Tolaj brace spearheads Albion come back to win their 55th Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Final 4-2 over energetic Worthing side.
The opening 20 minutes saw both sides displaying energy but lacking the final ball. Albion showed quality within possession whilst Worthing threatened with counter attacks
The scoring was opened by the visitors after Ben Jackson conceded a penalty after catching Reece Myles-Meekums following a nice exchange with Jesse Starkey. Pearce scored to give Worthing the lead 23 minutes in.
The goal seemed to wake up the young seagulls as Lorent Tolaj looked to respond instantly with a low effort saved by Harrison Male. Tolaj wouldn’t be denied for much longer as he latched onto a pass from Zak Sturge and fired over Hale.
Tolaj found the net for a second time after Todd Miller pounced on a mistake from William Seager, playing a well weighted ball to Tolaj who placed his effort into the bottom corner
Worthing’s pressed well to begin the second half, but were exposed in the 59th minute. Albion captain Spong laid the ball to Cam Peupion whose deflected effort gave the hosts a third.
Andy Moran scored an elegant fourth controlling a pass from Tolaj, feinting two defenders placing a shot well above Hale.
Colbran scored in the 82nd minute giving the visitors some hope but it proved to be just a consolation as the hosts saw the game out with Pattenden seeing red for a last man challenge on Moran just before full time.
The result extends Albions record of 55 cups.
Brighton and Hove Albion – Beadle, Peupion, Furlong, Turns, Jackson, Spong, Miller, Hinchy, Tolaj, Moran, Sturge
Worthing – Male, Colbran, Webber, Seager, Racine, Armstrong, Starkey, Kealy, Pearce, Myles-Meekums, Pattenden
Brighton and Hove Albion: Baker-Boaitey, Talley, Ifill, Hinshellwood, Chouchane
Worthing: Budd, Cox, Golding, Starkey, Parsons
Stats: (Brighton and Hove Albion – Worthing): Goals (3-1), Shots (10-16), Shots on Target (4-5), Offsides (5-2), Fouls (10-9), Yellow Cards (1-2), Red Cards (0-1).