Irish youngster Aaron Connolly added to his growing reputation with a hat-trick against MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy for Brighton and Hove Albion tonight.

Connolly, 18, had scored 12 goals in 14 games for the Under-23s prior to this and added three more against the League Two outfit in the competition which features Football League outfits and Premier League development sides.

Chris Hughton gave Connolly the second appearance of his senior career earlier this season against Southampton in the League Cup and he is likely to have a vast amount of clubs looking to take him on loan in January.

He could move after the third round of the FA Cup if Hughton opts to make wholesale changes for that competition which would likely include the Republic of Ireland Under-19 international coming into the senior squad.

Connolly’s goals came in a 3-2 win for Brighton's development team at Stadium MK. 

His first came in the 23rd minute, drilling in a left-footed shot off the post, before a close-range finish in the 69th minute to make it 2-2.

Connolly was at the back post seven minutes later to convert for his third goal, but Brighton missed out on progressing to the next phase on goal difference. 

He last featured for the Irish Under-19s in September when he scored against Wales and will turn 19 in January.