CAFC v BHAFC (23/4/16) | Review

It’s one of the tightest promotion races the championship has ever seen, and it WILL go to the final game of the season, after Burnley and Brighton picked up valuable away wins, while Middlesbrough were held to a frustrating draw at home to Ipswich. Basically it means that all 3 teams are locked on 87 points with only 3 goals separating them. Could it get any closer?

Brighton went to The Valley, trying to do what Middlesbrough couldn’t do last month, which was to take all 3 points. After a delay of six minutes from home supporters protesting their clubs owners, a Jiri Skalak free-kick was met by Connor Goldson at the far post, and his low pass back across goal was gratefully welcomed by Sam Baldock, who stabbed the ball home to give the Albion an early advantage. Jorge Texieria had a chance for Charlton not soon after, but his free header went wide of David Stockdale’s post. Morgan Fox also had a free shot at goal, but his tame effort went straight at Stockdale after he found himself open on the penalty spot from a Ademola Lookman corner. Johann Gudmundsson hit the side netting for the Addicks, after twisting his way through the Albion box. Baldock had a good chance early in the second half to double the lead, after being put through by Beram Kayal, but he dragged his shot wide. Charlton made him pay for the miss when Jordan Cousins dribbled his way into the box, and when his cross evaded everyone in the box, Gudmundsson was on hand to tap the ball into an empty net. Baldock had a great chance to restore the lead no more than a minute later, when a Anthony Knockaert ball over the top was met by Baldock, and after jinking past Rod Fanni his curling shot was saved by Nick Pope. It wasn’t long , however, before the Seagulls were back in the lead when Kayal spotted Skalak as open as a field on the left wing, and after playing him in, he curled a wonderful effort into the top right corner giving Pope no chance. Gudmundsson had a volley go inches over the bar, when Fox delivered in a dangerous ball, but he couldn’t keep the shot down. Knockaert was denied by Pope in the dying minutes of the game, after being laid off by sub Jamie Murphy, with a good curling effort destined for the top corner. Knockaert did win a penalty in stoppage time, when he was fouled by Fanni, after gliding in between him and Alou Diarra. Tomer Hemed stepped up and dispatched the penalty, sending Pope the wrong way and grabbing his 17th of the season. There is now only 180 minutes left of football this season, and I can guarantee you, every single minute will be nail biting.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Had a quiet afternoon, tested very little but did well to save Fox’s shot from a corner in the first half.

Bruno (6); Had a bust afternoon with Lookman once again, but stuck to his task well when it seemed he had the better of the Brighton captain.

Goldson (7); Strong, physical presence again, which was needed to contain the powerful Igor Vetokele. 

Dunk (7); Made a couple of outstanding interventions, and almost played Gudmundsson out of the game with excellent marking.

Rosenior (6); Didn’t look his usual self; struggled to get the ball under control, and was beaten too easily by Callum Harriot most of the time.

Knockaert (7); Excellent game again from the Magician. Gave the Charlton defence more headaches, and could of had a couple of goals had it not been for Pope’s great saves.

Kayal (7); Like a work horse in the middle, gave Diarra little time on the ball and was a great option when attacking.

Stephens (7); Played a fantastic game, some say a bit under the radar, considering the performance of certain others. Held the ball up well, passing was on point and defended the back 4 really well.

Skalak (8); Back-to-back goals, and he looks fully settled in now. Another assist too, with his overall performance excellent, with the fans wanting more.

Baldock (7); Well-taken goal, pretty routine, but didn’t choke when the ball came to him. Gave the Charlton centre-backs a hard afternoon with his running.

Hemed (7); Not normally known for his running, but did well in partnering Baldock in chasing down loose balls. Didn’t really have a sniff at goal however, but took his penalty very well.

Subs;

Bong (5); On for the injured Rosenior, and looked rusty which is to be expected for someone who hasn’t had much game time recently.

Sidwell (5); On for Baldock, but had hardly anything to make an impact.

Murphy (N/A); On for Skalak late on, but didn’t affect the game.

