Connolly scores on his Brighton return

Aaron Connolly celebrates a goal for Brighton U23s
Aaron Connolly celebrates a goal for Brighton U23s

Striker Aaron Connolly scored on his return to action with the Brighton & Hove Albion U23s as they beat Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 in a friendly at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre last night.

The teenager, who has been out since January with a hamstring injury, was lively from the off, Connolly picking out Bojan Radulovic, but he couldn't direct his close-ranger header on target.

It was Connolly who then had a chance himself after latching onto a through ball from Jordan Davies, but the young Irishman’s shot was saved by Thomas Hasal.

Connolly forced Hasal into another save before fizzing a shot over the bar, while he was on target in the 37th minute, reacting to Brendan McDonough’s slip in defence and coolly slotting past the keeper.

In the second period, Connolly looked to add his and Albion's second, but his close-range effort was kept out by Hasal, as he was replaced after 71 minutes by Danny Cashman.

Albion's lead was doubled two minutes later courtesy of Radulovic, while McDonough netted a late consolation for Vancouver.

Connolly will now look to link up with the Hatters as early as next week to play a part in their final six games of the season.