BHAFC v LUFC (29/2/16) | Preview

It’s back home at The AMEX, and in front of the Sky cameras for the 3rd time this month, as Brighton host Leeds.

Leeds News;

Ex-Brighton favourite Liam Bridcutt is set to return against his former club, after missing the Fulham game last week due to personal reasons, while Guiseppe Bellusci finished his 2 game ban. Chris Wood is still out with a hamstring injury. Wood is the leading scorer for Leeds with 8 goals, with Mirco Antenucci close behind him with 5.

FACT; Leeds have not won away from home since the win at Wolves on December 12th.

Brighton News;

Gaetan Bong could be in line for his return, after Chris Hughton declared him fit, meaning only Solly March and Uwe Hunemeier are the only casualties left on the injury table. Tomer Hemed is the leading Albion scorer with 9 goals after scoring last Tuesday night at Brsitol City.

FACT; Brighton have won 11 of their 16 home games this season, scoring in all but 4 of them.

Earlier In The Season: LUFC [1]-[2] BHAFC (17/10/15);

Brighton won the meeting between the 2 earlier in the season. Solly March put the Seagulls 1-0 up mid-way through the first half, but a Liam Cooper goal levelled the scores. Bobby Zamora scored his first goal on his return to the Albion, in the 89th minute, to steal all 3 points for the Albion

H-2-H;

The H-2-H for these 2 sides is in favour of Brighton who have won 8 games, while Leeds have won 5, leaving the remaining 6 draws. Brighton have won the last 4 meetings between the 2 sides, and haven’t lost at home since November 2009; since then they have only lost 1 game (6W, 3D, 1L). 

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Murphy;

Baldock, Hemed;

Prediction;

Brighton 3-1 Leeds

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BCFC v BHAFC (23/2/16) | Review

Chris Hughton demanded a response from his team after Saturday’s dreadful result, and he got exactly what he asked for; with a 4-0 thumping of Bristol City. Saturday’s result is week and truly behind them now after a Israeli inspired win. Tomer Hemed and Beram Kayal were the main 2 players which sunk the City ship, in where they had won their last 3 games, and had kept 4 clean sheets in their previous 6 games. But they came up against a Albion side, hell-bent on getting revenge.

Brighton took an early lead thanks to a defensive error from the Robins; after a heavy chest down from young full-back Zak Vyner, Jamie Murphy nipped in to steal the ball away, and after a clever one-two with Hemed he was set away 1-on-1 with keeper Richard O’Donnell, and slid the ball past the keeper into the far corner, to give the Seagulls an 8th minute lead. Lee Tomlin tested David Stockdale moments later from a curling free-kick, but the Albion stopper tipped the ball over the bar. Brighton doubled their lead through Sam Baldock; Liam Rosenior played a quick ball into Hemed, before he flick the ball Ito the path of Baldock who carried the ball onto the edge of the box before striking the ball into the corner of the net, past the disparing O’Donnell. Tomlin had City’s first chance of the second half, when he had a strike from just under 25 yards go marginally over the cross bar. City were made to pay again, when a delightful through ball from Kayal split the Robin’s defence, which allowed Hemed to run onto the ball before slotting the ball home to make it 3-0. Stockdale was called into action; a well-struck volley from Johnathan Kodija was brilliantly saved after the Frenchman had be played in by Marlon Pack’s header. Pack had a volley of his own well saved by Stockdale moments later, after he turned with no pressure, he struck the ball towards goal with some dip, but it was beaten away by Stockdale. It went from bad to worse for City, when substitute Mark Little scored an own goal, after a deep free-kick from Anthony Knockaert; I have never seen fans disperse from a ground as quickly as City’s fans did after the 4th goal. Bristol’s night was summed up in the 92nd minute, when Kieran Agard missed the penalty he had won, off a foul from Kayal. The game ended much to the delight of the travelling fans, while City manager Lee Johnson suffered his first defeat in charge of the Robins.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Not much to be done, but his 3 superb saves as mention above, stopped City from gaining some hope.