CAFC [1]-[3] BHAFC; Gudmundsson (51); Baldock (8), Skalak (55), Hemed (90+5 pen);

Att; 17,160 (3,079 Brighton)

MOTM; Skalak

CAFC v BHAFC (23/4/16) | Preview

As we now enter the home stretch, nerves will be jangling for the next 2 weeks, and I can guarantee you that whatever the outcome, Brighton can be proud of that they have achieved this season. Same cannot be said for Charlton, who unfortunatly were relegated earlier this week back to to League 1, after a 4 year stay after achieving promotion in the 2011/12 season. On paper it should be a mismatch, but Charlton will do what they can to take some pride with them down to League 1 and won’t want to go out with a whimper.

Charlton News;

Stephen Henderson and Johann Berg Gudmundsson will both be assessed prior to the game, with Jose Riga expected to chance the majority of his side after being relegated to League 1 during the week. Simon Makienok is the leading Addicks scorer this season with 5 goals, which just highlights how poor Charlton have been this season; they have only scored 37 goals.

FACT; Charlton have failed to score in 21 of their 43 games this season.

Brighton News;

Chris Hughton will be pondering whether to change his side, after scoring 9 in the last 2 games. Sam Baldock and Jamie Murphy are both pushing for recalls. Tomer Hemed remains on 16 goals for the season, and will be on the prowl to become Albion’s first 20 goal man since Glenn Murray 5 years ago.

FACT; Brighton have scored 19 goals in 7 games against London clubs this season (3 against Brentford, 7 against Fulham, 3 against Charlton and 6 against QPR)

Earlier In The Season: BHAFC [3]-[2] CAFC (5/12/16);

Brighton nearly lost their unbeaten run within 5 minutes of this game when goals from Ademola Lookman and Reda gave Charlton an early advantage. But a fantastic 2nd half display saw Brighton grab all 3 points with goals from James Wilson, Bobby Zamora and Tomer Hemed.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 5 of the previous 11 games with Charlton, and haven’t lost to them since the Boxing Day game in 2013 (3W, 1D since). Charlton’s last win at Brighton was in the first meeting between the 2 back in December 2009; they have only won 1 game since (Boxing Day 2013). Expect goals in this game with 33 goals being scored in the 11 games prior.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Skalak;

Baldock, Hemed;

Prediction;

Charlton 0-3 Brighton

BHAFC v QPRFC (19/4/16) | Review

The promotion race has now been blown into orbit through Tuesday nights results, with 3rd place Brighton, only behind Burnley on goal difference, just 2 points off leader Middlesbrough with 3 games to go. While Brighton gave another West London side a thumping, Burnley scored a late minute equaliser against Middlesbrough to separate the top 3 by 2 points, going into crucial matches. Each team knows that if they win all their remaining games, they will be up; simple isn’t it. But there will be stumbling blocks in the way, as we approach the last 270 minutes of intense championship football. Brighton nearly fell over one of the ‘stumbling blocks’ last night, with a woeful first half display, but just as in Friday’s result, they took the game by the scruff of the neck, and killed the game off before the opposition could get a sniff of a chance to get back in the game.

QPR had the first chances of the game, the first when Massimo Luongo sliced his shot wide from the edge of the box, then Conor Washington blazing wide after finding some room in between the Albion centre-halfs. Grant Hall headed a Alejandro Faulin corner straight into the arms of David Stockdale. Tomer Hemed had Brighton’s first chance, when he tried to overhead kick the ball after Dale Stephens had headed the ball down to him, but it went over. Bruno was caught napping aplenty in the first period, and was nearly made to pay when Matt Phillips dispossessed him and hit a forceful strike low into the corner of the goal, but Stockdale managed to palm it away. James Wilson drove with the ball after picking up a pass from Stephens, but his shot was just dragged wide of Alex Smithies far post. Phillips had a long range effort go narrowly over the bar, hitting the top of the netting. Lewis Dunk then put his free header straight at Smithies from an Anthony Knockaert corner, before Knockaert scored in first half injury time with a sublime free-kick, which brought back memories of David Lopez’s against Crystal Palace 3 years ago. Jiri Skalak, quiet for much of the first half, then made a huge impact when scoring from 25 yards with a thunderbolt of a strike when Hall headed back a long Bruno ball forward. Connor Goldson then got his 2nd Albion goal from a Knockaert corner, as he looped it over the defender on the front post. Knockaert then finished the game off with his 2nd, as he curled the ball in to the far corner from the edge of the box, to make it 4. 

