After much anticipation, the first game of the season didnt really excite us, as much as it was thought to be. Both teams can be forgiven in their defensive approach to the game, with either team not wanting to start the season off with a loss, unlike promotion rivals Newcastle and Aston Villa.
Derby had the best chances of the first half; a half which they dominated for a large part of, and should have taken the lead when Tom Ince had his attempt from a Cyrus Christie cross, saved at point blank range by David Stockdale with the rebound off Ince dribbling wide of the post. Darren Bent was at it again; after a wonderful bit of skill to turn the Albion defense inside out, his effort was parried away by Stockdale, before Bruno cleaned up the loose ball. Bent had a header flash just wide of the post from a swinging free-kick, but no joy for Brighton fan’s in the first-half. Second half started very differently, with Brighton dominating possession and chances, with the first coming straight from kick-off, after a long Lewis Dunk punt forward the ball was headed away by Richard Keogh, but only as far as Tomer Hemed, who’s rasping volley was tipped over by Scott Carson. Glenn Murray nearly took advantage of some lack defending from the Rams, after a quick free-kick was taken, Gaetan Bong’s cross was met by Murray but only just went over the bar. Murray and Hemed combined to create the next chance, when a long ball forward from Bruno found Murray, his pass set Hemed through on goal, but the Israeli’s shot was blocked off the line, after it had beaten Carson. Murray should of scored by now, so it was even more of a shock when he missed his next one. Steve Sidwell’s delightful chipped cross picked out the unmarked Albion forward, but couldn’t sort his feet out in time which allowed 2 Derby defenders to block his shot from 7 yards out. All in all, a draw was probably a fair result with a majority of the match just the two teams cancelling each other out, but it means that both teams are on the board.
Stockdale (8); Key saves against Ince early on, and was at his usual calm and cool self.
Rosenior (7); Did well against Johnson, but attacking wise, his could have been better with his crossing.
Bruno (7); Solid game from the Albion captain, especially in an unfamiliar role, but did well enough for there not to be too much trouble.
Dunk (7); Blocked Bent out the game pretty much, and showed why his is a player in demand.
Bong (7); Blackman gave his some problems early on, but settled in well and attacked with intent and purpose.
Knockaert (7); Has it in his bag to create something out of nothing, and nearly did with his curling shot late on, but not much to get excited about.
Sidwell (8); Hard-working in Stephens absence, and will be an adequate replacement if he does indeed leave this window.
Kayal (7); Had a relatively easy afternoon with Sidwell playing on top form, but was alert to danger coming from the Rams right wing.
Skalak (7); Put in a shift down the left, and created some chances. Bit of a hit and miss with his set-pieces
Hemed (7); Gave Keogh and Shackell head aches in the second half, and Carson with his shots.
Murray (7); Should of had a hat-trick maybe, but the threat is there.
Baldock (N/A); Not much time to impress.
Murphy (N/A); Little time to make an impact.
LuaLua (N/A); Late substitution for Knockaert.
DCFC - BHAFC;
ATT; 28,749 (1,354 Brighton)