James Tilley: Brighton teenager rewarded with goal after two years of 'hard work'

James Tilley
James Tilley signed for Brighton as an 11-year-old and has now made three senior appearances.

Brighton forward James Tilley says his match-winning goal in the EFL Cup was reward for more than two years of patience and hard work since his debut.

The 19-year-old replaced Anthony Knockaert at half-time against Barnet and struck the only goal of the game.

It came 27 months after his first senior appearance for the Seagulls, at Middlesbrough in May 2015.

"I knew I had to keep my head down, work hard and hopefully an opportunity would come again," he told BBC Sussex.

"I knew I was going to be involved a couple of days ago and I've been training with the first team.

"Training with them makes you so much better. It's completely different to training with the under-23s, it's just quicker."

Tilley, who went to the same Sussex school as England rugby international Billy Twelvetrees, was delighted to make an impact at his boyhood club.

"I had a few butterflies when I came on, but it was good to get a few minutes and score a goal," he said.

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