BHAFC v FFC (26/11/16) | Match Review

Brighton came from behind to secure all 3 points and close the gap on leaders Newcastle United to 2 points, after the Magpies slipped up at home to Blackburn Rovers. Albion did have David Stockdale to thank for much of the game, however, after he produced some fine saves to stop Fulham snatching a point or all 3. 
Brighton had the first chance of the game, when Glenn Murray powered home a fierce shot, but David Button was strong enough to tip the shot over the bar, after Anthony Knockaert had played in the Albion striker. The visitors did take the lead with their first chance of the game, when Kevin McDonald’s header crossed the line just before Steve Sidwell could get there to clear it; Albion might feel aggrieved as it appeared McDonald fouled his marker, Shane Duffy in the process of winning the ball. Floyd Ayite had a effort well saved by Stockdale moments later, after he was allowed to run at the Brighton defence. Scott Malone salvaged a point last week for the Cottagers, and could of had another one, when he ghosted in past Brighton’s backline after a good pass from Sone Aluko, but Stockdale produced a fine save to deny the left-back. Into the second half, and Brighton finally go themselves going, and were soon level thanks to a spectacular volley from Sam Baldock, after a poor headed clearance from Tomas Kalas. Ayite was denied once again from Stockdale, after he had time and space to drill a hard shot towards goal, but the Albion stopper was able to save his side from going behind once again. Baldock nearly got a second, when the ball fell kindly to him after some penalty box pinball, but his shot hit the post before Button gathered it in. Murray had scored all 10 of his goals this season at home, and made it 11 in 18 games when he put away a fine volley after a good cross from Baldock. Appeals for offside was waved away, with Murray a good 2 yards onside. Final score was 2-1, and Brighton remain unbeaten while Fulham drop down the table to 10th but are only 4 points off a play-off spot.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (8); First class performance from the ex-Fulham manl made some terrific saves, and kept his side in it til the end.

Bruno (7); Had some problems with Ayite and Malone with Knockaert not tracking back as much, but was good going forward and had a top second half.

Duffy (7); Feel he was fouled by McDonald for their goal, but other than that it was business as usual against Chris Martin, who never looked really in the game.

Dunk (7); Good covering of Bong when Aluko was beating the left-back, and was generally solid; ventured forward quite a bit too.

Bong (6); Not a good game from him; beaten far too easily by Aluko most of the time, and his passing was standard at the best of times.

Knockaert (7); Not back to his best just yet, but he is showing signs of it, especially when he wriggled out of a challenge from 3 different Fulham players in the first half.

Sidwell (6); Over-run in midfield in the first half, but looked much better in the second.

Stephens (6); Needed a better performance than last week, and it wasn’t quite there; looked a little lost at times, and struggled to find his passing rhythm.

Murphy (7); By far the best outfield player in the first half, and continued that in the second with some good chance creation.

Baldock (7); Well taken finish; wasn’t in the game form much of the first half, but came to life in the second.

Murray (7); Very good volley from him, and had a good battle with Kalas all afternoon.

Subs;

Skalak (6); Introduced for Knockaert to bring fresh legs into the game.

Norwood (6); Brought on to help defend the lead in the later stages of the game.

BHAFC [2]-[1] FFC; Baldock (52), Murray (79); McDonald (18);

Att; 29,445

MOTM; Stockdale

 

BHAFC v FFC (26/11/16) | Match Preview

Brighton will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games, when they take on Fulham on Saturday; the Cottagers themselves also looking to extend their unbeaten run to 4 games.

News;

Fulham could name the same side for the 4th consecutive game, after 2 wins and a draw using the same side. Fulham needed Scott Malone to score a 90th minute equaliser last weekend against Sheffield Wednesday, after Fernando Forestieri had put the Owls in front. Tom Cairney and on-loan striker Chris Martin are the leading scorers with 4 goals each.

Form; W, D, L, W, W, D

FACT; Fulham have lost just once in 8 matches this season (Aston Villa).

Brighton News;

Brighton could also name an unchanged side used in the 1-1 draw against Villa. Kazenga LuaLua and Richie Towell close in on a return, while Liam Rosenior and Beram Kayal are close to returning to first team training. Glenn Murray’s 10th goal of the season earned a point last time out, after Nathan Baker’s lead was cancelled out. All of Murray’s goals this season have come at home.

