It was back to winning ways finally for the Seagulls, after a hard-fought victory against Blackburn. The victory ended a run of 7 games without a victory, stretching back to the 5th of December, and 5 games without a goal, whilst also maintaining their record of not losing to Blackburn since they returned to England’s 2nd tier, as well as scoring in every one of those games. The win, however, didn’t come without its fair share of scares, with supposed Albion target Jordan Rhodes, their main threat and had some great chances to take something from the game.
The game started quite casual, Blackburn were happy to sit with the ball and weren’t that eager to press into the Albion half, but that all changed after just 3 minutes; a long ball forward by David Stockdale was flicked on by Blackburn midfielder Darragh Lenihan, which bounced up to be contested by Tomer Hemed and both Blackburn centre backs Matt Kilgallon and Grant Hanley, and after a header away from Hanley fell into the path of Jamie Murphy, the Albion winger struck a fierce volley into the ground which had Jason Steele scrambling across; he managed to get fingertips to the ball, but it hit the inside of the post and came back across the goal, where Bobby Zamora was waiting for the easiest tap in he will ever get, to put the Seagulls 1-0 up. Blackburn had some good chances to draw level; Rhodes had the first with a header which had Stockdale scrambling across the goal, but it drifted wide of the far post. Hope Akpan was next to test Stockdale, he’s long range effort was an inch or 2 from the crossbar as it dipped down over it, which looked to have Stockdale worried for a moment. Rhodes hit the side netting next, after a superb back-heel layoff from Craig Conway set him free, after some good work pressurizing the Albion defense. Zamora had a good chance to double the lead; a long ball forward from Dale Stephens bounced awkwardly for Hanley which allowed Zamora to wrestle himself in front of the defender and attempt to score, but his cheeky effort at trying to chip Steele didn’t work out as planned as he over hit it, and went out for a goal kick. Summer target Ben Marshall hit the inside of the post from a 25 yard free-kick, before being cleared by Lewis Dunk. Anthony Knockaert then hit the post for Brighton, after he took the ball down well inside the box, and hit the ball on the turn, but could only watch it hit the outside of the post and go out. Conway had a rocket saved by Stockdale up the other end, when the ball kindly found him after some pinball in their box. Rhodes had the best chance though of the half; after a well timed tackle from Dunk, the ball got away from him, with Rhodes lurking to have a pop at goal, but Bruno was on hand to just block the ball which took it wide of the goal, stopping a certain goal. The final whistle brought relief to the Albion players, coaching staff and fans who had waited a long time to celebrate another victory.
Stockdale (7); Not much to do for the relatively busy keeper, but good enough for the clean sheet.
Bruno (7); Made the important block from Rhodes, but did his other defensive duties well, which included containing the ever tricky Conway.
Dunk (7); Had has some horrible games recently, but played quite well in this one. Look strong and lively on the ball and was determined not to let Rhodes carve an opening at goal.
Goldson (6); Had a simple afternoon really, Dunk had Rhodes covered, while he was lumbered with Chris Brown, who didn’t; make an impact at all.
Ridgewell (6); Even if we enjoy his company for a month, it will be well worth it; very solid again and made Marshall’s afternoon difficult while making his own quite simple.
Knockaert (7); After a great debut, he carried it on with another good performance; unlucky not to be on the scoresheet after hitting the post, but I’m sure he will get one sooner rather than later.
Kayal (7); The midfield warrior was on top again in the centre of the pitch; his passing as good as ever in tricky conditions and was always ready to sniff out danger when it came along.
Stephens (7); A good game from him; attacked well when needed to, but was more involved in defensive duties.
Murphy (7); A wonderful shot from the Scotsman, and unlucky not to score it himself, but he won’t mind the semi-assist.
Hemed (6); Not as involved as recent games, but was able to hold the ball up well and get Zamora involved.
Zamora (8); Scored Albion’s first goal for over 9 and a half hours and over takes Peter Ward’s goal scoring tally for Brighton. Like Hemed, he held the ball up well, and invited him into the attacks; should of had a second though when through against Steele.
Wilson (6); On for Zamora, and was as lively as ever although he couldn’t fashion a chance.
Calderon (N/A); Late replacement for Knockaert.
Crofts (N/A); Late replacement for Murphy.
Blackburn  –  Brighton; Zamora (3)
Att; 12,930 (606 Brighton)