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'I really enjoyed it' - Richie Towell pleased with goalscoring Brighton return

The former Dundalk star was restricted to just 45 minutes but made a decisive impact as he struck the winning goal for the U23 side in the EFL Trophy.

RICHIE TOWELL HAS endured a frustrating time in England since making the move from Dundalk to Brighton and Hove Albion, but things are beginning to improve after the midfielder notched his first goal for his new club.

The Dublin native could not hide his delight as he scored the winning goal as Brighton U23 defeated Leyton Orient in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday. However, he was limited to just 45 minutes as the club’s medical staff manage his return to competitive action.

“It was great and I really enjoyed it, but I would have liked to play for a little bit longer,” Towell told the club’s official website. ”I asked Rusky [Simon Rusk] at half-time if I could stay on, but they were under strict instructions to take me off after 45 minutes.

“I need to come back slowly, but it was great to be out there playing in a competitive environment again.”

Source: Official Brighton & Hove Albion FC/YouTube

The 25-year-old midfielder moved to Brighton in November of 2015, but had to wait until January 2016 before he was eligible to play. Since then he has made just two appearances and his only Championship experience came as a second-half substitute in last season’s 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in May.

The 2016-17 campaign got off to a terrible start when he suffered a knee injury during pre-season and he is only nearing a full return to fitness after a difficult number of months on the sidelines.

“I basically had a hole in the back of my knee; the cartilage was gone and the bones were grinding. I had a cyst on the back of it and there was quite a lot of fluid to be drained,” explained Towell.

“Playing back-to-back seasons probably caused that. In the summer I probably did a little too much and hammered myself.”

Nevertheless, he says that he is now feeling “fine” and is targeting a first-team breakthrough in the forthcoming months.

“Anybody that knows me knows I’m a very competitive person who wears my heart on my sleeve, so I’d play at the drop of a hat,” said the former Celtic youth.

“The medical staff have held me back a small bit, but I’m raring to go and once given an opportunity, I’m confident I’ll take it.”

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