BHAFC v NCFC (29/10/16) | Match Preview

Brighton host Norwich, in what should be a fine match between 2 sides chasing promotion. Brighton overtook the visitors last week as they won away at Wigan, while the Canaries lost at home to in-form Preston.

Norwich News;

Norwich have Ivo Pinto, Steven Whittaker, Johnny Howson, Youssouf Mulumbu and Matt Jarvis all sidelined, but Alex Neil has a fully fit squad otherwise, but may need to rotate his squad a little after being sent to extra-time in midweek by Leeds in the EFL Cup; a possibility that Albion summer target Alex Pritchard could get a game. Norwich slipped up last weekend against Preston, thanks to an Alex Baptiste header; it was Norwich’s first home defeat of the season. They then lost on penalties in mid-week to Leeds in the EFL Cup, and missed out on a trip to Anfield. Cameron Jerome leads the way for the Canaries in the goal scoring department, with 6 while Jacob Murphy has 5.

Form; L, W, W, D, L, D

FACT; Norwich have scored more goals in the 1st half than any other side in the Championship (14).

Brighton News;

Brighton could see Solly March return to the 18-man squad, after coming through a full 90 minutes in the u23’s draw at Stoke last weekend. Lewis Dunk is avaliable once more after his 1 game ban, while Richie Towell and Kazenga LuaLua are both back in first team training, but are still a couple weeks away from a full return. The Seagulls took home 3 valuable points last time out against Wigan, thanks to a fantastic goal from Dale Stephens; he becomes only the 5th scorer for the ALbion in the league. Glenn Murray remains the top scorer with 6, but is closely pursued by Sam Baldock and Anthony Knockaert with 5.

Form; W, D, W, D, W, W

FACT; Brighton have kept the most clean sheets in all of the top 4 English leagues (9).

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [0]-[1] NCFC (3/4/15);

Bradley Johnson scored the winner for the Canaries last time these two clashed, which helped cement their play-off spot.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 29 of the 86 games played between the 2 sides, while Norwich have claimed victory 33 times. Brighton haven’t beaten Norwich in the last 7 games (1D, 6L), and have only won once in the last 13 games (1W, 2D, 10L). 

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong;

Knockaert, Stephens, Norwood, Skalak;

Murray, Baldock;

Prediction;

Brighton 1-1 Norwich

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WAFC v BHAFC (22/10/16) | Match Review

A huge win for the Seagulls on Saturday, but whilst they may not have been at their best, they managed to grind out a win and leapfrog next weekends opponents Norwich, to claim 2nd spot in the league.

Wigan were looking to pick up the 3 points to propel them out of the bottom 3 and nearly went ahead from a corner; Nick Powell had a header saved by David Stockdale, but the Albion keeper parried it straight to the awaiting Dan Burn, but his shot was wonderfully saved in the line by Stockdale, before Steve Sidwell knicked in front of Powell to clear the ball before he could get a tap in. Brightons first chance of the first half was a long range effort from Oliver Norwood, but he skied it into the stands behind the goal, while Sam Baldock had a good effort well saved by Adam Bogdan, although it was straight at the Latics stopper. Nathan Byrne had a curling effort go narrowly wide, which had Stockdale scrambling across his goal. Into the second half, and Byrne had another effort go just wide, although it seemed relatively comfortable for Stockdale this time. Brighton had a chance to take the lead through a Connor Goldson header, but seemed to be distracted by the approaching Bogdan, and couldn’t direct his header on target. The Seagulls did take the lead in the end through Dale Stephens, just 7 minutes into his introduction; a cross from Gaetan Bong was dummied by Sidwell, before rolling out to Jiri Skalak and his precision roll back to the edge of the box, allowed Stephens to guide a lovely side-footed effort into the top corner. Wigan were desperate for a equaliser, and Adam Le Fondre though he could cheat his way to a valuable point for his team when he dived in the box, hoping for a penalty, but referee Simon Hooper was not having any of it and proceeded into booking the Wigan striker for simulation. A 1-0 victory for the Seagulls, a win which put them into 2nd place, ahead of their big game on Saturday at home to Norwich.

