By Logan MacLeod
Brighton and Hove Albion under-23s lost 2-1 at home to Derby County at the AMEX Elite Football Performance Centre earlier today.
A brace from Derby midfielder Jason Knight sealed all three points for his team in the 11.30am kick-off to put the Rams top of the Premier League 2 table.
Brighton were unable to build on their equaliser through Warren O'Hora in the 64th minute, after he found himself free at the back post from a corner and fired past Derby keeper Josh Barnes.
The first half saw very little action after both teams' 4-2-3-1 formation looked to be cancelling each other out.
Brighton were the more comfortable in possession and moved the ball round well in the first 25 with some patient build up play.
The first half-chance fell to Brighton after Peter Gwargis' good work to gain yards down the left saw Taylor Richards' strike deflected out for a corner.
After 25 minutes the game slowed down and Brighton were struggling to supply their centre-forward Bojan Radulovic.
Derby's first chance came after Haydon Roberts was caught out trying to step out from the back in possession. Rams number nine Jahmal Hector-Ingram pounced on Roberts' mistake but was unable to beat the first man with his squared ball for Mason Bennett in the six yard box.
Derby came close in the final minutes of the first half when Hector-Ingram won the ball back on the edge of the Brighton box and saw his curled effort narrowly miss the far corner of the net.
The first half saw Brighton with the majority of possession but lacking that killer ball in the final third.
Derby started the second half the better and it looked like they highlighted Brighton's right back, Romaric Yapi, as a weak link to exploit.
Good work down the wing from Derby's Bennett saw him play inside to Hector Ingram who, on the edge of the 18 yard box, curled a wonderful effort that flew inches over the Brighton top corner. This was a warning for Brighton.
Seagulls winger Danny Cashman had a glorious chance to put his team ahead, after good individual play by Taylor Richards to play Cashman in on goal, but his first time effort from 12 yards out flew high over the bar. A missed opportunity.
Derby went ahead in the 60th minute and it was down that Brighton right hand side. The Rams' number three, Lee Buchanan, drilled in a low cross into the box which saw Knight get down to nod his header back across the face goal and into the far corner of the net past Keto.
Brighton found themselves level two minutes later after a trademark Peter Gwargis left-footed in-swinging corner caused problems for the Derby defenders who couldn't clear their lines. The ball fell fortunately to Brighton defender Warren O'Hora at the far post and he made no mistake in firing past Rams keeper Barnes.
The Rams pegged Brighton back again ten minutes later in the 74th minute after another cross in from the Brighton right-hand side found it's way to goalscorer Knight who, on the edge of the 18 yard box, took a touch and struck a hard but true effort through the crowd and into the net.
A disappointing day for Brighton, which sees their inconsistent season continue. They now have four wins and four losses from eight games. They were without Ryan Longman today however after an ankle injury sustained at Manchester City last week, and Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate continue to impress first team manager Graham Potter.
The young seagulls next game is away at bottom of the league Southampton on November 1 with a 7pm kick-off.
Brighton starting XI: Hugo Keto (GK), Romaric Yapi (RB), Warren O'Hora (CB), Haydon Roberts (CB), Alex Cochrane (LB), Tudor Baluta (CDM), Teddy Jenks (CDM), Danny Cashman (RM), Taylor Richards (CAM), Peter Gwargis (LM), Bojan Radulovic (ST) Brighton subs: Radulovic off Leahy on - Yapi off Davies on - Cashman off Spong on
Derby starting XI: Josh Barnes (GK), Jordan Brown (RB), George Evans(CB), Ethan Wassell (CB), Lee Buchanan (LB), Joe Bateman (CM), Jason Knight (CM), Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (RM), Mason Bennett (CAM), Louie Sibley (RM), Jahmal Hector-Ingram (ST) Derby Subs: Louie Sibley off Alex Babos on - Mitchell-Lawson off Josh Shonibare on