Bruno (7); Solid as usual, supported Knockaert well, and was quick to snap out dangerous chances from City.

Goldson (7); Great performance for the young centre-back, was given a hard task marking the dangerous Tomlin, but did well.

Dunk (8); High praise needs to be given for him, after a shocking display on Saturday, he dusted himself off and produced a spectacular defensive display; Kodija just couldn’t shrug him off.

Rosenior (7); First start since November, and looked composed and full of energy throughout the game; supported Murphy well and produced a couple of chances.

Knockaert (7); A little off the boil of late, but showed glimpses of what he can do with his high-powered work rate, and his eagerness to make chances.

Kayal (8); A quite wonderful performance in the middle of the park; a fantastic assist for countryman Hemed and his passing was crisp and precise.

Stephens (7); Looked shaky to start with, but as the game grew he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in.

Murphy (8); Well-taken goal, but his general all-round play was superb.

Baldock (8); Scorer against his former club, and it was a well-taken goal but some say O’Donnell should have gotten there. Good work rate as per usual.

Hemed (9); Outstanding match from the Israeli; 2 fantastic assists and a goal topped off a great night for him. If he can continue the form, there is no reason he could be the one to catapult Brighton to the automatics

Subs;

Calderon (7); On for the injured Bruno at half-time; basically took over where Bruno left off, supported Knockaert well, and contained Tomlin well when he moved to the left wing.

Wilson (6); On for Baldock; didn’t do too much but had a presence in the box which lead to the own goal.

Sidwell (N/A); On for Hemed; Not on for too long, just to see the game out.

Bristol City [0]-[4] Brighton; Murphy (8), Baldock (22), Hemed (56), Little (75og)

Att; 15,256 (907 Brighton)

MOTM; Hemed

BCFC v BHAFC (23/2/16) | Preview

After a brutal mauling at the hands of Cardiff, it time to bounce back for the Seagulls, with a hard-looking trip to Bristol City. On the scale of things, only a win would do here really, with promotion rivals taking advantage of Brighton’s slip-up at the weekend. It will not be easy against a City side who have not lost their last 3 homes games against promotion chasing sides (wins against Midlesbrough and Ipswich, draw against Birmingham).

Bristol City News;

Nathan Baker is set to miss out with an Achilles injury which he picked up in the win over MK Dons on Saturday, while Mark Little will undergo a fitness test on his groin and Ben Gladwin on his knee. Jonathan Kodjia is the leading scorer for the Robins with 9 goals, with veteran striker Aaron Wilbraham close behind with 6.

FACT; City have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 6 games.

Brighton News;

Gordon Greer is set to return to the line up, as Chris Hughton continues to freshen up the team. Liam Rosenior is set to get his first start since November, while Beram Kayal, Tomer Hemed and Jamie Murphy are all set to be re-called after starting on the bench Saturday. Hemed still leads the way as Albions top scorer with 8 goals.

FACT; Albion have conceded the most goals (8) from defensive errors in the Championship.

Earlier In The Season; BHAFC [2]-[1] BCFC (20/10/15):

Brighton won the encounter at The AMEX. Derrick Williams gave City a 17 minute lead, but goals from Sam Baldock and Bobby Zamora in the second half lead Albion to victory.

H-2-H;

Of the 13 previous meeting between the 2 sides, Brighton have come out on top 7 times compared to City’s 4. Brighton are unbeaten in the last 5 games, winning 4 of them, with their last defeat coming back in Febuary 2007 (September 2006 Away at Bristol City).

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Murphy;

Zamora, Hemed;

Prediction;

Bristol City 1-2 Brighton

CCFC v BHAFC (20/2/16) | Review

It was a horrible day on and off the pitch for Brighton and their fans, as Cardiff reduced them to their knees. It was always going to be a hard game, but treacherous conditions in the Welsh capital made it a lot harder. Fair play to Cardiff, they handled the conditions the better, and made the most of the few chances they had although they were gifted them from the Albion defence.