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Made a couple of routine saves, but rarely troubled.

Bruno (6); Doesn’t need telling that his first half performance was dreadful, but picked it up in the second, and gave Knockaert some attacking options

Goldson (7); Another good headed goal, and another solid defensive display against Phillips.

Dunk (7); Rarely troubled by Washington, looked dangerous from set-pieces.

Rosenior (6); Has become too quiet in recent games, especially in the first half’s, before picking it up in the second.

Knockaert (9); Class on Friday, even better Tuesday; 2 great goals and an assist to cap an excellent night for the little Frenchman.

Kayal (7); Pulled the strings in midfield, more so in the second as QPR went pushing for an equaliser.

Stephens (7); Sat in front of the 2 centre-half  for most of the evening, to allow extra cover against the pace of Phillips and Washington from balls over the top.

Skalak (8); Emphatic goal, absolutely sublime finish and a solid all round performance.

Wilson (7); Work as hard as he could and gave the defenders little time on the ball.

Hemed (7); Struggled at times to get the ball, but his hold-up play was as good as ever.

Subs;

Baldock (6); Hardly noticed him as he came on for Wilson at half-time, other than his usual running.

Murphy (6); Didn’t get much of the ball, but worked well when he did get it.

Sidwell (6); On for Hemed to freshen things up.

BHAFC [4]-[0] QPRFC; Knockaert (45+1), (84), Skalak (51), Goldson (73);

Att; 25,411

MOTM; Knockaert

BHAFC v QPRFC (19/4/16) | Preview

A huge game on Tuesday night on the south coast, where the result could ultimately determine where the Seagulls might finish this season; they take on a QPR side who have nothing but pride to play for as the season draws to a close.

QPR News;

Cole Kpekawa looks set to miss the trip south, however Junior Hoilett and Conor Washington are set to return to the Rangers 18. Since the departure of leading goal scorer Charlie Austin, the Hoops have struggled to find the net, with central midfielder Tjaronn Chery their leading scorer with 10. January signing Washington, brought in to replace Austin, has yet to score a league goal in over 500 minutes of action.

FACT; Have only lost 3 times since the beginning of Febuary (5W, 5D, 3L)

Brighton News;

Chris Hughton has no new injury concerns other than long term absentees Solly March and Uwe Hunemeier, while Bobby Zamora is still out with a hip injury. Tomer Hemed scored a hat-trick in the previous game to take this seasons tally to 16 goals.

FACT; Have won 10 of their last 15 games (10W, 4D, 1L)

Earlier In The Season: QPRFC [2]-[2] BHAFC (15/12/16);

A pulsating game earlier in the season between the 2 sides. Quick-fire goals from Dale Stephens and on-loan man Rajiv van La Parra were cancelled out by a double from Charlie Austin. Lewis Dunk saw red in between the Austin goals, while Junior Hoilett hit the post in the 95th minute to nearly end Brighton’s unbeaten run.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 4 of the 11 meetings between the 2 sides, and haven’t lost to QPR in 6 games (2W, 4D). QPR’s last win at Brighton was back in September 2004. Brighton have scored in every game but 3 (the 3 0-0 draws) so we are sure to see a Albion goal.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Rosenior;

Skalak, Kayal, Stephens, Murphy;

Baldock, Hemed

Prediction;

Brighton 2-1 QPR

BHAFC v FFC (15/4/16) | Review

If you though that Brighton might choke towards the end of a fine season, then you are dead wrong, as the Seagulls dismantled a robust Fulham side Friday night. Any thought of Brighton slipping up at the worst of times, had firmly been thrown out the window after putting on a promotion-chasing display, and hitting the ball back into Middlesbrough and Burnely’s court.

