Brighton & Hove Albion Reserves 2 Eastbourne Borough 0
By Tim Hodges at The Falmer Stadium
Albion stalwart Gary Hart scored the first ever goal at the American Express Community Stadium at Falmer, as a strong Albion reserve side over came Eastbourne Borough to retain the top prize in Sussex football.
The stadium was drenched in the build up to kick off. But the unseasonal wind and rain did not dampen the spirits of the lucky 7000 who acquired tickets.
The stadium was also gleaming and many seemed in awe of its elegance and dominant features.
The game was played very much at pre season friendly pace.
Agestein and Barker had good chances in the first half , both forcing Banks in to good saves.
Yasser Kasim showed why Poyet rates him so much as he began to control the midfield.
Crabb and Smart made Poke work for his money at the north end of the Stadium.
The first ever half time at the Amex saw the teams level at nil – nil.
Albion started to get on top in the second half and again Barker and Agestein had half chances.
Captain for the day Gary Hart began to drift into wide positions and tried to feed the front two.
Then on 70 minutes Hall crossed from the edge of the area and Gary Hart inside the six yard box glanced a header past Banks and into the bottom corner , and more fitting and appropriate goal there could not have been.
The first goal at Falmer scored by a player who had been with the club since 1998, who scored the first ever goal at Withdean and who also played in the first and last ever league matches at Withdean Stadium.
I doubt a reserve team goal has ever been celebrated with as much passion either, by both player and fans alike.
Soon after Barker had yet another chance, but the lead was doubled ten minutes later as Steve Cook placed a great header into the bottom corner to give Albion a more comfortable lead
Before the end Rowe was given a yellow card for a fairly bad tackle on Kasim and Gary Hart in very likely his last match in Albion colours was given a wonderful ovation from all four corners of the Amex as he was replaced by Redwood on 88 minutes.
Albion Res: Poke; Strong, Hall, Cook, Sampayo; Rodgers; Hart, Kasim, Simmonds; Barker, Agdestein. Subs: East, Redwood, Hayward, Sherriff, Vickers.
Eastbourne Borough: Banks; Rowe, Baker, Kelly, Cobbs; Johnson, Smart, Hutchinson, Brinkhurst; Crabb; Rook. Subs: Treleaven, Strevett, Pulman, Medlock, Masters.
Referee: Ashley Slaughter