On a rainy, cold and blustery afternoon, this game was going to be settled by the team who could adapt to the adverse weather better than the other, and in this case it was the home team. Cardiff had a chance to go up early on when Peter Whittingham had his free-kick well saved by David Stockdale. However, Whittingham got the better of Stockdale the next time, after a wonderful pass from Stuart O’Keefe towards Whittingham, allowed the Cardiff man to control the ball before stabbing the ball into the net through Lewis Dunk’s legs and past Stockdale. Brighton went further behind a few minutes later; Stockdale’s clearance hit Dunk and was gathered by  O’Keefe, he played a ball to Lex Immers who crossed the ball to Anthony Pilkington and after cutting inside of Dunk, he struck the ball which dipped under the diving Stockdale to double the home sides lead. Brighton had a half-chance to get one goal back, when Inigo Calderon curled a ball just over David Marshall’s crossbar from 25 yards. However, Cardiff took full advantage of some unlucky defending when Immers pounced on a ball which fell loose after a tackle from Connor Goldson, Immers nipped in before Calderon to score Cardiff’s third. Bobby Zamora, who had been quiet throughout the first half, had a chance before half time to give Brighton some hope in the 2nd half, but his attempt from a Jiri Skalak crossed went wide. Into the 2nd half, and Immers nearly made it 4-0, after Pilkington touched the ball down for him, and after jinking past Goldson, he curled the ball agonisingly wide of the post. Brighton managed to get the goal, which could get them back into the game; Tomer Hemed passed the ball out wide for Skalak, and the Czech’s cross was perfect for Dale Stephens to get his head on it, to guide it past Marshall into the far corner. Brighton nearly got a second soon after; Anthony Knockaert received the ball on the wing before playing the ball into Skalak, who cut the ball back to the penalty spot, but no one was there, but the clearance only went as far as Knockaert on the edge of the box, but his hit his shot over the bar when he needed to keep it low. Cardiff got the next, decisive goal when Goldson fouled Pilkington in the area which allowed Whittingham to step up and score his 2nd of the afternoon. 

Line-Up;

Stockdale (5); At fault for the second goal, with the clearance, then being beaten too easily by Pilkington, but I’m positive he won’t let a bad game affect his confidence, and will be back making match-saving saves once again.

Bruno (6); The only bright spark in a lacklustre defence; wasn’t afraid to move forward with the ball, and kept his side of the pitch relatively untroubled.

Goldson (5); Some say harsh for the penalty, but it was as clear as you get; slow to react to danger in the first half and might be in a position where he will be the one to sit out for the returning Greer.

Dunk (5); Like Goldson, it wasn’t his best game, but because of all the previously bad games beforehand, everyone is quick to slag him off. He is young and will make mistakes, it’s all in the process of learning and he will gain valuable experience from it.

Calderon (5); Targeted throughout the first half, and rightly removed at half-time.

Knockaert (6); Some-what quiet first half, but exploded into life in the second, with some neat passing and some great runs.

Sidwell (5); Not a great game for the on-loan Stoke man, easily beaten in midfield and struggled to make anything of the ball when given it.

Stephens (7); Well taken goal, and was generally, in my opinion, the best player on the pitch; precise passing on a tricky surface and did what he could to cut out dangerous looking attacks.

Crofts (6); Average first half, much like all the players, but much better in the second with his general all-round play.

Skalak (6); Handed his first Albion start, and was quick to prove how good of a signing he can be once settled in; took on defender and crossed the ball well, only mishap would be his tracking back, which left Calderon vulnerable 

Zamora (5); Hard game for the striker, not much to feed on and missed one of the best chances of the game.

Subs;

Hemed (6); On for Sidwell, look like an immediate threat and set up Skalak for the cross which led to the goal.

Rosenior (6); On for Calderon, and sured up the left side of the pitch. Attacked a lot which gave Cardiff problems, and will be set to start on Tuesday.

Baldock (5); On for Zamora, worked hard chasing the ball but nothing came of it unfortunately.

