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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

U23s Suffer Late Collapse

Thibaud Verlinden

THREE goals in the space of five minutes secured a 3-2 comeback victory for Brighton and Hove Albion U23s in Premier League 2 on Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Hill and Tre Pemberton had put Glyn Hodges’ Potters into a 2-0 lead at the bet365 Stadium and on course to pick up what would have been their third win in four games.

However, second half strikes from Max Sanders, Aaron Connolly, and Jayson Molumby stunned City who suffered a disappointing collapse on home soil.

Hill had fired the Potters into an early lead after finding himself unmarked in the penalty area. Tyrese Campbell threaded the ball across to the on-running winger, who coolly slotted beyond the despairing Christian Walton between the sticks for Brighton.

The Seagulls fashioned their first opportunity 15 minutes into the game. Connolly forced a strong save from Josef Bursik, before James Tilley stormed towards the rebound – and failed to hit the target from 12 yards out.

Despite the home side’s early advantage, it was the visitors who dominated majority of play during the first half. Molumby tested Bursik with a rasping strike from 25-yards out, before the England Under-17 international tipped over a long-range effort from Sanders.

Tyrese Campbell could have doubled City’s lead heading into the interval. After impressive build up play, the 17-year old’s shot from a tight angle forced Walton to stick out an outstretched leg, and turn the ball behind for a corner.

Substitute Pemberton added a second for the Potters just after the hour mark. Soufyan Ahannach’s pass was intercepted outside the area, then Pemberton drove forwards before cutting onto his left foot drill a low strike past Walton.

Brighton pulled a goal back five minutes later courtesy of a 20-yard strike from Sanders as the 18-year old beat his man on the edge of the area, and rifled his shot beyond Bursik into the far corner.

After applying pressure throughout the second half, the visitors found themselves level just two minutes later. Ahannach brought down a long ball forward to send in a cross towards the back post for an unmarked Aaron Connolly to tap home.

And Simon Rusk’s side added a third goal in the space of five minutes to put themselves in the lead when Molumby drove forwards and beat his man to lash an unstoppable strike into the far corner past an outstretched Bursik in the Potters goal.

Stoke City: Bursik; Banks, Souttar, Butler, McJannett (Da Silva 46), Verlinden, Shenton, Sorensen, Hill (Pemberton 46), Jarvis, Campbell. Unused: Gyollai, Ayoola, Devlin.