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

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
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 is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style