Friendly Fri 9 July American Express Elite Football Performance Centre
Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Ella (15')

Match Report: Gareth Nicholas

The hosts had the luxury of being able to name a different line-up for each half and included two of our former goalkeepers in Carl Rushworth and Tom McGill, while a number of the visitor’s squad had spent part of their career at The Albion.

It took fourteen minutes for the action to really get underway when the tricky Jeremy Sarmiento turned Luca Cocoracchio inside out before forcing custodian, Harrison Male to parry at his near post but only as far as the centrally positioned Ulrick Ella, who had the simple task of nodding home into an empty net.

In response, some neat interplay between Ollie Pearce and Cam Tutt saw the latter’s byline cross find the former and although he managed to fool three defenders, he couldn’t quite beat his old teammate between the sticks as Rushworth smothered the striker’s effort.

The bane of every reporter, A.Trialist,  tried his luck from more than twenty yards out which Male tipped over the top one-handed.

However, it was the Isthmian League guests who almost levelled things up approaching the interval after Captain, Danny Barker dispossessed Mr. Trialist and immediately broke clear down the middle on the counter-attack. Jesse Starkey and Pearce did their best in the box but neither were quite able to get a decent shot away.

After the turnaround the men in red continued to attack a new-look Seagulls as Ricky Aguiar capitalized on a loose ball, touched it around Skipper, Antef Tsoungui and advanced through the centre; only to drag wide when he got to the penalty area.

The crossbar came to Red’s rescue moments later following a succession of flag-kicks that culminated in Odell Offiah heading onto the top of it, much to the relief of the visiting defence.

Worthing struggled to get out of their own half when presenting Ella with the opportunity to double his tally for the day from long range, only for him to fire well off target.

Reda Khadra then got the better of Joe Rye, though not Male as the netminder pulled off a good save to deny the number seven.

A Brighton breakaway started by Marc Leonard resulted in a tidy one-two between our friend, Trialist and his strike partner, Ella with Male once again keeping the home team out and preventing the lurking Khadra from pouncing.

Reds were far from overawed and Cocoracchio had McGill getting down to turn his low, long-ranger past the post and out for a corner, midway through the second period.

Male was proving to be an impregnable barrier as he frustrated Ayo Tanimowo and Leonard in the space of two minutes; Khadra supplying the latter but Worthing’s man between the sticks was out quickly to cut out his driven byline deliver.

It was so nearly a draw at the end when substitute, Shaq Gwengwe directed his header straight into the grateful gloves of McGill from Aguiar’s right-sided ball in, going into stoppage tim

Then, a poor defensive pass inside their own eighteen yard box by Albion gave fellow replacement, Mo Diallo the chance of glory but in spite of his best attempts at creating space for himself, he wasn’t quite able to take advantage.