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.
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.
Stephens (N/A); Late sub to bolster the midfield, which didnt work out.
BHAFC - PNEFC; Baldock (54), Murray (65); Hugill (10), Makienok (90);