Cardiff City [4]-[1] Brighton; Whittingham (16), (66pen), Pilkington (19), Immers (30); Stephens (55)

Att; 14,143 (Brighton Att. Not Known)

MOTM; Stephens

CCFC v BHAFC (20/2/16) | Preview

A crucial game tomorrow in front of the Sky cameras, as play-off chasers Cardiff welcome aut0matic-promotion chasers Brighton. Both teams will be needing the 3 points to close and extended the gap within the top 7 places; a win for Cardiff puts them 2 points outside the play-offs, while a win for the Seagulls takes them into the automatic promotion places, and extends the gap to 7th to 12 points.

Cardiff News;

Shola Ameobi will be banned from the game, after picking up 2 yellow cards in the draw last week at Charlton. Idris Saadi and Craig Noone are both ruled out for this game, but Sean Morrison could return after recovering from a knee injury. Noone and Anthony Pilkington are the joint top-scorers with 5 goals.

FACT; Cardiff have only lost once at home all season, joint best with Hull and Sheffield Wednesday, and can make it 12 unbeaten in a row at home on Saturday.

Brighton News;

Beram Kayal has been given the green light, after an injury scare from Tuesday night, with Liam Rosenior in contention for a starting place. Gordon Greer is set to be included in the squad, as well as James Wilson but both are unlikely to start the game. Tomer Hemed is still Albion’s top scorer on 8 goals after Tuesday draw.

FACT; Brighton share the best away record in England with Everton, Tottenham and Walsall (1L)

Earlier In The Season: BHAFC [1]-[1] CCFC (3/10/15);

It finished 1-1 at the AMEX back in October. Joe Mason gave the Bluebirds an early 5 minute lead, but a leveller from Dale Stephens just before half-time shared the points, which extended Brighton’s unbeaten run to 10 games.

H-2-H;

After the draw in October it’s now 9 games unbeaten for the Seagulls over Cardiff, a record which stretches back to October 2005 (2W, 7D). There has been 5 draws in the last 6 games between the 2, and I wouldn’t expect anything dissimilar on Saturday; either a score-draw like last time or one of them to hold their nerve and pick up a vital 3 points by the odd goal.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Calderon;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Murphy;

Zamora, Hemed;

Prediction;

Cardiff 1-1 Brighton

HCAFC v BHAFC (16/2/16) | Review

Although the winning run might be over, it was a point which could be as useful as 3 come the end of the season, in what was a tight affair with the defences on top. Very little chances to be had for either team, with both defences standing strong and resolute; it was the kind of game where you needed a bit of magic to spark the game into life. Sadly there was no magic, and the game was seen out for, what would be a great example of, a ‘bore draw’.

Chris Hughton named a side which was set on being defensively solid, against a Hull side who have won their last 6 home games and scored goals for fun. Brighton created the first chance when Tomer Hemed and Steve Sidwell linked up well to set up a chance for Jamie Murphy, whose strike was too hot to handle for Hull goalkeeper Alan McGregor, as he turned it behind for a corner. Anthony Knockaert then set up the next Albion chance, when he picked out Lewis Dunk inside the box with the subsequent corner, but the defender’s header sailed well wide of the post. Tom Huddlestone had Hull’s first meaningful chance, after the ball sat up invitingly on the edge of the box, but his shot could only drift wide of David Stockdale’s post. Hull did win a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the Brighton box, in first-half stoppage time, but Robert Snodgrass’s effort could only hit the wall. Hull’s danger man Abel Hernandez ran through the centre, but his effort at the end of the run was high and wide. A surprising run from Dunk, which started in defence, saw him go on a mazy run in where he had an effort drift just inches wide of the far post after a wonderful curling shot. Chuba Akpom had a header go over the bar after a good cross, but Sam Clucas tested Stockdale for the first time late on with a superb shot which the Albion keeper tipped onto the post, before Brighton won a free-kick in the penalty area. Brighton could of snatched all 3 points late on, when Jiri Skalak had a shot go over, after being played in by a Inigo Calderon free-kick. Hull look frustrated as the final whistle blew, as the chance to creep ahead of promotion rivals slipped through their fingers.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (8); Just like in the Bolton game, was very quiet but came up with the crucial save which got Brighton a crucial away point.

