LUTON 2Marriott 1, 58ALBION 1Dunk 43
- Albion lose their second pre-season game
- Lewis Dunk on target for the Seagulls before half time
- Jiri Skalak makes his return to action after appearing for the Czech Republic at Euro 2016
- Albion loanee Christian Walton features in goal for Luton
Brighton & Hove Albion kicked off their pre-season double-header with a 2-1 defeat at League Two Luton.
Chris Hughton fielded a side mixed with senior and under-23 players, and they got off to the worst possible start after 33 seconds when a misplaced Lewis Dunk pass out of defence was picked up by Jack Marriott.
The Hatters striker then took one look up before drilling a low effort beyond Niki Maenpaa and into the bottom corner of the net.
Luton continued to have the better of the opening exchanges, with Dunk called into action to head away a dangerous cross from Pelly-Rudduck Mpanzu, while Cameron McGeehan also went close with a header.
Albion’s first meaningful attempt at goal came in the 16th minute but Jiri Skalak – back on duty after the European Championships – saw his free-kick cannon off the wall and to safety.
Albion had another chance from a set-piece on 29 minutes, when Anthony Knockaert looked set to let fly from the edge of the box. He instead squared to Steve Sidwell, whose low effort was cleared away.
The visitors started to get more of a foothold in the game and almost got back on level terms in the 36th minute, when Knockaert tried his luck with another free-kick, but it clipped off the top
of the Town bar with Christian Walton beaten.
Knockaert, in particular, began to stretch the Luton defence and the pressure finally paid off three minutes from half-time, when a typically dangerous Skalak free-kick into the box was headed home by Dunk.
Albion were unchanged for the start of the second half but it was the hosts who again started on the front foot with Mpanzu seeing his strike cleared off the line by Dunk.
Elvis Manu had a great opportunity to hand Albion the lead in the 53rd minute but having latched onto a ball over the top, his effort crashed back off the bar.
Danny Hylton went close with a header soon after for Luton, who re-took the lead on 58 minutes when Alan Sheehan’s short corner was whipped into the box by Stephen O’Donnell, with Marriott on hand to grab his second of the afternoon.
A raft of changes from both sides took some of the flow out of the game and while Albion enjoyed large sways of possession, there was little in terms of goalmouth action.
Tyreeq Bakinson and Zane Banton both dragged efforts wide for the hosts late on, with Nathan Jones no doubt delighted with his side's performance.
Maenpaa; Collar, Dunk, Cadman, Bong; Knockart (Hambo 83), Ince, Sidwell (Molumby 68), Skalak (Bjordal 45); Manu (Starkey 72), Murray.
Subs not used:
Vose (GK), Hornby-Forbes, Barnett, Cox.
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