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08th Jan 2022

17-year-old Evan Ferguson makes instant impact for Brighton in FA Cup win

Patrick McCarry

Evan Ferguson

Not a bad way to make a case for Premier League minutes.

Evan Ferguson made his second senior outing for Brighton & Hove Albion and played a key role in Graham Potter’s side getting through to the FA Cup fourth round.

Potter went into the third round tie after making seven changes to the side that had defeated Everton in the Premier League. With Aaron Connolly loaned out to Middlesbrough for the result of the season, the Brighton boss elevated Ferguson to the bench.

The 17-year-old made his senior debut in the League Cup, earlier this season, and was an unused sub for a league encounter with Wolves, in December. Having impressed with the club’s Under-23 side, he would have been itching for a decent stretch of the FA Cup game.

It did not go all Brighton’s way, however, as another Ireland player got in on the scoring. In good form for his club, having scored in the Championship last week, Callum Robinson fired the Baggies ahead, early in the second half.

The hosts’ 1-0 lead was looking tenuous when defender Cedric Kipre was sent off, for two bookable offences, with 20 minutes to go. Potter brought Ferguson on for defender Joel Veltman with 15 minutes to go, and the move paid off. The Ireland U21 could not fully control a pass in to his feet, but the it ran on to Jakub Moder, who fired home to level the game.

Evan Ferguson impresses on his second senior outing

The winner could have arrived in the 88th minute, as Ferguson found a good position in the box. However, teammate Neal Maupay overhit his cross and the Baggies breathed again.

Ferguson went close with another headed effort of his own but it needed extra time to eventually separate the sides. 10 minutes into that extra time period, it was Moder the provider for what turned out to be the winner.

The forward teed up Maupay, who connected with a first time strike that beat West Brom goalkeeper David Button. Among close followers of Brighton, the Ferguson chatter was already bubbling over.

Ferguson had the ball in the net, just before the first period of extra time ended, but his joy was short-lived as the lineman raised his flag. It was a close call, but Brighton will not be grumbling too much as they held on to win 2-1.

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