Line-Up (Not done as I was away and didn’t attend the match; ratings done by friends);

Stockdale (7);

Bruno (7);

Goldson (6);

Duffy (7);

Bong (7);

Knockaert (6);

Sidwell (7);

Norwood (6);

Skalak (7);

Baldock (7);

Murray (6);

Subs;

Murphy (6);

Stephens (8);

Pocognoli (N/A);

WAFC [0]-[1] BHAFC; Stephens (68);

Att; 10,430 (937 Brighton)

MOTM; Stephens

WAFC V BHAFC (22/10/16) | Match Preview

Back on the road again for the Seagulls, as they travel to Lancashire to take on an under-performing Wigan side, who sit in the relegation zone.

Wigan News;

Wigan look set to have Reece Burke and Kyle Knoyle fit after recovering from injuries, but remain without Andy Kellett, Donervon Daniels, Reece James and Alex Gilbey. Shaun MacDonald scored in stoppage time on Tuesday against Leeds, to rescued a point for the Latics after Chris Wood’s opener in the first half; it was only their second point on the road. Will Grigg is the leading scorer for Wigan with 5, but has only found the net once in the last 7 games after 4 in his first 6 games. 

Form; D, L, W, D, D, D

FACT; Wigan have won 4 of their last 5 home games against Brighton.

Brighton News;

Brighton will be without Lewis Dunk, after his 5th booking of the season against Wolves, while Bruno and Tomer Hemed look set to shake off injuries to be available for the game. Richie Towell is back in training, while Solly March will play a near 90 minutes in the U23 game earlier in the day. Brighton had to fend of a late Wolves onslaught to claim 3 points Tuesday night, after Sam Baldock’s 5th league goal of the season; Glenn Murray is still the top Albion scorer, however, with 6.

Form; W, W, D, W, D, W

FACT; Sam Baldock has found the net in 3 consecutive games for the first time since April 2014.

Last Time We Met: WAFC [2]-[1] BHAFC (18/4/15);

Brighton tasted defeat last time out thanks to goals from Tim Chow and James Perch either side of Dale Stephens goal for the Seagulls.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 7 of the 14 meetings between the 2, while Wigan have claimed victory 6 times. There has been no draw since the first meeting between the sides back in 1987, and the home team has scored in every game but 1 (WAFC 0-1 BHAFC – Nov 2013). Brighton have scored in 11 off the 14 games, while 37 goals have been scored in the 14 games.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Goldson, Bong;

Knockaert, Sidwell, Norwood, Murphy;

Murray, Baldock;

Prediction;

Wigan 1-2 Brighton

BHAFC V WWFC (18/10/16) | Match Review

Brighton had to hang on by a thread on Tuesday night, but they came away with a valuable 3 points, no thanks to David Stockdale who made 2 vital saves at the death. After a slightly dissapointing result on Saturday against Preston, Brighton needed to bounce back quickly to avoid slipping further behind the leaders at the top. They may have been under the cosh for some of the game, but they held on to preserve their 3 points this time. Anthony Knockaert’s swinging free-kick brough the first chance of the game, when he over hit it slightly, but managed to force Carl Ikeme into a save to prevent the ball going into the top corner. Brighton took the lead after 14 minutes of play, when Sam Baldock headed in a Gaetan Bong cross after some patient build-up play from the Seagulls. Jiri Skalak had a free-kick go just over the bar not soon after, while Helder Costa had a curling effort tipped over by Stockdale. Into the second half, and Wolves came out with a team on a mission and looked set to equalise when Costa’s free-kick was put into a dangerous area, but not one of the 3 unmarked Wolves players could get on the end of it, as it trumbled wide of the post. Baldock’s low cross into the box was narrowly missed by Glenn Murray, while Danny Batth had a vicious half-volley tipped wide by Stockdale. Costa almost got the goal Wolves were desperate for, when his excellent curling effort went through a sea of players, but was superbly tipped round the post by Stockdale to preserve his clean sheet. One final chance for Wolves from a corner, but the flick on at the near post by Dominic Iorfa missed everyone as it flashed across the goal, and went out the other side, which was the cue for the ref Keith Stroud to blow for full-time.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (8); 2 game-saving saves late on, both of which required him to be sharp and strong. Might not of commanded his box during set-plays, but kept a valuable clean sheet.

Bruno (8); Limped off towards the end, but couldn’t fault his display, after a less than fantastic one on Saturday.

