REPORT: Brighton U23 1 – 2 Everton U23

David Unsworth’s Everton capitalised on an individual error to remain top of the Premier League Two in Lancing on Friday night.

After a tight start to the match, Everton took the lead following an error from Brighton goalkeeper Hugo Keto. The Finnish stopper failed to clear under pressure from Nathangelo Markelo and the 19-year-old poked the ball into an empty net.

The young Seagulls struggled to get a foothold in the game with their more experienced opponents enjoying a majority of possession.

However, the hosts ended the half positively but the closest they came to a leveller was when Viktor Gyokeres capitalised on a slip by Harry Charsley to square for Aaron Connolly but a combination of Joe Hilton and Tyias Browning blocked the cross.

Simon Rusk’s side carried their momentum into the second period and Gyokeres went close in the 53rd minute. The Swedish frontman was slipped in by Anders Dreyer before seeing his shot tipped over by Hilton.

Mathias Normann went even closer for Albion with 15 minutes to play as he saw his first time effort bend onto the crossbar from the edge of the box after being set up by substitute Archie Davies.

The visitors showed why they sit atop the Premier League Two, though, as they doubled their lead with five minutes to play, Josh Bowler picked up the ball from a short corner and bent the ball into the top corner from the angle of the box.

There was still time for Jordan Davies to go close again with his deflected strike falling just wide of the post. From the resulting corner, Connolly stabbed the ball home after Hilton fumbled the cross to give his side a chance of snatching a late point.

The equaliser never came, however, and the Toffees returned to Merseyside with all three points.

Sub-edited by Sam Cox

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