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Match Reports

Report: Brighton U23s 2 Rovers U23s 1

Late heartbreak for Rovers following the clash at the Amex Stadium on

20 October 2018

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A late Ben Barclay winner secured a victory for Brighton & Hove Albion and hand Rovers an agonising defeat at the Amex Stadium.

It was Rovers who took the lead thanks to Okera Simmonds in the first half before the hosts responded with a strong second half showing.

Aaron Connolly equalised 11 minutes after the break before Barclay slammed home a header in the final minute of normal time.

It was Rovers who started the brightest in Sussex, with Simmonds curling a free kick beyond ex-Rover Jason Steele and into the corner just three minutes into the contest.

The goal gave Rovers confidence and Steele produced an excellent stop to deny Dan Butterworth from making it 2-0 midway through the half.

Brighton started to find their rhythm and after Connolly beat Andy Fisher with an audacious chip, the striker couldn't beat the crossbar.

Another good opportunity then came the way of Rovers again, as Jacob Davenport - getting a run out following his return from injury - fed Butterworth, but again he was denied by Steele.

After the break - and a double change - the hosts grabbed an equaliser. George Cox produced an excellent run and his cross was nodded past Fisher from close range.

Both sides pushed for the winner with time running out. John Buckley saw his header pushed away by Steele before Butterworth flashed another effort past the post.

At the other end, Jordan Davies tested Fisher before Connolly crashed a shot against the crossbar with just a few minutes remaining.

But just as it looked like Rovers would take a point, Barclay stepped up to glance a header into the back of the net to break the heart of the young Blues.

Brighton: Steele, Davies (Moore 57), Cox, Barclay, Normann, Dreyer, Ostigard, Davies, Gwargis (Gyokeres 45), Connolly, Ljubicic (Sanders 45).

Subs not used: O’Hora, Keto.

Rovers: Fisher, Doyle (Vale, 90), Carter, Grayson, Buckley, Evans, Davenport (Mols, 60), Travis, Simmonds (Candlin, 82), Lyons, Butterworth.

Subs not used: Albinson, Wilson.

*Photo: BHAFC/Kieran Cleeves.

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