Brighton and Hove Albion v Cardiff City (3/10/15) | Review

10 games over, nearly a quarter of the way through the season, and Brighton are STILL unbeaten!! Can Brighton fans really start thinking that this could be the season? With the second International break now upon us, Brighton still occupy the top spot, with their lead being extended on Saturday to two points, after closest rivals Middlesbrough lost away to Reading. Last time Brighton were top going into the second International break, they got promoted to the Championship later that season, as well as staying top for the rest of it too. Anyway, onto the game in hand; Cardiff were welcomed to the AMEX on Saturday, and were also in high spirits after an excellent start to the season, which saw them sit in the final play-off place going into the game. With no Hunemeier in the starting XI, Hughton re-called Dunk to the starting line-up, clearly so he could keep tabs on powerhouse forward Kenwyne Jones, which he did quite well. However, it was his strike partner and Cardiff’s top goalscorer Joe Mason who made the breakthrough, after Brighton were caught in possession in the opposing half. The ball was played down the wing to full-back Shaun Malone, who executed such a brilliant cross that any would be pleased about, even more so that Mason managed to tuck it under a disparing David Stockdale, to send the travelling Bluebirds fans into raptures after just five minutes. As the first half grew older, Brighton became more of a threat and tested second-string goalkeeper Simon Moore multiple times without any luck, with some Brighton fans wishing to have seen David Marshall in goal as Moore was performing so well. But, Brighton did get a breakthrough and once again it was Dale Stephens controlled shot which rippled the net, after his superbly timed volley found its way into the bottom corner on thirty-eight minutes. From then on the game was controlled by Brighton, with Cardiff barely getting anywhere near Brighton’s final third, only as the game began to stretch in the dying endeavours of the game did Cardiff feel/look like a threat. Brighton had chances to win it though, most notably in the ninety-third minute when a cross from Dale Stephens evaded everyone, and the diving Gordon Greer could only ‘thigh’ the chance wide of the post with the goal gaping. With performances like that, it’s defiantly frustrating to only come away with a point, but Brighton are still unbeaten and have extended their lead by a point which, come the end of the season, could mean all the difference.

Line-Up;

David Stockdale (6/7); Hard to rate a player when he had nothing to do, could of sat out their with his newspaper, but kept alert in case anything did come about.

Bruno (7); Was at fault for Cardiff’s goal for being way to far up the pitch, but made some nice plays and did provide chances which unfortunately weren’t taken.

Greer (7); Missed the chance of the season, could of put all of his critics in their coffins had he scored, but has probably gained more due to the miss. Other than that, his defensive duties were good and stopped Mason from scoring anymore.

Dunk (7); Kept Jones quiet for a majority of the game, and provided a threat from set-pieces too.

Bong (7); Had to work hard in the first half, with March not performing too well, but worked wonders with him in the second and created some brilliant chances for Baldock and Hemed.

Rosenior (7); Once again, had another sound game. Not too many chances created but linked up with Bruno and Kayal well which set up chances.

Kayal (8); Looked exposed for some of the first half, but grew into the game as Brighton started pressing forward. Provided the assist for Stephens and had a good couple chances in the second half himself.

Stephens (8); Scored for the second game in a row, as well as looking solid in midfield. Starting to see the reasoning behind Hughton’s decision to keep him instead of selling him to Derby, as the season progresses. Could be a valuable member of the squad.

March (8); Didn’t perform at all in the first half, but made up for it with a quite flawless display in the second. Had Fabio and Peltier beaten and could of had the former sent off it it wasn’t for some lenient refereeing.

Baldock (7); Had some tough chances, but should of scored the square from Rosenior mid-way through the first half. However, he is still looking a constant threat with his pace and hunger.

Hemed (7); First games back are always difficult, and this was no different. He did, however, link up nicely with Baldock to set up some chances, but was rightly replace by Zamora mid-way through the second half.

Subs:

Zamora (6); Still feels like he is not quite fit enough, little bit rusty in places but did do well holding the ball up waiting for the cavalry to arrive.

Elvis (5); Had little time to make an impact.

Brighton [1] v [1] Cardiff; Stephens (38); Mason (5)

Att. 26,399

MOTM; Stephens

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