- Albion get their first draw of the season in a tightly-contested game
- Danny Mandroiu came close on a few occasions
- Ian Buckman’s side gained their first clean sheet of the season
- The under-18s are next in action against Fulham at Motspur Park on Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18s drew 0-0 with Southampton at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre on Saturday.
Ian Buckman’s team earned a valuable point against the Saints in a match of very few chances, and collected their first clean sheet of the season.
Albion were nearly caught out in the opening stages of the game, as Jamal Balogun’s back-pass to goalkeeper Tom McGill was very nearly intercepted by striker Jonathan Afolabi, but the defence managed to clear.
Both teams struggled to keep hold of possession inside the opening quarter of an hour, with neither side showing enough quality to control the tempo of the game.
Albion almost found themselves in trouble when Balogun failed to control the ball and Harlem Hale raced through on goal, but the Southampton striker couldn’t beat McGill, who saved well.
Moments later, Albion came close to breaking the deadlock when Danny Mandroiu’s set-piece was flicked goalwards by Saints defender Connor Langan, but goalkeeper Adam Parkes parried the ball away from danger.
The visitors were troubled by another set-piece shortly before half-time, as Mandroiu’s in-swinging corner reached the feet of Nick Tavares, who showed good footwork inside the box, before Langan blocked his firm effort in front of goal.
The Hampshire side had a good opportunity to open the scoring just after the hour mark, when Michael Obafemi released Will Smallbone on goal, but his low shot was saved by McGill to keep the game level.
After good build-up play from Reece Meekums and Mandroiu, the latter’s cross from the wing was almost met by Stefan Ljubicic inside the penalty area, but the substitute couldn’t quite reach the ball to connect.
Albion had another chance late on to secure all three points, when Mandroiu’s low-driven effort was well saved by Parkes following a fine run and pass from Meekums, and neither side could find the breakthrough.
McGill; Moore, Tavares, Balogun, O’Sullivan; Barker, Sanders, Mandroiu; Davies (Ljubicic 57), Hutchinson (Cochrane 82), Meekums.
SUBS NOT USED:
Ferguson, Bentley, Fornah.