- Albion are eliminated from the Emirates FA Cup
- Richie Towell put Albion in front early on
- Alan Power levelled from the penalty spot
- Fikayo Tomori (OG) and Theo Robinson completed the scoring
Brighton & Hove Albion exited the Emirates FA Cup at the fourth round stage, following a 3-1 defeat to Lincoln City at Sincil Bank this afternoon.
Richie Towell opened the scoring with a neat finish in the first half, before Alan Power levelled from the penalty spot after the break, and the National League side secured victory thanks to an own goal from Fikayo Tomori and Theo Robinson’s late strike.
Chris Hughton made nine changes to the starting line-up that beat Cardiff City 1-0, with top goalscorer Glenn Murray returning to the side and new signing Tomori making his debut.
Albion had the first opportunity of the game inside the opening minutes when Connor Goldson’s long ball was headed towards the six-yard box, but Murray’s close-range header was pushed away by Lincoln goalkeeper Paul Farman.
The Imps thought they had taken the lead after eight minutes when Robinson raced through and slotted the ball past Albion goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa, but the linesman raised his flag for offside to keep the scores level.
After some brilliant trickery in the centre of midfield by Solly March, the midfielder surged towards goal and fired against the crossbar from 30 yards, which Murray then followed up with a wayward shot on the turn.
Sam Adekugbe was next to try his luck, shooting from a tight angle after being played through by Steve Sidwell, but Farman was equal to the full-back’s low effort at his near post.
Albion found a breakthrough in the 24th minute through Towell, as the Irish midfielder latched on to Murray’s glanced header from Goldson’s diagonal pass, before elegantly finishing past Farman with the outside of his right foot.
Maenpaa then pulled off a spectacular one-handed save to deny Nathan Arnold at full stretch, as the pacy winger let fly from 25 yards and came within inches of levelling the game.
Oliver Norwood delivered a perfectly-weighted pass into the penalty area which Murray headed towards goal, but the striker’s effort dropped narrowly wide of the upright shortly before the break.
The hosts were awarded a penalty when Murray was adjudged to have pulled down Robinson inside the box, and Power slotted the spot kick past Casper Ankergren, who replaced the injured Maenpaa in the 57th minute.
The Imps were clearly lifted by their equalising goal and took the lead just five minutes later, as Arnold crossed the ball to the back post and Tomori side-footed past his own goalkeeper to complete the quick turnaround.
Hughton introduced Tomer Hemed and Jamie Murphy as the Seagulls went in search of an equaliser, and the Israeli international tested Farman with a low shot soon after coming on.
Lincoln failed to clear Murphy’s teasing cross into the penalty area and Murray volleyed towards goal from inside the six-yard box, but Sean Raggett did well to block the striker’s goal-bound effort.
With time running out for Albion, the hosts scored a third goal in the 85th minute through Robinson, who capitalised on Uwe Huenemeier’s short clearance and slotted past Ankergren from just inside the box.
Albion pushed forward as they tried to regain a foothold in the game, but Farman denied March and Hemed late on, as the Seagulls exited the FA Cup in the fourth round.