Form; D, W, W, W, W, D

FACT; Only Scunthorope have a better points per game ratio (2.1) than Brighton this calendar year (2.05).

Last Time We Met:  BHAFC [5]-[0] FFC  (15/4/16);

Brighton ran riot against Fulham back in April. A Tomer Hemed hat-trick, along with goals from Bruno and Anthony Knockaert, saw Brighton win by their biggest margin of the season.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 20 of the 46 games played between the 2 sides, with only 4 draws being recorded. Brighton have won the last 3 meetings between the 2 sides, but had only won once in the 8 meetings before that.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong;

Knockaert, Sidwell, Stephens, Skalak;

Murray, Baldock;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-1 Fulham

 

BHAFC v AVFC (18/11/16) | Match Review

Brighton extended their unbeaten run to 11 games, but were fortunate to come away with a point, against a ever-improving Villa side. Brighton may of had the chances in the game, but Villa had better ones and feel that its 2 points dropped rather than a point gained. In a very scrappy first half, it was Villa who drew first blood, when Nathan Baker rose highest to head home a Albert Adomah free-kick; David Stockdale getting a big hand to the ball, but couldn’t force it out and would of been kicking himself for letting it in. Brighton had to wait until the end of the first half to draw level, after Glenn Murray hit a low shot into the corner past Pierluigi Gollini from 20 yards; Murray flicked the ball into Sam Baldock’s path, before getting it back from his attacking partner and finding the net. Into the second half, and Steve Sidwell had a chance from a Jiri Skalak corner, but his shot went well over after the Czech’s drag back. Murray could of had a second, but his looping header from a Baldock cross went just over the bar, leaving Gollini stranded. Jonathan Kodija had 3 glorious chances to put Villa in front, the first was a low shot which was well tipped away by Stockdale; then a header which hit the bar, before Stockdale kept him out a third time when he saved another header after pushing it onto the bar. Jack Grealish was looking lively since his introduction, and he had a curling shot go just wide. Albion had a chance to steal all the points, when Jamie Murphy’s low strike almost got the better of Gollini, but his strong hand managed to keep it out, and the game finished 1-1.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Will be dissapointed in not keeping out Baker’s header, but made amends elsewhere from other Villa strikes.

Bruno (7); Lots of concentration needed against Kodija and Jordan Ayew, but did well enough to stop them from creating chances.

Duffy (7); Looked solid and strong against a pacy Gabby Agbonlahor, and won pretty much everything in the air.

Dunk (7); Didn’t look out of touch once again, apart from a few moments when Agbonlahor and Adomah closed him down quickly.

Bong (5); His first poor game for a while; never looked settled against Adomah and his passing was something you would see out of a Sunday League game.

Knockaert (6); Not at his best for obvious reasons but looked lively, and on his day, could of had Jordan Amavi in his back-pocket.

Sidwell (6); Looked reletivly composed in the middle of the pitch, but was hard for him and Stephens playing against a midfield 3.

Stephens (5); It wasn’t his first nor his last horror performance in a Brighton shirt, but he will know that he needs to drastically improve if he doesn’t want to be sitting out next weekend.

Skalak (6); Some good movement off the ball, but his set-pieces were a little over the place.

Murray (7); Well taken goal, but not much for him to get involved in against 2 good centre backs.

Baldock (6); Lots of chasing down in vein, but a nice pass into Murray for his goal.

Subs;

Murphy (6); Could of won it at the end, but couldn’t repeat his goal he scored 2 weeks earlier.

Norwood (6); Brought a little more attacking threat when introduced.

BHAFC [1]-[1] AVFC; Murray (45), Baker (20);

Att; 30,107

MOTM; Duffy

 

CCFC v BHAFC (3/12/16) | Match Review

Brighton missed the chance to go top of the league, as they were held to a 0-0 draw in South Wales. After Newcastle slipped up Friday night against Nott’m Forrest, a win for the Seagulls would have put them top, but a frustrating day at the office means they remain second, but cut the gap to the Magpies to just 1 point.