Bruno (7); Solid defending, in which he kept Clucas quiet for a majority of the evening.

Goldson (7); Good defending against Mo Diame, and then Akpom. Was alert to sniff out any danger.

Dunk (8); Cool and composed all evening, except giving away a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box; and almost had a goal to add to a fine evening for the young defender.

Calderon (7); In for Ridgewell, and was targeted from the off, with a majority of the play down the right with Robert Snodgrass, but coped well and made Steve Bruce switch it up.

Knockaert (6); Ball was given out early at the earliest possible chance, and gave Andy Robertson a hard night, but didn’t always track back when defending.

Kayal (7); Hasn’t always been great in a 4-3-3 formation, but looked good out on the left of the midfield especially when Moses Odubajo wanted to attack.

Sidwell (7); Slick passing from the on-loan midfielder allowed Brighton to turn defending into attack quickly. Was confident on the ball and was always looking to move forward.

Stephens (6); In the deep-lying role for this game, and coped well when dropping deep to retrieve possession and keeping it.

Murphy (6); Very quiet night for the in-form winger; his shot which was saved by McGregor his only highlight of the match.

Hemed (6); Always going to find it tough as a lone striker, especially against one of the league’s best defences. Was more involved in defending set-pieces than attacking them.

Subs;

Baldock (5); Took over from Hemed, but same as him, chances at a premium and hard to make anything.

Crofts (5); Shoved into the midfield battle late on.

Skalak (N/A); Another few minutes late on for the Czech international.

HCAFC [0]-[0] BHAFC;

Att; 17,321 (Awat Att. Unknown)

MOTM; Dunk

BHAFC v BWFC (13/2/16) | Review

Brighton may have come away with the win on Saturday, but they made it much more difficult for themselves that it should of been. The Seagulls were pegged back by Bolton twice, both times when they were in control of the game and looking relatively comfortable, but that the beauty of this league, you can concede out of nothing. But while they let in 2, they did score 3 for the second time in as many games, which prompts that Brighton maybe turning a corner in what is a crucial time of the season.

Brighton found themselves 1-0 up after just 11 mins, after a through ball from Beram Kayal to Jamie Murphy was cooly slotted home by the Scotsman. The lead only lasted 11 minutes though; a low cross from Wellington Silva was missed by Liam Feeney but it ran kindly to Emile Heskey, who’s snapshot was deflected in off Lewis Dunk and over the diving David Stockdale. Brighton could of reclaimed the lead, when a long range shot from Kayal was saved by Ben Amos. Brighton could have been awarded a penalty shortly after, when a pass for Tomer Hemed was collected by Amos, but during the play Hemed was held back by Bolton defender Rob Holding, however nothing was given. Brighton were rewarded with their presistance with a goal; Anthony Knockaert outran Jay Spearing down the right wing, before crossing low to Bobby Zamora, before he back heeled the ball in towards Hemed who neatly scored. It could have been 3 before halftime, after Bruno crossed the ball in towards Murphy, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Amos. Bolton came out firing in the second half, and were rewarded with an goal just 7 minutes into it. A free-kick wasn’t dealt with very well by the Albion defense, and the ball fell kindly to Spearing who was on the edge of the box, who drove the ball low through a crowd of players, into the corner of the net leaving Stockdale motionless. Bolton could have taken the lead, after a sloppy cross from Brighton allowed the ball to be cleared by the Bolton defense, Bruno miskicked the ball whichever allowed Feeney to run clear and go 1-on-1 with Stockdale, but the Albion stopper stood strong and blocked Fenney’s shot. Within the same attack, Brighton broke away and a ball from Dale Stephens towards Hemed allowed him a shot at goal, but the Israeli decided to take it around the keeper, making the angle tighter and allowing defenders to cover the goal, which they did by blocking the shot for a corner. From the resulting corner, Amos gathered comfortably, but after he threw the ball out, Bolton lost the ball far too easily after Kayal pressured the defense, his pass towards Hemed resulted in a perfect lay-off for him to curl a shot into the bottom corner past Amos to regain the lead. Zamora could of extended the lead when a cross from Murphy, who had broken down the left wing, Was played to him, he touched it behind himself, before swiveling and curling a shot just wide of the post. In added time, Kazenga LuaLua had his low, powerful free-kick saved by Amos. The final whistle rung not far behind, and was greeted with cheers, as the Seagulls extended their winning run to 4 games scoring 9 in that time.
Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Not much he could do with the Bolton goals, and was rarely tested during the game.

