Delfouneso makes name for himself to sink Seagulls

Aston Villa 3 Brighton & Hove Albion 2

The immediate future takes Aston Villa to Wembley to contest the Carling Cup. The long-term future appears to be in good hands, too, with 18-year-old Nathan Delfouneso and Fabian Delph, two years his senior, both scoring as Brighton's first fourth-round tie in 17 years ended in honourable defeat.

Birmingham-born Delfouneso set an under-strength Villa on their way, only for Tommy Elphick to send the League One stragglers in level at the break. Ashley Young, Villa's captain for the day, restored their lead before Delph showed why Martin O'Neill paid Leeds £6m, potentially rising to £8m, with the goal of the game. Nicky Forster, twice Delfouneso's age, fired a second for Brighton to lend drama to stoppage time.

The Villa manager, who hailed Delph's first goal for Villa as "magnificent", added: "It was closer than it needed to be. We had to bring James Milner on earlier than we wanted, but as it turned out we really needed him and we had to up the pace in the second half."

Gus Poyet, a Wembley winner in 2000 with Chelsea against Villa in this competition, praised his team's part in an entertaining tie. "I'm not the kind to try to defend and be boring and get a 0-0," the Brighton manager said.

Villa seized a fifth-minute lead when another 20-year-old, Marc Albrighton, made ground along the right towards the end whose upper tier was, coincidentally, all Brighton. On reaching the goalline he had the composure to lift his head and cut the ball back to Delfouneso, who deftly turned it into the net.

But having started out all at sea, Brighton finished the first half on the crest of a wave. When Elliott Bennett's 41st-minute corner landed around the near post, Elphick's right-footed shot produced a deserved equaliser.

Villa re-asserted their status with a counter-attack three minutes into the second half. Brad Guzan caught Bennett's cross before bowling the ball to Milner, who surged into Brighton's half before feeding Stewart Downing on the left. His cross saw Young out-jump Jim McNulty to score a rare headed goal, the ball going in off the angle of post and bar.

The songs of Brighton's followers stuck in 6,000 throats just after the hour. Downing helped the ball on to the increasingly influential Milner whose through-pass released Delph. Having waltzed round a defender, the midfielder angled a left-footed shot across Michael Kuipers. Forster's goal kept the magic alive to the last, but it proved only a consolation.

Attendance: 39,725

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Man of the match: Milner

Match rating: 7/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee