By Connor Armstrong
Our under-18s suffered a late defeat to Brighton in cruel fashion, with David Ajiboye’s deflected effort finding its way past Alex Crean.
The visitors had gone close in the opening 45 minutes, with Charlie Ferguson curling a powerful effort against the outside of the post.
However, it was Joe Willock who put us in front with a cool finish from the penalty spot after Nathan Tella had been scythed down by Luis Garcia.
Two Brighton substitutes combined when Stephan Ljubicic crossed for Danny Cashman to steer the ball past Crean, before Ajiboye’s late winner.
SETTING THE SCENE
Kwame Ampadu handed a start to Crean, with Daniel Ballard and Zech Medley in the heart of the defence.
Jordi Osei-Tutu and Kostas Pileas started at right-back and left-back respectively, with Charlie Gilmour partnering Willock in midfield.
Donyell Malen led the attack, supported by Yassin Fortune, Trae Coyle and Tella.
It was the Gunners who came out victorious in the meeting between these two sides earlier this season, with a 3-0 win in East Sussex.
On this occasion however, the Seagulls asserted themselves from the off and Crean was called into action to turn Ajiboye’s shot around the foot of the post.
Soon after the visitors threatened to break the deadlock once again, but Ferguson’s whipped effort cannoned behind off the post.
We made an ideal start to the second half, taking the lead when Willock sent Tom McGill the wrong way from the penalty spot.
But it wasn’t to be for Ampadu’s side, with Cashman levelling from close range before Ajiboye’s low strike deflected off Daniel Ballard and beyond the grasp of Crean.
Malen went close in the closing stages, but his strike flicked up off a Brighton defender and over.
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