Arun Gunnarsson had the opening chance after he cut inside from the right, but his curling effort was comfortably saved by David Stockdale. Jiri Skalak went close for the Albion in the first half, when his free-kick was struck against the wall, but managed to have a second chance with a volley, which went just wide of Ben Amos’s left-hand post. A quite dull affair in the first half, the second was no different, with Sol Bamba going close with a header, but would of been disappointed that he didn’t hit the target from 4 yards out. Gaetan Bong received a neadless yellow card, when he blocked off the run of Junior Hoilett, the first of his 2 bookings. Dale Stephens deflected shot from a Steve Sidwell lay-off nearly caught out Amos, but he managed to get to it and keep the ball with 2 Albion players closing in. Brighton did have the ball in the back of the net, but it wasn’t given as Shane Duffy was alleged to of fouled Bamba, before Glenn Murray prodded home the ball from the Irishman’s knock down. Sam Baldock’s quick snapshot nearly got the better of Amos, but the Cardiff stopper was quick to get down to the low-shot. Bong received his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Kadeem Harris, which could of seen him get a straight red. Harris had a chance late on, but his shot sailed over the bar and the points were shared; neither team really deserved to win and was a fair result. 

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); A 12th clean sheet of the season, and not many will come as easy as this one; very little to do and any action he did take was routine.

Bruno (7); A quiet afternoon defensively and offensively; rarely troubled with attacks from Cardiff, but not many opportunities arose to get forward in support of Skalak.

Duffy (6); Rightly penalised for a foul on Bamba before Murray put the ball into the net, but an easy afternoon for him, especially after his last trip to Cardiff, where he scored 2 own goals and got sent off earlier in the season.

Dunk (6); Never looked troubled by the presence of Gounongbe; carried the ball forward often with Cardiff dropping off constantly. Did pick up his 8th booking of the season, and is closing in on a 2 game ban.

Bong (3); No complaints with either booking; appalling 2nd tackle and could of seen a straight red for it. Didn’t find his passing range yet again, and should take the time off this weekend to get back his form.

Skalak (6); A surprise includement in the starting XI; not a bad nor a good afternoon for the Czech international.

Sidwell (6); Did well against main threat Whittingham, and was business as usual in the centre of the park.

Stephens (6); Good hassle against Gunnarsson, which kept him busy for much of the afternoon, but a decent shift nonetheless.

Murphy (6); Been the threat in recent games, and Cardiff cottened on to it; closing him down quick and making him work for every blade of grass.

Murray (6); Needed to drop off into midfield sometimes to collect the ball, but it was mostly scraps in attacking areas.

Baldock (6); Had a tough afternoon against Bamba, who didn’t give an inch all game.

Subs;

Knockaert (6); Gave a couple of good moments as he tried to influence the game to gain the win.

Pocognoli (N/A); Late replacement for Baldock, after Bong’s sending off.

CCFC [0]-[0] BHAFC; (Bong; OFF – 90);

Att; 16,168 (Brighton fans unknown)

MOTM; Dunk

 

BHAFC v AVFC (18/11/16) | Match Preview

Brighton return from international break with a home televised game against Aston Villa, with both teams in fine form before the break.

News;

Aston Villa will be missing Ross McCormack due to suspension, but welcome back Jordan Ayew is returns after a ban. Mile Jedinak will be assessed after picking up a knock on international break, and Micah Richards and Jed Steer are a miss too, but Steve Bruce is set to have Jordan Amavi and Leandro Bacuna fit after covering from knocks. Villa won last time out against Blackburn, thanks to a brace from Jonathan Kodjia, after Sam Gallagher had put Rovers ahead. Summer signing Kodjia is the top scorer with 6 goals.

Form; L, D, W, W, D, W

FACT; Only Nottingham Forest have dropped moore points (17), than Villa from leading positions this season (15)

Brighton News;

Brighton will welcome back Anthony Knockaert following his absence last game due to his fathers passing. Kazenga LuaLua and Richie Towell both featured last in the EFL Trophy game for the development side, but the game will come too early for them, while Liam Rosenior and Beram Kayal are still recovering from their injuries. Brighton came away from Bristol with 3 points last time out, thanks to goals from Steve Sidwell and Jamie Murphy. Glenn Murray is the leading Seagulls scorer with 9 goals, and is only 2 behind the leagues top scorer Dwight Gayle.

