Gross on target as Brighton draw at Charlton
Albion continued their preparations for the new Premier League season with a 1-1 draw at Charlton this evening.
Pascal Gross tapped Albion into the lead two minutes into the second half but the Addicks equalised ten minutes from time when Naby Sarr slotted home from 15 yards.
Summer signing Leon Balogun made his first appearance in an Brighton shirt, while Bernardo - who played in an hour-long friendly with Crawley on Friday - also started as Albion fielded a strong starting 11.
A number of the Brighton squad had played this morning in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Portsmouth. Mathew Ryan, Ezequiel Schelotto, Shane Duffy, Gaetan Bong, Anthony Knockaert, Yves Bissouma, Beram Kayal, Markus Suttner, Oliver Norwood and Tomer Hemed were among those to feature in the 1-1 draw.
Richie Towell had an early effort saved at the Valley after a neat move involving Bernardo and Gross on six minutes, before Charlton defender Elliott Ward headed straight at Button from a corner by former Albion midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey.
Gross provided the opening for another Brighton chance on 20 minutes when he played in Glenn Murray but the striker - back in the squad after limping out of Albion's opening friendly at St Gallen - fired wide of the far post.
Charlton's Albie Morgan fizzed a 25-yarder over on 28 minutes, before Dale Stephens and Solly March both had powerful strikes blocked in quick succession just after the half-hour mark.
Brighton took the lead just two minutes into the second half. Murray's header from James Tilley's lovely inswinging cross was only parried by Charlton keeper Dillon Phillips and Gross was on hand to tap home the loose ball from a couple of yards.
The hosts had a great chance to level three minutes later when Josh Magennis raced through on goal after Stephens' misplaced pass but he was denied by Button on three occasions.
March and then Aaron Connolly were thwarted by Phillips as they got into dangerous positions and March poked another effort wide from Bruno's low cross on 75 minutes.
Brighton made a host of changes on 78 minutes and Charlton levelled just two minutes later as Naby Sarr had time and space in the penalty area to curl home from 15 yards.
Viktor Gyokeres had a low strike from the edge of the penalty saved three minutes from time and Connolly headed straight at Phillips in the final action of the game.
Charlton: Phillips; Page, Ward, Marshall, Forster-Caskey, Magennis, Pratley, Dawkins, Morgan, Sarr, Ajose. Subs: Maynard-Brewer, Blumberg, Ince, Yao, Doughty, Lapslie, Taylor, Maloney, Mascoll.
Albion: Button (Leto 78); Bruno (Moore 78), Balogun (Barclay 64), Dunk (Kerr 78), Bernardo (Cochrane 78); March (Maguire-Drew 78), Stephens (Mandriou 78), Propper (Normann 78), Towell (Tilley 36; Gyokeres 56); Gross (Normann 78); Murray (Connolly 64).