Bruno (7); Solid game from the Spaniard, supported Knockaert in attack with great overlaps and was sound defensively.

Goldson (7); Might be his last game starting with the imminent return of Greer, but for me he has done enough to warrant to continue the current centre-half partnership.

Dunk (7); After a blip during December, he has recovered well and is starting to show why teams were after him at the start of the season. Unlucky deflection for Heskey’s goal.

Ridgewell (7); Last game for the Albion was cut short when replaced by Calderon, but hasn’t done anything wrong while filling in for the past month.

Knockaert (7); Not as lively as he has been in the past few games, but certainly was creative and gave Bolton’s make-shift defense some problems.

Kayal (8); Well-taken goal, which topped off a great game. Solid defensively, while being a threat when attacking which was rewarded by his goal.

Stephens (7); Walking a tight-rope early on with a high challenge, but wasn’t called into much action from then on. Good passing as always, and was quick to stop Botlon attacks as they tried to fight back late on.

Murphy (8); Another goal for the Scotsman, and another great game. Good energy and is giving himself every chance of getting a call to the Scotland squad.

Zamora (7); Lovely back heel for Hemed’s goal, but his game in general was very good; held for the ball up well and made a nuisance of himself within the Bolton defense.

Hemed (8); 2 goals in 2 games, he may just be starting to turn that corner with first-team players returning. Also made the assist for Kayal’s winner.

Subs;

Calderon (6); On for Ridgwell, and wasn’t given too much to do.

LuaLua (6); On for Zamora, and although he didn’t cause too many problems, he was determined to show the fans when they had been missing.

Skalak (N/A); On for Knockaert late on.

BHAFC [3]-[2] BWFC; Murphy (11), Hemed (43), Kayal (58); Heskey (22), Spearing (52)

Att; 26,717
MOTM; Kayal

HCAFC v BHAFC (16/2/16) | Preview

The battle of 2 of the leagues in-form teams play out on Tuesday, as Brighton travel to Hull in what is set to be cracker. With Brighton winning their previous 4 games, they have given themselves a big chance to close the gap at the top, and make it more nail-biting for all teams involved. Both teams are expected to go all out for the 3 points, with Hull looking to better their chances of an automatic promotion spot, while Brighton will look to tighten things up at the top, by going level with Hull on points.

Hull News;

Nick Powell could be used for the first time since his arrival on deadline day, while Chuba Akpom and Issac Hayden are more than likely to be used due Hull’s involvement in the F.A Cup this weekend, as they can’t play against their parent club (Arsenal). Abel Hernandez will be looking to add to his 16 goals this term, as he chases down Andre Gray for the golden boot.

Fact – Hull have won all 14 of their home games bar 2 draws and 1 defeat, including their last game which was a 6-0 thumping against Charlton.

Brighton News;

James Wilson and Liam Rosenior have both been added to the squad travelling to Hull, but it’s unknown if they will be in the matchday 18. Gordon Greer is set to miss the game, but is in line to return for Saturday’s fixture away at Cardiff. Tomer Hemed scored for the second consecutive game last time out, which means he is now the leading Albion scorer with 8, while Jamie Murphy had also scored for the second consecutive game; he is on 5 goals.

Fact – Brighton have only lost once away in 14 games, but have drawn the most in England’s top 4 divisions with 9; they did win their last away game however against Blackburn.

