A double from Jamie Murphy helped Albion ease to a 4-0 win against Colchester in the EFL Cup this evening.
League Two Colchester held their own for more than an hour but Albion then scored three times in ten minutes through Sam Baldock, Murphy and Elvis Manu, before Murphy added a late fourth.
With no trains to Falmer owing to the Southern Rail strike, just 6,895 fans were in attendance - exactly 300 more than the lowest-ever crowd at the Amex when Albion hosted Cheltenham in the League Cup two years ago.
Albion made 11 changes from the side that started the opening game of the season at Derby, with new signing Oliver Norwood, Rob Hunt, Sam Adekugbe and Ben White all making their debuts.
Colchester, who were relegated into League Two last season, made seven changes themselves, which meant former Brighton duo Doug Loft and Brennan Dickenson both made their debuts.
Albion made a bright start, with an early Manu shot blocked, before Kazenga LuaLua rifled a shot into the side netting.
Brighton had half-hearted penalty appeals waved away when Jamie Murphy’s header from LuaLua’s cross was blocked on 18 minutes, before White headed over a Norwood corner.
Colchester threatened on the half-hour mark when Dickenson’s cross found Sammie Szmodics unmarked at the back post but his header across goal went wide of the far post.
Adekugbe’s mishit cross forced Colchester keeper Dillon Barnes to push the ball over on 34 minutes and the Seagulls then finished the first half strongly. Danny Holla’s cheeky chip dropped just wide on 38 minutes, before Norwood sent a curling effort just wide after a strong run by Murphy.
Manu just failed to get on the end of Adekugbe’s dangerous low cross on 47 minutes, before Murphy’s low cross was blocked by Barnes two minutes later and Baldock blazed the rebound over.
Loft blazed a free horribly high and wide from 20 yards for Colchester on 57 minutes during a spell of possession for the visitors.
Brighton went ahead six minutes later when LuaLua superbly brought down a Rohan Ince crossfield ball and then passed inside to Baldock, who beautifully curled a shot past Barnes from the edge of the penalty area.
As the visitors tired, the Seagulls doubled their advantage on 71 minutes when Murphy lifted the ball over Barnes from close range after LuaLua superbly picked him out following a sudden burst forward.
Manu then slid home Brighton’s third from Baldock’s cross just three minutes later, before LuaLua almost added a fourth when he fired just wide on 78 minutes.
The Seagulls continued to press for more goals and Murphy added Brighton’s fourth four minutes from time when he sent a low left-footed shot into the bottom after a driving run forward.
BRIGHTON: Maenpaa; Hunt, Ince, White, Adekugbe; Murphy, Ince, Holla, LuaLua; Manu, Baldock. Subs: Ankergren, Bruno, Bong, Dunk, Knockaert, Sidwell, Murray.
COLCHESTER: Barnes; Lapslie (Dunne 73), Prosser, Kent, Loft, Szmodics (Bonne 71), Dickenson, Vincent-Young, Wynter, Johnstone, Guthrie (Slater 73). Subs: Bransgrove, Porter, Sembie-Ferris, Kinsella.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!