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

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