Sonny Hilton scored the only goal of the game as Fulham’s under 23s wrapped up their pre-season preparations with a narrow win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Motspur Park yesterday.
The attacking midfielder, fresh from a loan spell with Finnish side TPS, produced a fabulous low finish from outside the box to provide a timely reminder of his quality ahead of the new campaign. Hilton’s moment of magic settled a tight contest in favour of the home side, who included Cyrus Christie, Luca Ashby-Hammond and Jay Stansfield in a strong line-up.
There was an early let off for the Whites when Brighton failed to take advantage of a glorious chance inside the opening minute as a devilish cross threatened to catch the Fulham defence out before defenders Idris Odutayo and Ziyad Larkeche were denied by good saves. Adrion Pajaziti shot over and Luke Harris’ bicycle was easily saved as the Whites began to take control.
Harris had a free header at the far post superbly saved, but Hilton’s terrific drive arrowed into the bottom corner to give Steve Wigley’s side the lead. Christie had a header clawed away as Brighton lived a little dangerously and Hilton almost grabbed a second, but a blistering half volley was well saved.
The little midfielder kept trying his luck from distance and was denied just after the restart by another fingertip stop. Ollie O’Neill saw his shot scrambled off the goal line after he slalomed his way through the Brighton defence form the left flank and Christie came close with another header in Fulham’s next attack.
FULHAM (4-3-3): L. Ashby-Hammond, Fossey, Christie, Odutayo, Larkeche; Page (Bowie 69), Harris, Pajaziti; Hilton, O’Neill, Stansfield (Ablade 45). Subs (not used): Las, D’Auria-Henry, Lanquedoc, Araujo.