Form; W, D, W, W, W, W

FACT; Murray has scored all of his 9 goals this season at home.

Last Time We Met:  AVFC [3]-[2] BHAFC (23/1/10);

Brighton were narrowly defeated in the 4th round of the F.A Cup. Nathan Delfouneso put Villa ahead, before Tommy Elphick equalised. Ashley Young restored the lead, before Fabian Delph put them two ahead; Nicky Forster scored a 90th minute consolation goal.

H-2-H;

Brighton have only won 3 times out of 19 games against Villa, while the visitors have triumphed 11 times. Brighton have only won once in the last 11 games, with the last victory back in 1980. This will be the first league meeting between the two met in the top flight in 1983, a game which ended 0-0.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong;

Knockaert, Sidwell, Stephens, Skalak;

Murray, Baldock;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-1 Aston Villa

 

BCFC v BHAFC (5/11/16) | Match Review

It was definatly a game to remember, in more ways than one as Brighton extended the gap between them and Huddersfiled to 5 points, going into the international break. On the evening of Bonfire night, there was most definatly some fireworks, as Steve Sidwell scored probably the goal of the season to lead Brighton to a deserved victory. 

Lee Tomlin had the first chance of the game when he was put through by Tammy Abraham, but shanked his shot wide of David Stockdale’s net. Next came the moment of brilliance, as Sidwell lobbed Richard O’Donnell from around 50 yards, after Sam Baldock pinched in to take the ball from Korey Smith. The celebrations after left most Brighton fans with tears in their eyes, as they paid tribute to the absent Anthony Knockaert’s late father, by lifting his shirt up. Brighton soon double their lead through Jamie Murphy; the Scot received the ball out on the left from Glenn Murray, before cutting inside on to his right foot and hitting a shot into the bottom corner of O’Donnell’s goal, with the help of a deflection mind you. City had a chance to get a goal back when Scott Golbourne’s header went straight across the 6-yard box, but nobody was there to greet it, and instead had to settle for the corner when Murray hoofed in clear. Into the second half, and Jiri Skalak had a chance to add a third when he was slipped in by Murray, but went for a shot instead of passing across goal towards Sam Baldock, and eventually hit the side-netting. Gary O’Neil had a cross-shot comfortably saved by Stockdale after a ball was floated over the Albion defence by Tomlin. City had a late penalty shout turned down after Aaron Wilbraham was bundled over in the box by Shane Duffy, but the ref waved play on. A good end to a sad week, and the result has them stretching out in front of their promotion rivals.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Rarely called into action, but never looked threatened in giving up the clean sheet.

Bruno (7); Had a challenging night at times with Tomlin, Jamie Paterson and Smith all interchanging, but stood strong against all 3 to kill the attacks.

Duffy (7); Could of been penalised for a penalty, but other than that it was business as usual for the big centre-half.

Dunk (7); Never looked out of his comfort zone, even against lightning-quick Abraham.

Bong (7); Not much was seen of him attacking wise, but put in a good shift defensively; looks back to his best.

Murphy (8); Well taken goal, and put in a good shift down both sides when interchanging with Skalak.

Sidwell (9); Sublime finish, such audacity to even try that, and execute it to a T. Solid midfield performance too.

Stephens (7); Really good defensive job in the second half; couldn’t use his attacking qualities as much as he would of hoped.

Skalak (7); Showed some good attacking credentials at times, but was mostly needed to get back and help out the defence.

Murray (7); Slightly smothered by the presence of Flint, but did well enough to hold the ball up long enough to relive pressure off the defence.

Baldock (7); Some good running against his former club, but nothing really fell his way.

Subs;

Norwood (6); Looked to instigate an attack every time he had the ball, but very little options as Brighton defended their 2 goal lead.

Hemed (6); Got a little run out to give Murray a break.

March (N/A); Last few minutes on his return.

BCFC [0]-[2] BHAFC; Sidwell (13), Murphy (20);

Att; 19,096 (1,885 Brighton)

MOTM; Sidwell

BCFC v BHAFC (5/11/16) | Match Preview

Brighton travel down to Bristol, to take on a Bristol City side having an outstanding season thus far.