Duffy (7); Commanded the air well, and won a majority of the balls that came his way. Only real sign of danger was towards the end of the 2nd half.

Dunk (7); A strong performace once again from the centre-half. Did well to quell the threat from Nouha Dicko, and Joao Texieira when he came on. Did pick up a 5th yellow though late on.

Bong (7); Another great assist to his name, and was a threat when going forward, but will get the most praise for the way he handled Costa during the game.

Knockaert (7); Might not of been at his best, but it was good enough to give Matt Doherty a run for his money. Missed a good header in the first half, but a solid performance nonetheless.

Sidwell (7); Some great defending, especially in got second half. Was quick to get into the faces of the strikers, and hurry them into mistakes.

Norwood (7); Showed off his passing abilities once again, and was at the centre of most of the chances.

Skalak (7); An eyebrow-raising decision at first to drop one of the best players from Saturday for him, but proved he was the right man for the job with a good display.

Murray (7); No goal to his name this time, but got through some good work and linked up well with the wingers.

Baldock (8); Lovely headed goal, and is in the form of his life at Brighton. Clever runs and lay-offs helped create chances throughout the game.

Subs;

Goldson (6); Emergency right-back cover for Bruno.

Stephens (6); Replaced Baldock for additional defensive cover.

Pocognoli (N/A); Late defensive cover to help quell the onslaught.

BHAFC [1]-[0] WWFC; Baldock (14);

Att; 25,231

MOTM; Stockdale

BHAFC V WWFC (18/10/16) | Match Preview

A tough game in-store for the Seagulls, with Wolves visiting the AMEX Tuesday night, but a chance to bounce back from Saturdays result, and down one of the promotion rivals in the process.

Wolves News;

Wolves have Michal Zyro, Lee Evans, Jordan Graham and Mike Williamson both out injured for the trip South, while Walter Zenga could re-called ex-brighton loanee Joao Texieira to the starting line-up, after not featuring against Aston Villa on Saturday. Wolves had to settle for a draw at Villa, after Helder Costa’s penalty cancelled out Johnathan Kodija’s earlier spot kick. Costa is joint top scorer with Joe Mason, Texieira, Jon Bodvarsson and Prince Oniangue with 2 league goals, but he and Mason have an extra cup goal to their name.

Form; L, W, W, L, L, D

FACT; Wolves have only managed to win 2 of their last 9 away league games, keeping 1 clean sheet in the process.

Brighton News;

Brighton look set to be without Tomer Hemed, after he picked up a knock whilst on international duty; he joins Beram Kayal, Liam Rosenior and Kazenga LuaLua on the absentee list, while Solly March and Richie Towell finally begin first team training again, although the game will come far too soon for them. Brighton came from behind on Saturday, only to throw it away in the 92nd minute as the drew with Preston. 2nd half Sam Baldock and Glenn Murray goals cancelled out Jordan Hugill’s opener, before Simon Makienok stole a point for the visitors. Murray’s goal on Saturday now means he is the leading Albion scorer with 6 goals, closely followed by Anthony Knockaert on 5.

Form; W, W, W, D, W, D

FACT; All of Brighton’s 16 league goals have come from only 4 players, the least in the Championship; (Murray 6, Knockaert 5, Baldock 3, Hemed 2)

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [0]-[1] WWFC (1/1/16);

Wolves came out winners on New Year’s Day, thanks to an own goal from Connor Goldson.

H-2-H;

Brighton have recoreded 12 wins out of 28 against Wolves, but have only won once in the last 10 games (1W, 6D, 3L), while Wolves have only managed victory 6 times. In total 80 goals have been scored between the 2 sides in the 28 games

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong;

Knockaert, Stephens, Norwood, Skalak;

Murray, Baldock;

Prediction;

Brighton 1-0 Wolves

BHAFC V PNEFC (15/10/16) | Match Review

Brighton were made to pay for missed chances and some dismal defending, as they threw away 3 crucial points, and lost some ground on the top 2. Against a Preston side, who haven’t hit the same heights as last season, Brighton were eager to make it 6 wins out of the last 7 games, but seriously struggled against the Lancashire outfit.

