Catalin Crijan scored twice as we recorded our fourth league win of the season on Saturday against Brighton.
We started strongly and took the lead in the 12th minute after Mauro Bandeira skipped past a challenge and won a free-kick on the edge of the area. Cirjan then stepped up and whipped an inch-perfect effort over the wall and into the back of the net.
The blustery conditions were forcing Brighton to play the ball out of defence, and we capitalised by winning back possession in the final third, before Luke Plange teed up Cirjan, who fired his second goal of the afternoon into the top corner from inside the box.
Midway through the first half we extended our lead further, when a whipped corner from the right was allowed to bounce inside the box, before Zane Monlouis reacted quickly to curl a half-volley into the top corner.
In the second half it was our turn to play against the wind and the hosts took advantage when Stefan Vukoje was played in behind our defence, and slotted an effort past Hubert Graczyk, seven minutes after the restart.
The hosts were buoyed by their early goal and almost grabbed a second shortly after when a ball slid across the box was met by Marc Leonard, who saw his goalbound strike expertly blocked by Monlouis.
With 15 minutes remaining, the Seagulls did pull another goal back when an inviting free-kick delivered into the box found Sam Packham, who was able to poke the ball past Graczyk from close range.
Despite a late push for an equalising goal from the hosts, we were able to hold on for the win.
WHAT IT MEANS
Next up for Ken Gillard’s side is a trip to Ewood Park in the FA Youth Cup to face Blackburn Rovers on Friday, March 6 at 7pm (UK time).
By Sam Cox
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