Friendly Fri 5 July American Express Elite Football Performance Centre
Brighton & Hove Albion

You just had to look outside at the weather conditions this morning to know the football season was back upon us. The Rebels took on a young Brighton in miserable conditions at the Seagulls’ training ground, as new manager Chris Agutter took charge of his first pre-season friendly.

The boss took a squad of 20 to Lancing, with each player getting at least a 45-minute run-out on their return. Six of Agutter’s new recruits and a trialist were named in the starting XI as he got his first look at his side in match action.

The young Seagulls took an early lead in the first half after pressing high to win the ball on the edge of the box before converting past keeper Chris Haigh.

Jake Hutchinson almost hit back with an instant reply after breaking through and catching the Albion keeper off his line. His audacious lobbed effort had beaten the keeper but curled wide of the upright.

Haigh was called into action again inside the first ten minutes as the Seagulls made a lively start, but the shot-stopper made a good save in his new colours.

Worthing grew into the contest and were putting some nice sequences together on and around the half-hour mark. Zac Jeanes and Kane Wills linked up nicely just inside their own half before Jeanes found Hutchinson with a defence-splitting pass, but there was slightly too much on it, and the Brighton keeper rushed out to clear the danger.

They continued to enjoy time in possession but struggled to threaten the Brighton goal before the conclusion of the half.

Agutter made his pre-planned changes at half time with only Haigh and Glen Rea continuing into the second period. Danny Cashman and Jack Spong were among those introduced, alongside summer signings Ollie Black and Sam Beard.

Brighton started well once again and were rewarded for their high press five minutes in as they doubled their advantage.

Cashman looked lively for the Rebels with his quick feet and nice touches catching the eye. He created a chance for Beard on the left, but the wing back’s shot was wide.

Alfie Young made a key intervention to deny Albion a third just before the hour mark. The young Seagulls broke at speed down the left but Young was there to clear the danger as the ball was squared across the area.

Soon after though, Brighton got their third after winning the ball back high once more before clinically finishing past Haigh.

Black was one of the stand out performers for Agutter’s side as he defended superbly in one-v-one situations to prevent Brighton down their right flank. He was also key in an extraordinary defensive moment for the Rebels late on, as they made four successive blocks to prevent a fourth Albion goal.

Despite a losing effort, there would have been plenty of positives for Agutter and his staff to take from the performance at the start of their pre-season schedule. Supporters will get their first chance to watch the side in action as they make the trip to Oaklands Park to take on Isthmian Premier new boys Chichester City next Saturday.


Worthing starting XI: Chris Haigh, Glen Rea, Joe Cook, Trialist A, Tyrese Owen, Kane Wills, Rocco Gamblin, Tommy Willard, Zac Jeanes, Jake Hutchinson, Cam Tutt.
Subs (all used): Alfie Young, Ollie Black, Jack Spong, Freddie Chester, Trialist B, Danny Cashman, Trialist C, Ollie Starkey, Sam Beard.