After a very slow and lethargic first 25 minutes, when Fulham had plenty of the ball and time to do what they like with it, the game spark into life when Beram Kayal’s shot/cross was saved by Marcus Bettinelli, as he tipped it over the bar. Soon after James Wilson was brought down in the penalty area by Richard Stearmann’s clumsy shove, after Wilson had wriggled his way around him after a good ball through by Liam Rosenior; Tomer Hemed stepped up to take it, and just like he did back in August, he sent the keeper the wrong way to give the Albion the lead. It was 2-0 just a few minutes later, Hemed once again; a cross from an Anthony Knockaert free-kick was met by Hemed, and he guided the ball back across into the far corner to beat the stretched Bettinelli. Wilson had the chance to make it 3 before half-time, when Kayal played him through 1-on-1, but his chipped shot was deflected of the arm of Bettinelli for a corner. It was 3 however just after half-time, after a corner from Jiri Skalak was missed by everyone in the centre of the box, Bruno was on hand to control the ball down, and volley a fierce shot into the net. Fulham’s first chance took nearly 65 minutes, when Ryan Tunnicliffe crossed a low ball into the path of Ross McCormack, his shot was saved by David Stockdale before parrying away the ball as it was dropping into the net. Hemed had a chance to complete his hat-trick when Wilson derived at the Fulham defence, he played a great ball into Hemed, but his shot was saved by the legs of Bettinelli. Emerson Hyndman had a stinging shot well saved by Stockdale, as he tipped it over the bar. Hemed did get his hat-trick though, when Dale Stephens shot was deflected in off the Israeli’s foot; there may have been a hint of offside, but it was given. It was the first hat-trick by an Albion player since the hat-trick by Leo Ulloa against Huddersfield back in March 2013. Anthony Knockaert wanted to get in on the act too, his powerful shot was well tipped around the post by Bettinelli, while Steve Sidwell had his shot blocked off the line by Chris Baird after a wonderful cut-back from Stephens. The Albion did make it 5 however, Kayal played through Knocaert and after cutting in on his favoured left foot, he curled a lovely shot into the far corner leaving Bettinelli rooted to the spot. Kazenga LuaLua had the chance to really humiliate them, but his shot went into the side-netting. 5-0 was how it finished, and it has clearly sent a message that Brighton are in it til the end.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Wasn’t called into action often, but had some good saves when Fulham did have a shot.

Bruno (8); Well taken goal, and was solid in defence in the first 25 minutes, after that it was all about attacking for him.

Dunk (7); Hard job marking McCormack, but did well and frustrated him all night.

Goldson (7); Did well marking the tricky Moussa Dembele, never looked out of place.

Rosenior (7); a little quiet in the first, but offered plenty of support in the second.

Knockaert (9); A magician on the ball, and the goal topped off a wonderful display.

Kayal (8); Comanded the middle of the pitch, and gave Scott Parker little time to play the ball.

Stephens (7); Good passing from him again, but he was better defensively when Jamie O’Hara, then Lasse Christensen looked to attack.

Skalak (7); Most have nicknamed him ‘The Postman’ because he delivery is so good, and proved it again with wonderful crosses.

Wilson (8);  Run his socks off all night, and should of been rewarded with a goal.

Hemed (10); First hat-trick for over 3 years, and is now starting to look like he was worth every penny.

Subs;

Sidwell (6); Little time to make an impact, but had a shot cleared off the line.

Murphy (6); On for Wilson late on, but didn’t offer much.

LuaLua (6); Had a good chance at the end, but hit the side-netting

BHAFC [5]-[0] FFC; Hemed (29pen), (34), (79), Bruno (54), Knockaert (87);

Att; 28,505

MOTM; Hemed

BHAFC v FFC (15/4/16) | Preview

Brighton have the chance to put pressure on Middlesbrough and Burnley this weekend, as they host Fulham at The AMEX on Friday night. With Burnley and Middlesbrough not playing til Saturday, a win for Brighton would crank the pressure up with both teams playing away from home; Burnley visit Birmingham while Middlesbrough go to already relegated Bolton in the lunchtime kick-off.

Fulham News; 

Tom Cairney, Michale Madl and Sakari Mattila are all out for the game Friday, while Rohan Ince is ineligible. There are no fresh new injury concerns for Slavisa Jokanovic, and will be hoping 21 goal marksman Ross McCormack is in a goal scoring mood, as too his strike partner Moussa Dembele who has 14.

FACT; Fulham have won their last 3 games with a 2-1 score line.

