In the battle of the Albion, it was the south coast team which came away the happier, as they took all 3 points from Burton; only Nottingham Forest and Bristol City have achieved that before the game, with Sheffield Wednesday and Derby the victims of Burton’s only 2 wins.
In a game much similar to Tuesday’s tight win against Huddersfield, Brighton dominated much of the game with their possession, but couldn’t fashion many chances which troubled Jon McLaughlin. Little chances in the first half, but it was Brighton who had the first chance, when Jiri Skalak’s curled cross missed Tomer Hemed in the box, but was touched just wide of the post by Tom Naylor. Jackson Irvine tested the hands of David Stockdale, after he picked the ball up inside the box, and hit a lethal shot low towards goal on the turn, but the Albion keeper kept it out. Skalak had the first chance in the second half, when a corner wasn’t cleared, Skalak reacted quickly enough to get a shot away, but it was just off target as it rustled the side netting. Skalak at the centre of another chance, this time his corner was met by Lewis Dunk, and the centre-back’s header cannoning off the woodwork. Burton defended resiliently for the whole match, but were undone by a quick bit of thinking by Knockaert and Skalak, as a sharp piece of intricate footwork from the French playmaker, slotted the ball through to Skalak before the Czech international was brought down, and a penalty awarded; it may have been a slightly soft decision, but Brighton will feel that they should of had a couple earlier in the game. Either way, Hemed stepped up, and sent McLaughlin the wrong way and gave Brighton the lead. After some little hits of pressure from Burton, Brighton were able to hang on and take away 3 points, which now leaves them just 3 points off the automatic promotion places.
Stockdale (6); Not called into action much, and was a spectator for the 2nd half, but did well in saving Irvine’s low shot.
Bruno (7); Composed game from the captain, generally good all-round before being withdrawn for Hunt’s debut.
Duffy (7); The partnership with Dunk seems to be finally hitting off; hardly looked troubled other than a few ‘close’ passes in between Burton’s attackers.
Dunk (7); Another blinding game; had Ward on a string for much of the game, but will be disappointed he did try score with his header.
Bong (6); Seriously out of form, and if Pocognoli does a good job on Tuesday night, he could find himself on the bench come Saturday.
Knockaert (7); Quite possibly the trickiest winger in the league; never quite know what he is going to do (don’t think even he knows at time). Although he had a struggle getting into the game, he never gave up and his presistance paid off with a good through ball to Skalak.
Kayal (7); Tidy job in midfield; picked up loose balls when cleared and always looked to threaten when attacking.
Stephens (7); Much like Kayal, he was quick to collect loose balls, and did a sterling job marking in-form Irvine.
Skalak (8); Has been off the boil recently, but showed his class on Saturday. Never made the Burton defence feel comfortable, and won the game winning penalty after picking up the ball in midfield, before running half the pitch to win the penalty.
Murphy (7); Looked OK in his new role just behind Hemed; supported the Israeli well and had good energy to get back and help defend.
Hemed (7); Cool composed penalty, but his general all-round play was good from holding the ball up to chasing the ball down.
Murray (6); Good energy when he came on, although he didn’t really have many chances to grab his 4th of the season.
Hunt (6); Good little run out for the young right-back on his league debut. Not troubled too much, and was more than capable of getting forward.
Norwood (6); Quick 10 minute run out for Kayal, not involved in much though.
BAFC - BHAFC; Hemed (88pen);
Att; 4,756 (1,600 Brighton)