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#U23 #PL2 #MatchReport #Brighton #MalachiFagan-Walcott

Momentary lapse costs Under-23s against Seagulls

Spurs 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion (Premier League 2)

Mon 03 February 2020, 21:00|Tottenham Hotspur

A goal from a corner less than 60 seconds after half-time cost our Under-23s what would have been a deserved point against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League 2 on Monday night.

Defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott headed home his first goal at this level in emphatic fashion from the impressive Harvey White's corner as we recovered from Peter Gwargis' early opener for the Seagulls to control large parts of the contest at Stevenage.

But a momentary lapse in defence right at the start of the second period allowed Warren O'Hora to glance a header inside the far post, sealing a 2-1 win for the visitors.

With a number of Development Squad players having gone out on loan in the last week of the January transfer window, Under-23s Coach Wayne Burnett had to shuffle his pack. But aside from a shaky early spell where we conceded the opener and Josh Oluwayemi made a couple of saves on his line, our new-look side played forward positively in the first half. Brighton's goal came on seven minutes as Ryan Longman went racing down the right and his ball across was tapped in by Gwargis at the far post. Jack Spong's subsequent effort deflected off Fagan-Walcott and was saved by Oluwayemi at his near post, with the stopper denying Gwargis from the resulting corner and Kion Etete then clearing off the line as the Seagulls' attacker had a second bite of the cherry.

We soon settled down, though, and our biggest threats of the first 45 minutes came via the direct running of Dilan Markanday down the left - although he couldn't quite come up with the correct final ball - and some vicious deliveries into the box by captain White, which caused the visitors all manner of problems. One of his corners led to Fagan-Walcott powering a header into the net to restore parity on 17 minutes, with the midfielder having a go at goal himself four minutes before the break, only to steer his shot over the top.

You can play really well for 94 minutes and 45 seconds, but if you're not ready for 10 or 15 of those seconds, a split second and you can concede.

Under-23s Coach Wayne Burnett

All our hard work was undone within a minute of the start of the second period, though, as Brighton scored from a corner of their own. Oluwayemi appeared unsighted as O'Hora met Ted Jenks' delivery with a deft header at the near post which crept across goal and into the far corner. Oluwayemi then saved from Jenks and Spong - the latter a superb fingertip stop away to his right - as the second period followed the same pattern as its predecessor, with Brighton starting well before we grew into it.

There was a welcome return to league action for attacker Jeremie Mukendi after over a year out with a knee injury but despite an urgency about our play, we couldn't fashion the chances our efforts deserved with White having our two best attempts at an equaliser in the latter stages, his low shot saved comfortably by Hugo Keto before a late strike from 20 yards flew into the new stand behind Keto's goal.

Key moment

The decisive action came right at the beginning of the second half and our players were visibly frustrated at how it transpired. The visitors won a corner, Jenks whipped it towards the near post and it needed only the slightest of touches from O'Hora to guide it inside the far post and restore Brighton's lead. Try as we might, a second equaliser was not forthcoming.

Coach's view

Under-23s Coach Wayne Burnett said: "We've said too often that we probably deserved more but I said to the players that you have to be ready and prepared for 95 minutes. You can play really well for 94 minutes and 45 seconds, but if you're not ready for 10 or 15 of those seconds, a split second and you can concede and that's what happened in the second half. We didn't start particularly well in the first half, then we equalised and we dominated the game really, we weren't in any danger. Then we went out in the second half, conceded very early and then it was an uphill struggle after that. We huffed and puffed, they sat in and made it difficult for us and it was a disappointing result. We probably didn't do enough to win it but a draw would possibly have been a fair result I feel."

Spurs 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion (Premier League 2)

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Okedina, Cirkin, Hinds, Fagan-Walcott, Lyons-Foster, R Clarke (Mukendi 72), White (c), Etete, Patterson, Markanday. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Statham, Skinner, Muir.

Brighton & Hove Albion: Keto, Davies, Cochrane (c), Crofts, O'Hora, Roberts, Yapi (Leahy 90+1), Jenks, Longman (Cashman 61), Spong, Gwargis. Substitutes (not used): Desbois, Freestone, Packham.

Match data

Goals: Spurs - Fagan-Walcott 17; Brighton - Gwargis 7, O'Hora 46.

Yellow cards: Spurs - Cirkin 48, Lyons-Foster 61.

Referee: Elliott Swallow.

Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.

Weather: Partly cloudy, moderate breeze, seven degrees.

Attendance: 470.