H-2-H;

In the 9 games played between the 2, Brighton have won 5 of the games while Hull have won 2. Last time out at the KC Stadium, Brighton lost last month in the F.A Cup 1-0, as well as in the league back in the 2012/13 season by the same score line. Brighton have won the previous 2 league meetings between the sides, winning both 1-0, but both wins were at home. Brighton have only won once at the KC in the league (1W, 1D, 2L), only scoring twice and that was back in the 2000/01 season game.

Earlier In The Season: BHAFC [1]-[0] HCAFC (12/9/15);

Brighton took the points in this early top-of-the-table clash, with a goal from Tomer Hemed inside the first 5 minutes; it was his 3rd goal in 2 games.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Calderon;

Knockaert, Kayal, Sidwell, Murphy;

Wilson, Hemed;

Prediction;

Hull 1-1 Brighton

BHAFC v BWFC (13/2/16) | Preview

Brighton host Bolton this weekend at the AMEX, and while it may seem like a routine win against the league’s worst away team, it could infact turn out to be a potential banana skin. Bolton have only taken 4 points away from home all season, but they are on a unbeaten run of 3 games, after only picking up 2 wins in their previous 27! But with their current run, along with the sad death of their chairman Phil Gartside, they will be fired up for the challenge which awaits them on the south coast. Brighton will be looking to make it 4 wins in a row, after winning their last game, at home, to Brentford 3-0 in front of the Sky cameras last Friday evening.

Bolton News;

Bolton could welcome back forward Zach Clough, after a month spell on the sidelines with a hip injury; however Gary Madine (back, Dean Moxey (dead leg) and Liam Trotter (hamstring) are all expected to miss the game. Madine is Bolton’s top scorer with 5, but with him out it will be down to Wellington Silva and ex-Brighton man Stephen Dobbie (both 2 goals) to provide the goals, although Liam Feeney has 4 from midfield.

Fact – Bolton are yet to win away from home in the league this season (4D, 11L)

Brighton News;

Brighton are expected to name the same side as last week’s win against Brentford, with Gordon Greer still missing. On the brighter side Sam Baldock is expected to make a return to the bench, along with January signing Jiri Skalak, while Liam Rosenior and Gaetan Bong both resume full training. This will also be Liam Ridgewell’s last game, before heading back to the States. Bobby Zamora and Tomer Hemed are both locked on 7 goals each, and will both be looking to add to that tally in the race for double figures.

Fact – Brighton are on a 3 game winning run, after enduring a 7 game streak without winning and 5 games without scoring during that streak.

H-2-H;

In the 7 matches played Brighton have won 3 and Bolton have won 2. Previously at the AMEX, Brighton won 2-1, Sami Hyypia’s first home league win in his short tenture. Bolton won the previous winning game, when they beat Brighton in the reverse fixture last year at the Macron 1-0. Brighton have never lost at home to Bolton (2W, 1D), and have scored 6 goals in the process, however Bolton have scored in each one of those games. Both teams have scored in each of the previous 7 games too.

Earlier In The Season: BWFC [2]-[2] BHAFC (26/9/15);
The 2 sides had to share the points earlier in the season at the Macron. Goals from Dale Stephens and Jamie Murphy had put Brighton 2-0 up inside 35mins, but a goal before half-time from Neil Danns, and a 90+4 minute equaliser from Gary Madine completed the comeback against 10 men Brighton, after Murphy was wrongly sent off for the first time in his career.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Ridgewell;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Murphy;

Zamora, Hemed;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-1 Bolton

BHAFC v BFC (5/2/16) | Review

At the 14th time of asking, Brighton finally won a game by more than a goal advantage, after a clinical and exciting game on Friday night against Brentford. It was no more than what Chris Hughton’s men deserved; they were dominant, creative and ruthless, something which they may have been lacking in the past couple of months. Although Brentford were quite poor, and it could of been more than just the 3 goals, take nothing away from the players who worked themselves to death to win a very important game. Important, because it set the tone for the weekend for the other promotion rivals; with 3 of them dropping points on Saturday afternoon. Although it was a team effort, 2 players stood out from the rest; Jamie Murphy and Anthony Knockaert. Both were exceptional and both were rewarded for their efforts with goals. Murphy had his best Albion game by far, and Knockaert continued to wow the fans with another sizzling display. Knockaert is fast becoming an Albion favourite already, with 24 of 29 people who took part in a poll on Facebook, concluding they would rather have Knockaert than a fully fit Vicente. 

