REPORT: Brighton U23 2-1 Crawley Town

Josh Kerr went from zero to hero as his header along with James Tilley’s goal made up for the defender’s own-goal gifting Brighton their 14th Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.

Brighton were kicking themselves in the 28th minute when Ayunga got to the edge of the box before cutting the ball back towards Tilley who missed the ball as it rolled to Alex Cochrane who blasted the ball over the crossbar.

Lewis Young was a constant threat for the Red Devils throughout the match and almost got a reward for his efforts when he rolled the ball to Josh Payne who was hovering on the outside of the box but his well struck shot just skewed wide of the far post.

Crawley had the last chance of the half when Enzio Boldewijn played the ball through to Billy Clifford but the ball was knocked away by Rian O’Sullivan inside the box.

The Seagulls started the second half well and looked as if they might have broken the deadlock when Tilley’s long range effort bent just wide of the post.

Moussa Sanoh had a taste of the action the other end when he received the ball from fellow Dutchman Boldewijn before rocketing the ball into the side-netting.

Ryan Longman did well 55 minutes in when the forward dropped a shoulder to take the ball round the Crawley defence but his effort just curled over the the bar, keeping the score at 0-0.

Yusuf Mersin was called into action in the 63 minute after O’sullivan played a beautifully placed pass over the top of the Crawley defence into the feet of Tilley who forced the Turkish ‘keeper to tip his shot over the crossbar.

Tilley once again was knocking on Crawley’s door as he drove through the Red Devil’s defence before unleashing a shot from outside the box which was kept out by the crossbar.

Crawley finally managed to break the deadlock in the 67th minute when Boldewijn’s cross ricocheted off Seagull’s defender Kerr into his own net gifting Crawley the lead. Crawley continued to push for a second with Young getting amongst the action yet again but failed to help his side double their lead.

Brighton managed to equalise with eight minutes to go when substitute Bojan Radulovic laid the ball off to Tilley who slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Things went from bad to worse for Harry Kewell’s men when Mersin gave away a penalty for a foul on Radulovic again but the Turkish ‘keeper went from zero to hero when he stepped up to save Tilley’s penalty.

Kerr was another player who made up for his past mistakes as he rose to meet a corner ball which he glanced into the far post to give the Seagulls the lead for the first time with five minutes left to play.

Crawley continued looking to bring the score back to level pegging but couldn’t break the Brighton defence as the game ended 2-1.

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