Jordan Hugill capitalized on some atrocious defending from Brighton when Bruno failed to clear the ball, his lofted back pass wasn’t controlled by David Stockdale, and Hugill nipped in to take it from him, and place the ball into the empty net baring a last ditch diving save from Lewis Dunk. Anthony Knockaert was looking lively as always, and his ball to Jamie Murphy allowed the Scot to take a curling effort, which went just wide. Glenn Murray hit the side netting after a lovely ball through the heart of the Preston defence by Ollie Norwood. Into the second half, and Norwood was at it again; his brilliant through ball, along with Bruno’s superb run, allowed the Seagulls captain to roll the ball across the goal into the path of the on-rushing Sam Baldock, who dispatched his shot past Chris Maxwell. Brighton were soon in front when Murphy played a ball into Murray, and the on-loan strikers quick turn sent Alex Baptiste packing, and slotted the ball under Maxwell into the near post. Much of the last few years, there has always been late drama, and this was no exception, as Preston kept up their record of scoring zero or two goals in every away game for the last 12 games, when Simon Makienok’s header wrongfooted Stockdale and nestled into the far corner. In truth, it was awful defending with Shane Duffy easily beaten in the air. 2-2 the final score, and a case of 2 points dropped rather than 1 gained.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); At fault along with Bruno for the first goal, and will be disappointed to have let a easy header go past him.

Bruno (6); Not a clue what he was doing when he played the backpass, but clearly wasn’t thinking. Made up for it with a great assist to Baldock, but it was an off day for the Spaniard.

Duffy (6); Very easily beaten by Makienok, something which hasn’t been said before as he is very dominant in the air. Took some chances at time with playing the ball out, but wasn’t the only one at fault for doing that.

Dunk (6); Tried his best at keeping out Hugill shot, but to no avail. Like Duffy, took a couple of risks with playing out from the back, luckily it didn’t cause any trouble.

Bong (6); A very quiet figure most of the afternoon, apart from a couple of overlapping runs off Murphy.

Knockaert (7); Energy was superb once again, and was always at the heart of the chances.

Sidwell (6); Looked a little lethargic at times, especially in the first half, and run out of gas towards the end.

Norwood (7); Finally got to see what he can do with a ball, and boy was it good. Delightful passes forward, and good attacking play.

Murphy (6); Apart from a couple of good crosses and some alright passes, he didnt create much other than Murray’s goal.

Murray (7); Well taken finish, and looked threatening all afternoon, when he received the service.

Baldock (7); Run himself silly most of the game, but was rewarded with a goal, and could of had a couple more.

Subs;

Stephens (N/A); Late sub to bolster the midfield, which didnt work out.

BHAFC [2]-[2] PNEFC; Baldock (54), Murray (65); Hugill (10), Makienok (90);

Att; 27,606

MOTM; Norwood

BHAFC V PNEFC (15/10/16) | Match Preview

After a terrific win last time out at Hillsborough, Brighton come back home to play Preston, and keep tabs on the teams at the top of the table.

Preston News;

Preston will be without Marnick Vermijl, Jermaine Beckford and Stevie May through injuries, while Greg Cunningham is missing after picking up his 5th booking last time out. Preston pickled up their 4th victory last time out with a impressive 2-0 home win against a dissapointing Aston Villa side, who have been well under-par this season. The top Lilywhite’s scorer this season so far is Jordan Hugill; he has 3 goals in the League and 1 in the EFL Cup.

Form; L, W, L, W, D, W

FACT; Preston have either scored twice or none at all in their last 11 away League games.

Brighton News;

Brighton trio Solly March, Kazenga LuaLua and Richie Towell are all expected back in training next week, as they return from long-term injuries, however Beram Kayal has been ruled out until early December with an ankle injury; he joins Liam Rosenior on the long-term medical table. Dale Stephens is back after his 1 match ban, and looks set to partner Ollie Norwood in the midfield. Anthony Knockaert’s goal last time out means he now joins Glenn Murray as the leading Seagulls scorer with 5 goals.

Form; L, W, W, W, D, W

FACT; Anthony Knockaert has scored the most match-winning goals this season in the Championship (4).

Last Time We Met: PNEFC [0]-[0] BHAFC (6/3/16);

Brighton and Preston play out a quite dull 0-0 draw, as the Seagulls try to stay within Burnley and Middlesbrough’s reach at the top of the table.

