It’s the magical three; three straight league wins and three clean sheets to go with them, to put the Albion back on track in their promotion chase. After back-to-back losses against Newcastle and Brentford, the Seagulls have beaten 2 of their fellow promotion rivals, and have scooped up 3 massive points away at Burton.
Glenn Murray was added back into the starting XI, and was quick to show why, when he capitalised on a good through ball from Beram Kayal but his snapshot was deflected over the bar by Angus MacDonald. Barnsley were looking threatening early on, and a succession of corners was evident of that; but it was on the 2nd corner they found themselves exposed and vulnerable. After a big punt forward by Gaetan Bong fell kindly into the path of Anthony Knockaert, the little Frenchman galloped away Dow the right wing, before twisting in between 2 defenders and laying in Kayal, who squared the ball back across goal for Murray to prod the ball past Adam Davies. Murray was looking menacing every time, and should of had another when Bong slipped past his marker into the box, and as Davies came rushing out, Bong’s little dink into Murray was placed wide of the post by the Brighton forward. There was no sign of letting up from the on-loan Bournmouth striker, as he was on the end of a superb Jiri Skalak free-kick early into the second half, to make it 2-0 and put the Seagulls in full control of the game. Skalak laid Murray in for a chance at his hat-trick, but his effort was straight a Davies. Adam Armstrong, kept quiet for much of the game, had a glancing header drift just wide of David Stockdale’s goal. Shane Duffy almost broke his Albion duck, when he was on the receiving end of a good Skalak free-kick, but his header just wide of the post. Josh Scowen’s powerful, low strike was well saved by Stockdale, before his effort a few minutes later went just over the bar and onto the roof of the net. Another 3 points for their Seagulls, and hopefully they can take their form into the 2 tough away games which follow this week.
Stockdale (7); Only the 1 save to make really from Scowen. Good with the ball at his feet too, and distribution was great.
Bruno (7); Was up against danger man Adam Hammil, lost the first battle against him when booked, but was significantly better against him when booked. Good attacking play as usual.
Duffy (7); Getting better game by game, and never looked troubled against Armstrong. almost got his first Albion goal too.
Dunk (7); Consistancy is the name of the game for Dunk. Another sured performance, only tarnished by a unnecessary yellow card early in the first half.
Bong (7); Has had a much better couple weeks that the previous weeks. Good ball forward for the first goal, and looked like a danger to Barnsley all afternoon.
Knockaert (8); What can you say about him? He steals the show pretty much every week and is just a joy to watch. Takes defenders on with ease, and his work rate is second to none.
Kayal (7); Really solid first half before he had to go off injured; two key passes to Murray, one which he managed to finish.
Stephens (7); It’s no coincidence that Brighton have played and defended much better with him back into the team. Composed in midfield and strangled Hourihane’s usual control on the game.
Skalak (7); Has had a bit of a slow start to the season, but is starting to pick it back up again. Set-pieces were on point, and could of had a couple more assists.
Murray (8); Back in the starting line-up, and was quick to repay Hughton’s faith with a goal. Good header for his second too, and his work rate was excellent. Should of had a couple more at least though.
Hemed (7); Seems to work better wth Murray playing alongside him; work rate was high and his touched in and around the Barnsley box was crisp.
Norwood (6); Replaced Kayal at half-time and looked reletivly untroubled. Still more to come from him yet as well.
Baldock (6); Brought some extra late energy to the game when Barnsley were stretched.
Sidwell (6); On to help wrap up the points late on.
BHAFC - BFC; Murray (12), (48);