In very cold conditions, despite playing well, we fell behind to a goal against the run of play after a mistake from Alfie Gilchrist. We showed great resilience in the second half to level through Vale, who dinked an effort over the Brighton keeper who had an inspired performance. For all the pressure following that we could not get the winner.
Andy Myers went with an unchanged line-up from the team that secured a 3-1 win over Leeds United a week ago. With Josh Brooking and Ted Sharman-Lowe still suffering from injuries sustained in the last international break, it was another opportunity for others to impress.
Our development squad made their intentions clear, that they were going to press high. This allowed us to dominate the ball early on in very promising areas. Our opponents looked like a side that had not won a game in four with the errors being made early doors.
Xavier Simons and Tariq Uwakwe both had half chances to threaten the goal. For all this positivity it was the Seagulls who had the first real chance of the game as in the ninth minute of the game Andy Moran powered through but sliced his effort wide under minimal pressure.
We still even after that mini-scare managed to keep hold of the ball and move it well and that carved out our first opening of the game. A loose ball in midfield was pounced upon by Vale and his incisive ball found George McEachran who laid it on for Jude Soonsup-Bell. His strike was saved well by the opposing keeper.
We were keeping him busy as Vale again found himself with the ball in a dangerous position and from just outside the 18-yard-box, his low driven effort could only be palmed away for a corner by the Brighton keeper.
Patience was the name of the game as after 10 minutes it was looking like there would be a goal but 25 minutes into the game, both sides enjoyed spells of possession without really threatening either keeper.
Neat work between Soonsup-Bell and Brodie Hughes opened up a major opportunity as we have seen this season, set-pieces have proven to be a goldmine for our development squad.
Following the delivery, a scramble in the box fell kindly to Gilchrist who volleyed towards goal. Unfortunately for him a defender was well placed to clear before it could threaten the goal.