to Sussex Community Shield glory.

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Mussels were dealt a harsh lesson as they prepare for a first-ever season at Bostik League South level.

Brighton were out of sight within 35 minutes, netting five times to ensure they were 5-0 up at the interval.

Albion's youngsters were not finished there, though, with substitute Jordan Davies and Alzate striking for a second time to round things off.

Brighton's youngster were in command from the outset, taking the lead after six minutes through Aaron Connolly. The Albion forward got in behind Shoreham's defence, rounded James Broadbent and slotted into an empty net to fire his team in front.

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Connolly looked a real threat and nearly doubled Brighton's advantage four minutes later. Once again Connolly found space in behind Mussels' backline but his effort was superbly cleared off-the-line by the backtracking Henry Watson.

Albion did not have to wait to long to add a second and what a goal it was aswell. James Tilley was the man to get it, curling a delightful 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.

Debutant Steven Alzate was looking lively for Brighton's young guns, winning them a penalty with Mussels centre-half Lee Denyer hauling him down in the area seven minutes later. Alzate picked himself up, before firing the penalty past Broadbent to make it three just prior the the half-hour mark.

Albion were not finished there and struck twice more before the half was out. Max Sanders showed great strength turning his man just inside Shoreham's area, then unleashing a thunderous right-foot effort that found the top corner ten minutes prior to the interval.

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Shoreham then shipped a fifth less then a minute later. Connolly and Tilley linked up well, before the latter teed up the onrushing Dan Mandroiu for the easiest of finishes.

Albion goalkeeper Billy Collings was forced into his first save a minute after the restart. A well worked free-kick found Alex Laing on the edge and his drilled effort was dealt with low to his right by Collings.

Substitute Jordan Davies then added a sixth for Brighton four minutes after being introduced on the hour. Davies took Sanders pass in his stride, then curled into the bottom corner.

Alzate was enjoying life on his Brighton debut, notching his second of the night 20 minutes before the end. Tyler Forbes' fierce drive could only be parried by Broadbent with Alzate on hand to poke home the rebound.

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A difficult evening for Shoreham was then complete as skipper Denyer was dismissed three minutes from time. Denyer went in hard on Brighton substitute Will Collar and was shown a second yellow by referee Ryan.

SHOREHAM: Broadbent; Packer, Denyer, Watson, Hand; Myers, Caplin; Laing, Rudwick, Goldson; Archibald. Subs: Nayee (Archibald, 82), Gathern, Proto (Goldson, 45), Cradock (Caplin, 76), Donaldson (Rudwick, 45).

ALBION UNDER-23s: Collings; Forbes, Dallison, Hall, O'Sullivan; Hutchinson, Mandroiu; Tilley, Sanders, Alzate; Connolly. Subs: Sanchez, Kerr (Hall, 70), Collar (Hutchinson, 66), A.Davies (Tilley, 56), J.Davies (Mandroiu, 56).