After a fast-paced start to the game, Brentford had a great chance to score early on; Lassa Vibe picked up the ball on the right wing, before crossing it into the box for the oncoming Alan Judge, who’s half-volley was brilliantly saved by David Stockdale. Brighton had the next chance to open the scoring; a cross from Murphy was too deep for Knockaert, but it found its way to Bruno who struck the ball hard and low, only for it to be cleared off the line and on to the bar by Harlee Dean and away to safety. Brighton did score on the next chance; Knockaert intercepted a loose pass on the outside of the Brighton box, and broke away before passing wide to Murphy. Murphy kept the ball in and played the ball back to Knockaert, who’s touch was slightly heavy, but it ended up benefitting him as he took it around 2 defenders, before powering the ball into the far bottom corner, with the help of David Button’s hands. Moments later, Tomer Hemed could of doubled the lead when he was played through by fellow countryman Beram Kayal, but he could only put his shot into the side netting. Brighton did double their lead before half-time however, and Hemed did take this chance. After, what looked like a training ground free-kick routine, Knockaert played the ball short to Kayal, who jinked his way to the byline before putting in a cross which Hemed met gracefully, and headed into the corner, leaving Button rooted to the spot. Half-time came around, and so did a Brighton change; James Wilson on for Bobby Zamora, and it was Wilson who fashioned the next chance. Murphy did well to keep the ball after being pressured on the wing, he played the ball to Wilson, who drove at the Brentford defense, before crossing the ball for Knockaert, who’s volley was just over the bar. Brentford could of halved the lead, only if John Swift had prodded home the ball, after Stockdale touched the ball away from a corner, but Swift’s shot was blocked by Wilson which went out for another corner. Brighton sealed the win with a goal in stoppage time; Andrew Crofts picked up the ball from Dale Stephens, before setting Murphy away through on goal; although he was 1-on-1 he kept his cool and slotted the ball home past Button, who did get a faint touch on the ball as it went in off the post. The final whistle was met with cheers,as Brighton picked up their 3rd win on their trot, and tighten the pressure on the promotion rivals.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Not called into action a lot, but made the save at 0-0 from Judge.

Bruno (7); Had a relatively easy night, not much defending and was always up to support attacks.

Goldson (7); Cool and calm on the bal, and looked very solid; might had done enough to keep Greer out the squad.

Dunk (7); After some howlers in the past few months, he hasn’t put a foot wrong recently. Kept Vibe out well, and was on his toes to snuff out any danger.

Ridgewell (7); Quiet in the first half, but more lively in the second, especially when supporting Murphy.

Knockaert (9); Outstanding performance from the Frenchman; difficult to keep quiet and made Jake Bidwell’s night a living hell.

Kayal (7); Great performance from him; made the assist for Hemed, and was always looking to get the ball and start attacks.

Stephens (6); A little quiet from him, but was always an option when Brighton wanted to attack.

Murphy (9); His best performance by far in a Brighton shirt; just like Knockaert he made his marker, Maxime Colin’s, night long and horrifying. The question is, can he do it again next week?

Zamora (6); Not involved in the first half, and was subbed for Wilson at half-time.

Hemed (8); Got his first goal since early December, and looked like a goal threat every time he had the ball.

Subs;

Wilson (7); Great introduction of the Man Utd loanee; was hard to mark, and made some nice chances, the most notable one when Knockaert volleyed over.

Crofts (7); On for Hemed, and made the job in midfield look easy; great passing, especially with the assist, and was quick to extinguish any threat Brentford posed.

Sidwell (6); Back for his second debut, the ‘ginger Pirlo’ didn’t really have much affect on the game, but it’s 12 minutes more than he would of gotten had he still been at Stoke.

Brighton [3]-[0] Brentford; Knockaert (27), Hemed (43), Murphy (90+3)

Att; 24,096