Brighton News;

Sam Baldock has been passed fit for the game Friday, but Bobby Zamora is still out with his hip injury. Chris Hughton will more than likely ring the changes in midfield to keep things fresh as the season comes to its final stretch. Tomer Hemed still remains on 13 goals this season, but will be looking to get back to scoring ways to fuel a head of steam going into the remaining games.

FACT; Brighton are unbeaten in 9 games winning 6 and drawing 3.

Earlier In The Season: FFC [1]-[2] BHAFC (15/8/15);

A Tomer Hemed 94th minute penalty was enough to steal all 3 points back in August. Sam Baldock opened the scoring, before a Tom Cairney equaliser

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 4 of the 7 meeting between the 2 sides, including the last 2 games. Fulham’s last win at Brighton was back in November of 2014, when the came from behind.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Kayal, Sidwell, Stephens, Murphy;

Hemed;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-0 Fulham

NFFC V BHAFC (11/4/16) | Review

Brighton do like to keep the fans on the edge of their seats for the whole game don’t they, and this game was no different. The game was fast-paced, back and forth and tight for large parts of the game, but Brighton managed to snatch a late winner, which might of seemed harsh on a very well drilled Forest side.

The game started fast for the Seagulls, giving Forest little room to breathe, but it was Forest who had their first chance of the game; Henri Lansbury’s long range shot was tipped round the post. Brighton had a good spell afterwards though, and were soon in front from a Lewis Dunk header, via Daniel Fox’s shoulder; Jiri Skalak whipped in a dangerous ball and Dunk, who was unmarked, header the ball in off of Fox’s shoulder to give the Albion a 1-0 advantage. Forest were pushing for an equaliser, and felt they should of had a penalty when David Stockdale charged out of his goal and bundled Jamie Ward down after he won a header, but the referee gave nothing. Forest did grab an equaliser soon after the half time break; a Lansbury free-kick was flicked on by Dexter Blackstock who managed to squeeze the ball into the far corner. Tomer Hemed had his first chance of the game when a Bruno cross fell kindly for him via a Beram Kayal flick on, his overhead kick was well saved by Dorus De Vries. Forest had a glorious chance to take the lead moments later; Connor Goldson was caught napping in possession, and was swiftly tackled by Blackstock, and after driving at Dunk, he threaded the ball through to Lansbury, who’s chipped shot went just over the bar. Substitiute James Wilson had a long range effort go narrowly wide of De Vries’s post, while Knockaert used his excellent ball control ability to manoeuvre his way into shooting range, and his powerful shot was tipped wide by De Vries; from the resulting corner Hemed headed the ball inches wide of the post, while if it had been on target it was a certain goal. Blackstock did the same thing up the other end, heading inches wide from a Lansbury corner minutes later. But ther was late drama; Knockaert weaved his way into the Forest box, and after a bit of pinball, the ball fell into the path of Steve Sidwell who cannoned the ball into the corner, leaving De Vries motionless. Harsh on Forest who looked good for a point, but Brighton grind out yet another win to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Not much to do, but was fortunate not to give away a penalty in the first half for the challenge on Ward.

Bruno (6); Found lots of space on the wing in the first half, but was restricted in his forward movements in the second.

Goldson (7); Solid as always, except for his little moment of relaxation where he was pickpocketed by Blackstock.

Dunk (7); Great header for his goal, and was defensively very good.

Rosenior (6); Like Bruno, he had acres in front of him in the first, but had to tighten up in the second to quell the Forest attacks.

Skalak (7); Another superb free-kick which was rewarded with a goal, but his delivery was fantastic all night.

Kayal (7); Passing looked a little off at times but his work rate in the middle of the pitch gave Gary Gardner and David Vaughan a hard night.

Stephens (6); Not his best game, wasn’t involved as much as he is used to but had a presence in front of the centre backs.

LuaLua (6); Still working his way back, but has some little moments of magic when he skipped past Eric Lichaj.

Murphy (7); Played in a new role off of Hemed, but looked at home. Hassled the Forest defense and was solid defensively when he was moved back out wide.

Hemed (6); A few chances here and there, but not much for him to work with without an out and out strike partner.

Subs;

Wilson (6); Looked energetic and helped control the ball when the ball was cleared out.

