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Balogun returns as Brighton and Hove Albion crash out of FA Cup

7:13 PM WAT 04/01/2020
Leon Balogun
The defender was handed a starter’s role in the Seagulls’ ill-fated expedition against the English Championship side

The defender was handed a starter’s role in the Seagulls’ ill-fated expedition against the English Championship side

Leon Balogun returned to Brighton & Hove Albion’s squad in Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Injuries and loss of form have seen the Nigeria international frozen out of Graham Potter’s squad since his last game against Bristol Rovers on August 27, 2019.

However, he was handed a starter’s role in the third round fixture against the Owls at the American Express Community Stadium.

Balogun showed little sign of rustiness in the defeat to the Championship side as he supported the Seagulls’ attack.

As a measure to protect him from another round of injury, the 31-year-old was replaced early in the second half by Aaron Connolly.

Despite dominating ball possession, Brighton crashed out of the competition thanks to Adam Reach who smashed home a deflected drive from the edge of the box.

Thanks to the triumph, Gary Monk’s team defeated Premier League opposition in the competition for the first time in 27 years.

Balogun would be hoping for more playing time when the Seagulls visit Everton in their next Premier League encounter.

They are 14th in the English top-flight log with 24 points from 21 league outings.