H-2-H;

Brighton and Preston’s last 4 meetings have all been 0-0 draws, but I’m sure we will finally see a goal Saturday. Brighton have won 7 of the 31 games played, while Preston have won 12.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong;

Knockaert, Stephens, Norwood, Murphy;

Murray, Baldock; 

Prediction;

Brighton 2-0 Preston

SWFC v BHAFC (1/10/16) | Match Review

How sweet does revenge taste, especially when you break a 102 year hoodo0? Let me tell you, it tastes exquisite and I can’t wait for more of the same later in the season. Brighton were fully deserved of their history-making victory, and have sent out a message of intent with the result. Other than a few moments during the game, Brighton never really looked threatened by the home side.

After a lackluster game on Tuesday night, Chris Hughton made 4 changes to the starting XI, one of which was enforced with Dale Stephens suspended. Sam Baldock, Jamie Murphy, Gaetan Bong and Steve Sidwell all came in to the squad at the expense of Tomer Hemed, Jiri Skalak, Seb Pocognoli and Stephens. Murphy looked bright on his return to Sheffield, and his curling cross nearly crept into Kieran Westwood’s far post, with the Irish international anticipating a touch from the diving Glenn Murray. Brighton did soon take the lead with Baldock’s audacious lob. Lewis Dunk managed to stretch his legs as he powered out of defense, before finding Baldock’s run in behind the Owls defense, with a crisp lofted ball, with Baldock seemingly making the lob look effortless as it bounced underneath the post, and sent the traveling fans mad. Fernando Forestieri was a pain in the play-offs for Brighton, and made a nuisance of himself yet again; his header just sailing wide of David Stockdale’s goal. Murray had a goal ruled out for offside, which was incorrectly given by the linesman, as he hit home a wonderful volley. Into the 2nd half, and Wednesday started to look a little more threatening, with Tom Lees having a goal-bound header cleared off the line by Norwood. After a few half chances for the Owls, they were made to pay, when Bong set up Knockaert to double the Seagulls lead; with the Frenchman getting a yellow card for over-celebrating. Ross Wallace’s long-range effort was tipped round the post by Stockdale, while Adam Reach missed an absolute sitter when he blazed his volley over from 3 yards out, after a near-post flick on by Steven Fletcher. Sub Gary Hooper did managed to get a consolation goal, after some penalty box pinball, but it was too late for another chance with the ref blowing his whistle not soon after. 3 points for the Seagulls, which leaves them in a firm position going into the 2nd international break, and into a tough run of fixtures.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Looked visibly devastated when Hooper popped up to score the consolation goal, but other than that he had a good day in goal, with not much to trouble him.

Bruno (7); 150th start for the club on his 36th Birthday; not a bad present at all. Composed as always, apart from his reaction to the booking.

Duffy (8); Had a tough jon of marking the handful Forestieri, but lived up to the billing. Dominate in the air again, and made a crucial block from Hooper when it was 1-0.

Dunk (9); What more can we say about him? Another extraordinary performance, which was so good, that even the Owls fans were raving about him on their fan sites after the game.

Bong (8); After a sticky patch at the start of the season, he looks as if he might have gotten over it. Good attacking play with Murphy, who he seems to play better with, and another good assist to Knockaert.

Knockaert (8); Scored what turned out to be the winner, and his over-celebrating caused him to get an unnecessary booking, but other than that it was business as usual for the tricky winger.

Sidwell (8); It will be so difficult for Hughton to drop him in 2 weeks time; calm, sharp and dominant in the centre which frustrated Wednesday.

Norwood (7); Great goal-saving clearence from Lees’s header, but other that than it was an average performace for him, who has been hot and cold since his arrival.

Murphy (7); Looked sharp and threatening early on; went close with his cross/shot. A little quieter in the 2nd half.

Murray (7); Unlucky to see his goal ruled out for offside, but a good all-round performance of attacking and defending from the on-loan Bournmouth man.

Baldock (8); His movement was enough to send the Wednesday back 4 mad, and that’s how he got his goal. Had it all to do still, but got the lob spot on. A fantastic game from him, and will be expecting more.

Subs;

Skalak (6); Some bright moments when he came on for Murphy

Hemed (N/A); No time for him to do anything

SWFC [1]-[2] BHAFC; Hooper (90+5); Baldock (26), Knockaert (73);

Att; 25,605 (691 Brighton)

MOTM; Dunk