Knockaert (8); Wasn’t on for long, but made the impact which subs are used for; defenders worst nightmare with his ball ability and presistance.

Sidwell (7); Starting to get better as game time increases, and got the vital goal which could prove decisive in this promotion race.

NFFC [1]-[2] BHAFC; Blackstock (50); Dunk (27), Sidwell (90+1)

Att; 17,642 (645 Brighton)

MOTM; Knockaert

NFFC v BHAFC (11/4/16) | Preview

Huge game Monday night, as Brighton travel to Nottingham to play a Forest side who have significantly under performed this season. Forest sit 20th in the table, and while it’s unlikely they will go down, they can’t breathe easily until it’s confirmed mathematically, with their performances woeful. Brighton on the other hand are involved in a 3-way battle royale for the 2 promotion places; they know that only a win will do here, with both Burnley and Middlesbrough holding their nerve at the weekend to pick up valuable 3 points.

Nottingham Forest News;

Michael Mancienne and Kelvin Wilson will both be checked ahead of the game after picking up injuries in Forest’s last 2 games. Eric Lichaj will be available after serving his 1 match suspension. Nelson Oliveira is the leading scorer for Forest with 9 goals; however he hasn’t played since March the 8th after picking up a groin injury.

FACT; After going 13 games unbeaten, Forest have now lost 8 of their last 10 games.

Brighton News;

Sam Baldock and Bobby Zamora will both be missing for the game, but Chris Hughton hopes to have both back in time for Friday’s visit of Fulham. Other than long term absentee’s in Uwe Hunemeier and Solly March, Hughton has a fully fit squad to chose from. Tomer Hemed remains on 13 league goals this term; he has scored 5 in the last 7 games however.

FACT; In the last 15 games, Brighton have won 9, drawn 4 and lost just 2, scoring 25 goals and conceding 13 (keeping 8 clean sheets).

Earlier In The Season: BHAFC [1]-[0] NFFC (7/8/15);

The opening game of the season, and the beginning of the unbeaten run. A Kazenga LuaLua goal was enough to grab all 3 points in front of the Sky cameras.

H-2-H;

Forest have won 10 of the 25 previous matches between the 2, with Brighton winning 8. Both sides have won 2 games in the last 5 matches, with 13 goals being scored in those games. However, it’s expected not to be the same fast-paced game with both teams wanting the 3 points.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Kayal, Sidwell, Stephens, Muprhy;

Hemed;

Prediction;

Forest 0-2 Brighton

BCFC v BHAFC (5/4/16) | Review

As most expected, the away game at Birmingham was tense and left supporters on a knife-edge for most of the match. However, Brighton managed to overcome tenseness and pick up a invaluable 3 points, which has now moved them within 2 points of leaders Burnley. They didn’t make it easy from themselves, but when do they ever, giving Birmingham a few chances to go away with a share of the points, especially in the dying moments of the game.

Brighton created the first chance of their game, when a Jiri Skalak corner was whipped in to the box, and after a goalmouth scramble and some nervous blocks from the Blues defenders, Skalak ended up shooting into the side netting after it fell to him on the edge of the box. Birmingham did take the lead through their first real chance; after some quick play on the edge of the Albion box they knocked the ball wide to Jaques Maghoma, who’s shot was parried by David Stockdale into the path of the oncoming Kyle Lafferty, who tucked the ball home to give them a 1-0 lead. Maghoma was involved in the next Blues chance, after he was put through by Jon Toral, he cut the ball back to Toral who was waiting on the edge of the box but he hit hit low, hard drive wide of the Albion goal. Brighton, who looked extremely vulnerable from set pieces Saturday, must of taken a page out of Burnley’s book, as they used a set-piece to get themselves back in the game; a Skalak free-kick was curved into the box, and Connor Goldson rose highest to nod the ball into the far corner from 18 years out, past the diving ex-Albion keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, for his first Albion goal. Brighton livened up after the half-time break, and they took the lead from another set-play; Skalak sent an inviting corner in to the box, and Lewis Dunk had some space to power home a header into the corner, with Kuszczak only able to watch. Tomer Hemed nearly got in on the act too, as he attempted an outrageous overhead kick, which was outstandingly saved by Kuszczak, after Bruno cut inside and chipped a ball into Hemed’s path. Another Skalak corner caused confusion inside the Birmingham box, and Dunk was nearly gifted another goal, but he couldn’t direct his header on target. Liam Rosenior sent in a deep cross from the left wing, which Bruno cut back across for the waiting Hemed, but Johnathan Spector was quick enough to cut it out at the last moment. Toral almost scored a freak goal moments later; his cross, targeted for Clayton Donaldson, was deflected of Rosenior and spun up into the air, which had Stockdale flapping at the ball but he managed to get an important hand to it, to prevent Birmingham getting level. Sub Jamie Murphy nearly put the game to bed when he cut inside and drove into the box, but his goal-bound shot was blocked by Michael Morison. James Wilson could of made it 3, after Kuszczak went up for a corner in the 94th minute, the ball was cleared to him and with only Stephen Gleeson to beat, his shot was saved by the foot of Gleeson as it spun off towards the corner flag. After a few minutes of playing with the ball in the corner, Brighton were relieved to hear the final whistle, which meant they moved closer to leader Burney with 6 games to go.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Slightly at fault for their goal, and made a meal out of the deflected Toral cross, but other than that he was largely a spectator.

