Defeat for Mark Kennedy's side as the Seagulls prove too strong at Portman Road
Town’s U21 Development side are still searching for a first win of the season, after going down 3-1 to Brighton at Portman Road this evening.
A second-half brace from Seagulls striker Shamir Goodwin won it for the visitors, after Town’s Jack Doherty had earlier cancelled out George Barker’s opener for the visitors.
Blues named a strong side for the fixture, with first-teamers Scott Loach, Elliott Hewitt, Stephen Hunt and Anthony Wordsworth all getting a run-out, with Freddie Veseli and Alan Lee also featuring.
Town made a bright start to the game, with strike duo Lee and Doherty linking up well as the former released the latter with a neat ball but the young Irishman could only fire straight at Seagulls stopper Christian Walton inside the first minute.
Lee was causing problems with his height and he headed just over the bar after seven minutes, connecting well with a Wordsworth corner.
Recent signing Hunt, who was skippering the Blues, tried his luck from distance midway through the first-half, but he failed to test Walton who watched the ball sail over.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 23rd minute, with the visitors taking the lead. Barker was allowed to cut in from the left and after beating a couple of challenges, he wrong-footed Loach and fired low into the corner.
The Blues tried to hit back immediately, and Freddie Veseli was unlucky to see a speculative drive sail just wide of the target moments later.
Just after the half hour mark and Town went close again. Veseli drove a deep cross to Lee at the back-post and he nodded down into the path of the impressive Hunt but the new Blue could only lob the ball over the bar.
Loach had to be alert at the other end five minutes later to deny Solly March, saving well with his legs albeit in unorthodox style.
Mark Kennedy’s side thought they were heading in level at the break, but Walton ensured the Seagulls remained in front with a remarkable point-blank save to deny Wordsworth from close range, after he had ghosted in at the back-post on the stroke of half-time.
The visitors began the second 45 much brighter than Town and March dragged an effort wide of the target after cutting inside Blues defender Matt Clarke.
Charles Harris then flashed an attempt into the side-netting after more good work from teammate March.
However Town were back on level terms after 52 minutes, with Doherty finding the bottom corner from close range after Seagulls skipper Lewis Dunk failed to clear his lines.
But Town’s celebrations lasted less than a minute, as Brighton hit back instantly. More impressive work from March saw him cut the ball back for Goodwin, who emphatically planted the ball beyond Loach and into the top corner.
And the visitors- and Goodwin- weren’t finished there as they extended the lead just before the hour mark. A neat passing move saw the ball worked to the striker, who expertly placed the ball beyond Loach for his second, and Brighton’s third, of the night.
A fantastic save from Loach prevented the game getting further away from the Blues moments later, as he dived low to push away a Brennan Dickenson volley.
Town were looking for a way back into the game and Lee went close with six minutes remaining, the striker heading over the bar after a good run and cross from substitute Byron Lawrence.
That was the way it was to finish though, as the Seagulls left Suffolk with all three points as Town continue to search for a first U21 win of the season.
Town: Loach, Hewitt, Clarke, Wearen, Timlin, Veseli, Berkane (Galvin 68), Wordsworth, Doherty (Lawrence 81), Hunt, Lee (Adekunle 89). Subs not used: Marsden, Robinson.
Brighton: Walton, Deen, Rea, Dunk, Chicksen, Barker, Asmundsson, Harris, March, Dickenson, Goodwin. Subs not used: Smith, Muitt, Barnett, Benham, Davis.