PL2 Report | Brighton 2-1 Albion

A photo of Jovan Malcolm, in the 23/24 red and blue away colours, shooting a free-kick into a Brighton wall in an U21s match at Brighton's training ground

Albion’s academy hopefuls were left disappointed on Friday night after suffering a narrow away defeat to Brighton in the Premier League 2.

Louis Flower and Jamie Mullins scored the decisive goals either side of Jovan Malcolm’s spot-kick, and although defensive pair Alex Williams and Reece Hall went close to levelling again in the second 45, the Baggies’ U21s fell just short at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

A photo of Harry Whitwell on the ball during Albion's PL2 match v Brighton
Photo Credit | BHAFC - Paul Hazlewood

The first half was one of mixed emotions for the club’s young pros, who went in at the break trailing despite putting in a good account of themselves.

An individual error led to the hosts taking the lead when forward Flower was allowed all the room he needed to burst in on goal, leaving Brad Foster in the Baggies goal flat-footed to prod in the first of the contest within 15 minutes.

This was unfair for Richard Beale’s men after their early hard work to intercept the Seagulls’ possession-based approach from the back, and it was from a high press where Albion got back on level terms.

Eseosa Sule nicked the ball inside the box before rounding the goalkeeper. With the goal at his mercy, home keeper Steven Hall wiped the striker clean out as he was about to net the leveller.

A spot-kick was given and Malcolm calmly converted to restore parity with 22 minutes on the clock.

A photo of Jovan Malcolm in the 23/24 red and blue kit in action in the PL2 v Brighton
Photo Credit | BHAFC - Paul Hazlewood

Fenton Heard, Akeel Higgins and Harry Whitwell followed up with efforts in an attempt to turn the game on its head prior to the half-time whistle, but Brighton managed to regain the lead again.

Centre-back on the night Matt Richards was wiped out off the ball during a home attack, allowing Mullins to scramble in the second to separate the teams at the interval despite strong appeals for a foul in the build-up.

It was a much quieter affair after the restart and while chances were few and far between, Albion’s youngsters left the south coast wondering how they didn’t get a point.

Wales youth international Williams was sent through one-on-one down the left wing during the last quarter of proceedings, but despite getting into the perfect position, he fired straight at the goalkeeper.

A photo of Alex Williams in the 23/24 away kit in action v Brighton in Premier League 2
Photo Credit | BHAFC - Paul Hazlewood

Skipper Hall very nearly made the Seagulls pay when he went on one of his usual marauding runs from deep to work space for a shot inside the box.

However, like earlier attempts, the defender fired high over the target as the young Baggies narrowly missed out on a share of the points. 

Albion: Foster; Williams, Hall ©️, Harper-Bailey, Richards, Nelson (N.Phillips 70); Heard, Whitwell (Mandey 70); Sule (Mfuamba 77), Higgins (Bostock 63), Malcolm.

Unused subs: Brady (GK).

  • PL2