Bruno (7); Got forward at every chance he had, and looked dangerous. Defensively solid.

Goldson (8); Very good header to score his first Albion goal; largely untroubled until closing stages.

Dunk (8); Superb header for the winner, and had a fairly easy evening when marking Lafferty then Donaldson.

Rosenior (6); Gave it his all as you would expect, but with no help for LuaLua defensively he looked vulnerable, which Maghoma exploited.

Skalak (8); Fans have given him stick recently, but his last 2 performances show why you should stick to players adapting to a new country. Crosses were inch perfect every time and was rewarded with 2 assists.

Kayal (7); Strong in midfield, sometimes looked a little shaky but stayed focus and got the job done.

Sidwell (7); Some questioned his involvement from the start last night, but he certainly shut them up with a good all-round display, whether it be supporting Hemed or helping the midfield.

Stephens (7); Was more in a defensive midfield role for this game, and made sure nothing went through the middle of the pitch.

LuaLua (6); First start and first game for a while now, so obviously he didn’t set the standards we know he can set, but will be valuable of the closing stages of the season.

Hemed (7); Tough night being the lone striker, but he held the ball up well and made chances when players pushed up to support him; unlucky with his overhead kick

Subs;

Murphy (6); Provided good defensive cover for Rosenior, as well as fresh legs for when an attack arose.

Wilson (6); Should of scored when 1-on-1 with Gleeson; gave the central defenders a hard time when he came on as they started to rush things.

BCFC [1]-[2] BHAFC; Lafferty (16); Goldson (29), Dunk (49);

Att; 16,143 (1,269 Brighton)

MOTM; Skalak

BCFC v BHAFC (5/4/16) | Preview

After a hard fought draw on Saturday, Brighton begin back-to-back away games tonight, first at Birmingham

Birmingham News;

Jon Toral and Kyle Lafferty will both be assessed before the game after coming off with injures in Saturday’s defeat at Charlton. However Johnathan Specctor is expected to return from illness

FACT; Birmingham haven’t won in their last 4 games; defeat tonight will equal their worst run of the season.

Brighton News;

Sam Baldock came off with a hamstring injury on Saturday and will be missing for tonight’s game alongside Bobby Zamora. Chris Hughton will have a tough decision to make; whether to stick to his trusted 4-4-2 or switch to 4-5-1 with only 2 fit strikers.

FACT; Brighton are currently on a 7 game unbeaten run (3W, 4D)

Earlier In The Season: BHAFC [2]-[1] BFC (28/11/15);

Brighton won the game earlier in the season thanks to goals from Solly March and Bobby Zamora, with Jon Toral’s goal sandwiched in between the 2 Albion goals.

H-2-H;

Both Brighton and Birmingham have won 5 games apiece, with the other 7 being draws. Brighton have won 4 of the last 5 games, while Birmingham’s last victory away to Brighton was back in September 2012.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Sidwell, Murphy;

Hemed;

Prediction;

Birmingham 0-1 Brighton