Parafix Sussex Senior Cup Final: Crawley Town 1 Brighton & Hove Albion U23s 2

Crawley Town and Brighton & Hove Albion U23s line-up for the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup final at the Amex.
Crawley Town and Brighton & Hove Albion U23s line-up for the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup final at the Amex.

Crawley Town's dreams of winning some silverware were dashed at the last minute in the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup final when they were beaten by Brighton under-23s 2-1 at the Amex.


Enzio Boldewijn capped an impressive display when his dangerous cross in front of goal was accidentally knocked into his own net midway through the second half by Josh Kerr.

Reds players emerge from the tunnel on to the pitch at the Amex

Reds players emerge from the tunnel on to the pitch at the Amex


But Brighton hit back with two goals in the last eight minutes by James Tilley and Kerr.


In a crazy finish, Crawley keeper Yusuf Mersin kept his side in the game when he saved a penalty taken by Tilley.


Reds head coach Harry Kewell was hit by an injury crisis with eight players unavailable, including Mark Connolly suffering a broken foot in training on Tuesday.

Prolific on-loan striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant was recalled to Charlton Athletic ahead of the League 1 play-offs.


Jordan Roberts (pelvis), Mark Randall (broken toe), Josh Lelean (knee), Thomas Verheydt (broken finger), Josh Doherty (concussion) and Panutche Camara (ankle) all unavailable, Kewell was only able to name two players on the subs' bench.


Goalkeeper Yersuf Mersin kepty his place in the side, while Enzio Boldewijn led the line with Moussa Sanoh, Billy Clifford attacking midfielders plus Lewis Young in an advanced role on the right.


Albion has the best chance of the opening exchanges when a cross Alex Cochran blazed a shot over the bar following a cross by Tilley.
Play switched to the other end and after good build-up play involving Young and Boldewijn, Josh Payne shot inches wide of the post.


A good passing move ended with Clifford setting up Young who could not get his foot on the ball which ran out of play.


Reds made a substitution 15 minutes into the second half when Kaby Djalo replaced Clifford.


Brighton went close after 63 minutes when Tilley got into a dangerous position and shot and Mersin made a good save, pushing the ball over the bar.


Tilley then looked the most threatening Brighton player again when a useful shot rattled the crossbar.


Crawley took the lead after 68 minutes when Josh Kerr put through-ball into his own net after Boldewijn crossed into the six-yard box.


A brilliant run by Young ended fruitlessly when his cross flashed across the face of goal.


Young then slipped as he skied another shot from long-range over the bar as Reds went in search of a second goal.


Aryan Tajbakhsh forced Seagulls 'keeper Billy Collings into action with a well-struck attempt from a narrow angle.


In an action-packed final few minutes, Tilley scored and equaliser with eight minutes to go when he blasted in a ball from Radulovic after a fine cross.


Brighton missed a chance to gtake the lead moments later when they were awarded a penalty when Mersin brought down Stefan Ljubicic.


Mersin made amends when he easily saved a scuffed spot-kick by Tilley.


Then with five minutes to go Kerr scored Brighton's winner with a header, to put away Cochrane's corner.

Crawley Town (4-1-4-1): Mersin, Young, Payne, McNerney, Yorwerth, Clifford (Djalo 60), Evina, Tajbakhsh, Bulman (capt), Sanoh
Unused sub: Morris


Brighton & Hove Albion U23s: Collings, Meekums, O'Hora, Kerr, O'Sullivan, Ajiboye (Ljubicic 77), Hutchinson (capt), Cohrane, Longman, Tilley, Ayunga (Radulovic 51)
Unused subs: Vode, Tutt, Weaire,
Referee: Mathew Goldsmith
Attendance: 1,503