Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s hit Haywards Heath Town for six in Sussex Senior Cup

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s advanced to the last 16 of the Sussex Senior Cup with a convincing 6-0 win at Haywards Heath Town on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:32 am
Haywards Heath Town keeper Billy Collings was kept busy against Albion in the Senior Cup. Picture by Chris Neal

These sides met at the same stage of this competition three years ago, with Brighton moving on into the next round after a hard earned 2-1 victory.

On Tuesday, in front of a crowd of 603, a sparkling young side representing the Premier Division club, showed how far that club has come in those ensuing seasons.

Full of the best of European and home bred players, this Albion side destroyed Haywards Heath Town with some breath-taking and ruthless finishing as they coasted to a comfortable victory, inflicting a painful defeat on the home side.

This was the home side's third successive defeat, the last two without a goal being registered in the credit column.

Home keeper, Billy Collings, was in goal for Brighton in their previous encounter but he was destined to have a busier evening, this time around.

From being a goal down and well in the game at half time, Haywards Heath found their guests in irresistible form as they took the tie away by starting the second period in devastating fashion, adding two more goals withing the first seven minutes of play.

Brighton striker, Lornet Tolaj, repeated England's Harry Kane achievement from the night before, as he, too, scored four times. The first was the only goal from a competitive first half where both sides had good chances.

It was at the start of the second period when the full-timers turned on their turbo charge to take the tie away from Haywards Heath. Tolaj added a second and Marcus Ifill, the third generation of a well-known Sussex football family, added another.

Two more Tolaj goals followed along with a Cam Peupion penalty as the game ended with a lopsided score, but there was no denying the excellence of the visitor's finishing.

This was a hard lesson for the enterprising and still upbeat home side to take but, having been knocked out of three of four cup competitions this season, Shaun Saunders' Blues can re-focus on the real target for this season, securing an Isthmian South East play-off position as a minimum.

Saturday saw third-placed Heath fall to a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Hythe Town. This Saturday the Blues visit Isthmian South East leaders Cray Valley PM.