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.
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.
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 - BWFC; Murphy (11), Hemed (43), Kayal (58); Heskey (22), Spearing (52)