Three goals up inside 24 minutes, we breezed to a 5-1 victory in the sunshine at the Training Centre with five different players getting on the scoresheet.
One of said scorers was midfielder Charlie Owens, who bagged his first ever Barclays Under-18 Premier League goal in some style – sweeping into the top corner from 22 yards to make it 3-0 on the day.
We signalled our attacking intentions from the outset, controlling the play for long spells and restricting the Seagulls to only the occasional half-chance.
Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez made an early stop to deny Marcus Edwards, but suffered from a momentary lapse in concentration in the 10th minute, with Ryan Loft creeping in to pick his pocket and poke the ball over the line to give us the lead.
Edwards was again thwarted by Sanchez before Zenon Stylianides doubled our lead with 20 minutes gone, stooping to nod into the corner from six yards out after Loft’s deflected effort ballooned up in front of him.
And four minutes later we further increased our advantage as Kazaiah Sterling turned away from his marker and rolled the ball into the path of Owens, who let fly from outside the box and watched as his rising shot nestled into the top corner, despite Sanchez getting a hand to it.
The visitors’ first glimpse at goal arrived just after the half-hour mark as Jordan Maguire-Drew shot wide from David Ajiboye’s cross but we were quickly back on the attack through the tricky Edwards, whose reverse pass found Loft ready to pull the trigger inside the box on the right. He went for power but saw his effort whistle the wrong side of the far post.
Loft tried again from a similar position on 37 minutes, but this time Sanchez got his fingertips to the ball to steer it away.
The Seagulls pulled a goal back a minute before half-time when Max Sanders sent Maguire-Drew through to score, but we made a composed start to the second period to ensure Brighton could make no further inroads.
Edwards curled a 20-yard free-kick over the bar on 53 minutes while Stylianides got to the byline on the left and cleverly shot through the keeper’s legs, but saw his effort cleared off the line by a defender.
Joe Muscatt was getting forward regularly from left-back and it was from one of his crosses that Sterling restored our three-goal cushion just after the hour mark. After his initial shot was blocked, the forward quickly regained possession and sent the ball spinning into the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards out.
Armani Daly’s angled drive was blocked away for a corner by Sanchez, but it was Brighton who had the next chance as Maguire-Drew latched onto a long ball over the top and, with goalkeeper Tom McDermott racing off his line, lobbed him from 35 yards. Agonisingly for the Brighton man, though, the ball bounced six yards from the open goal and hit the crossbar.
Sterling, Daly and substitute Samuel Shashoua were all denied by Sanchez in the closing stages, before the latter bundled home after a fast-paced attack to complete the scoring in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Spurs U18s: McDermott, Paul (Shashoua 67), Muscatt, Owens, Marsh (Oakley-Boothe 71), Brown, Daly, Stylianides, Loft (Hayford 60), Edwards, Sterling. Substitute (not used): Whiteman (GK).