Brighton and Hove Albion v Bristol City (20/10/15) | Review

Has everyone calmed down yet? No? I wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t? Once again, it required another late winner from Bobby Zamora for Brighton to snatch all 3 points from their opponents. After Saturday’s game against Leeds, Bobby said he wanted to keep on the goalscoring trail, and did just that on Tuesday. But you have to credit Chris Hughton, for once again some genius tactical making. He changed the formation to a 4-3-3 on Saturday and got the winner, and did the same last night and with the same result. But all credit to Bristol City, they came with a plan, and stuck with it throughout until they needed the equaliser in the dying endeavours of the game. They were ruthless, blunt and at time quite smart and made the game very difficult for Brighton to get a hold of, which worked in favour of the visitors. After a relatively quite first 15 minutes, the first real chance came from City, as Lewis Dunk was pick-pocketed by Jonathan Kodija, who found City fullback Derrick Williams at the far post for him to guide the ball in to the net on 17 minutes, with the help of Dunk. From then on, City had their mind set on defending what they had, and holding out for the remaining 73 minutes; not an impossible task, but a dangerous one. Brighton had a plentiful of chances to equalise, Solly March stole the ball in City’s final third and played in Sam Baldock, but wasted his chance after taking too long to get his shot away. Yet again , Baldock had another chance but his delicate chip over Frank Fielding was cleared off the line. However, he did put away his next chance at the start of the second half, when a great square ball from Bruno was met by Baldock, and trickled over the line. Both teams were from then on, looking for chances to get a possible winner. Luke Freeman had a chance for City soon after the goal, but was penalised for a ridiculous dive in the box, which resulted in him getting booked, when the shot looked like a better option. Main threat Kodjia went close with a thunderous volley, which left both sets of fans in disbelief as to how it didn’t go in, with only the strong hand of David Stockdale denying the Frenchman. Once again, Stockdale was called into action when Kodija was played through by Freeman, but couldn’t finish 1-on-1 with Stockdale, after a superb save from the Seagulls stopper. As the game became stretched, there was bound to be a winner, it was just who could stepped up to be that hero. Well, up stepped Zamora to drive home the winner in the 82nd minute after a blocked Stephens shot fell kindly for him, with Fielding rooted to the floor from the previous Stephens attempt. City then came out of defensive mode, and threw as many men as they could afford forward in the hope of salvaging a point. They had that chance in the 94th minute after Kayal had apparently infringed on a City free kick, which resulted in him being booked and the free-kick taken again; and after some pinball in the box the eventual shot was hit wide, and allowed the Seagulls to run down the clock and taken home all 3 points, keeping their unbeaten start in tack.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (9); Had one of those days Saturday, but made up for it with what turned out to be match-winning saves. His contribution has, at times, gone unnoticed but he is defiantly starting to show the reason why he was signed last summer.

Bruno (8); Took captain duties with the absence of Greer, didn’t have too many problems with Williams after they scored, as he was cautious to get forward too much, but the assist to Baldock was so good, he couldn’t miss.

Hunemeier (7); In the XI for the injured Greer, and at times it was hard for him to cope with Aaron Wilbraham, but he stuck to the task in hand and didn’t allow him to create and clear-cut chances.

Dunk (6); Possibly at fault for their goal, but with the pitch being so wet, players were going to slip around a lot. His night made harder with the constant threat of Kodija, and his will to add to his goal-scoring tally.

Bong (7); Had to be careful not to make too many runs forward with Elliot Bennett lurking around on the right wing, but after he came off and the game opened up, it gave him more freedom to try and create that winner.

Rosenior (7); Made some good chances in the first half, with some excellent crosses. Little quiet in the second though, and sacrificed for Crofts during the formation change.

Kayal (7); The midfield maestro found it hard to pick out passes with the middle of the pitch being so crowded. Played some good balls to the front 2, but not much happened for him.

Stephens (7); Almost the same as Kayal, hard to move when City have 3 central midfielder’s roaming around the middle, and shutting off chances. His mis-cued shot however, did set up Zamora for the winner.

March (7); Off the back of 2 superb games, this was defiantly a ‘come back to earth’ game for the young winger. He did find it hard to beat Bennett at times, but some of his crosses were good and did have some luck when Bennett was substituted. Might just have staked a claim to be a starter on Saturday

Baldock (8); Had multiple chances in the first half, but couldn’t take them, but did take the one that was put on a plate, which allowed Brighton a way back into the game. Endless running was a huge headache for the 3 centre backs

Hemed (6); A quiet night from the Israeli, not many chances for him apart from the header in the first half he put off target. At times he was just their to make up the 11 on the pitch.

Subs:

Crofts (7); Brought on to add something different on Saturday, and had the same influence yesterday. Found gaps between the back 5 as the game wore on, and was also on hand to defend when it got down to the wire.

Zamora (8); Yet again the match winner. A bit fortunate the ball came his way after the deflected shot, but took it coolly and put it into the bottom corner to send the AMEX into raptures.

Calderon (N/A); Brought on late to help seal the 3 points

 Brighton [2] v [1] Bristol City; Baldock (53), Zamora (82); Williams (17)

Att; 23,181

MOTM; Stockdale

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