Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion

Albion booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup after beating a spirited side from Dover Athletic.

As the only non-league side still in contention this season, the visitors had played six games before their visit to Lancing and performed well on a bitterly cold evening.

A brace from Bailey Smith in the first half seemed to put Albion under control, but Dover sub Tim Marapara made it a less comfortable final half hour for the young Seagulls.

In an even opening of the game, Athletic happily conceded possession but pressed well and accepted the challenge diligently.

By Paul Hazlewood

Captain Eliot Jenks in action.

Albion then began to shift gears and were rewarded in the 18th minute when Smith caught an excellent through ball from Eliot Jenks before tucking in his fourth win of the season coolly.

The hosts continued to dominate possession, with Remiero Moulton and Jake Gee seeing plenty of the ball down the flanks. It was Moulton who almost doubled the lead when his left-footed shot from the edge of the box went just wide of goalkeeper Alfie Irvine’s post.

Irvine was called out shortly after and saved Joe Knight’s 20-yard free kick, but he was at fault for Albion’s second in the 37th minuteth minute and misjudged the flight of Gee’s deep cross as Smith flicked in to face home.

Matthew Holness got Dover’s first real shot on goal just before half-time when he smashed in with a volley over, while moments later Bailey almost scored his hat-trick with a strong run and a shot on goal, which was well saved by Irvine.

By Paul Hazlewood

Albion were beaten by Wolves in last year’s FA Youth Cup quarter-finals.

Albion continued their climb after the break and should have scored when Moulton lunged at a Blue Landau slip, but Irvine was quick off his line to choke.

The lively Moulton circled another try just wide in the 56th minute while Smith saw his low drive cannon back away from a post after being brought on by Gee.

Albion had to regret those mistakes when a embezzled back pass from Harry Mills was intercepted by Marapara, who edged past the advancing Tommy Reid.

Where Albion was in full control, the tie became more nervous, more lively, and Marapara came close to equalizing only to see his shot deflected off the turn into a corner.

At the other end, Moulton’s frustrating night in front of goal continued as his dive was tipped over by Irvine while Jenks flicked a ball over the goal that eluded everyone.

The final whistle blew shortly after as Albion booked a trip to Manchester City for the fourth round, while Dover left the field with their heads held high.

albion: Reid, Lee, Tasker, Penman, Mills, Albarus, Gee, Knight (61 Bashir), Jenks, Moulton, Smith. Subs not used: Ferdinand, Fuller, Ryan, Owusu, Gulzar, West.

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