Bristol City News;

Bristol City are without Luke Freeman and Josh Brownhill, but welcome back Callum O’Dowda, Joel Ekstrand and Frankie Fielding. Bristol City drew in their last game, thanks to a stoppage time equaliser from Adam Hamill gave Barnsley a deserved point. Tammy Abraham and Lee Tomlin scored for the Robins, before Marley Watkins got a goal for the Yorkshire outfit. Abraham is the leading scorer for the Robins with 9 goals so far.

Form; W, W, L, L, W, D

FACT; 83% of the Robin’s goals have been scored in the 2nd half; the highest in the division.

Brighton News;

Brighton are set to have Solly March return to the bench, after 1 year out with injury. Kazenga LuaLua and Ritchie Towell wont be in the squad, but will be playing in the u23’s game. Anthony Knockaert could miss the game, as he mourns the death of his father, who past away on Thursday. Brighton come off the back of a 5-0 thumping against Norwich; a result which got them the ‘performance of the week’ trophy. A hat-trick from Glenn Murray along with goals from Lewis Dunk and Anthony Knockaert spurred them on to a big victory. Murray now has 9 goals for the Seagulls this season.

Form; D, W, D, W, W, W

FACT; Albion hold the best defensive records in the country, letting in only 9 goals.

Last Time We Met: BCFC [0]-[4] BHAFC (23/2/16);

Brighton recovered from a 4-0 thumping by Cardiff, to enflict their own 4-0 defeat to the Robins. Goals from Jamie Murphy, Sam Baldock and Tomer Hemed along with a Mark Little own goal, was good enough for Brighton to get their biggest victory of the season.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 30 of the 75 games played between the 2, while Bristol City have won 28. Brighton have not lost the last previous 6 games (5W, 1D) against the Robins.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong;

Murphy, Sidwell, Stephens, Skalak;

Murray, Baldock;

Prediction;

Bristol City 1-2 Brighton

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

Brighton laid out Norwich and gave them a good old-fashioned spanking, as they romped to 5-0 win courtesy of a Glenn Murray hat-trick, and some embarrassing defending. Alex Neil would of been eating his words Saturday evening, after slamming the Seagulls style of play, and how easy they are to figure out. It might have been some clever reverse-psychology had it worked, but was left red-faced after the game and hanging onto his job by a thread. 

Brighton took an early lead thanks to Murray’s presistance in chasing down loose balls; Michael McGovern’s heavy touch allowed Murray to come in and pick his pocket, before sliding the ball into the empty net via the inside of the post, whilst Norwich players protesting than Murray had fouled the Canaries stopper. Wes Hoolahan wriggle his way through the Albion midfield, but his long range shot was well off target. Not much else happened in the first half, but it was the second half where it can alive; Anthony Knockaert coming close after beating Alex Pritchard far too easily, before curling a shot just wide. Brighton doubled their lead, when Gaetan Bong sent Jiri Skalak down the wing, and his cross was met by Murray, as he muscled his way in-between the 2 Norwich centre-halls to guide the ball past McGovern. Moments later Lewis Dunk got his first of the season, when he headed home a Skalak corner, after McGovern came for the ball but completly missed it. More sloppy defending led to Brighton’s 4th; McGovern’s poor clearence went straight to Ryan Bennett, but the defender couldn’t control it, and it allowed Murray to pip in and stride towards goal, before cooly puting it past McGovern to complete his hat-trick. Incredibly it got even worse for Norwich, Timm Klose slipped in midfield, and Dale Stephens was quick to react to the loose ball, before passing into Skalak; the Czech’s throughball into Knockaert was perfect, even though he had about 15 yards on the nearest defender, but still had work to do, and his delightful chip over McGovern after he had committed himself too early, was the perfect way to end the game. A big 6-pointer, went in favour of the Seagulls, and now open up a 3 point lead over nearest rivals Huddersfield, after they were thumped by the same scoreline at Fulham.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Barely anything to do other than the few simple saves, and was a bystander for much of the 2nd half.

Bruno (8); Made light work of Albion’s £8 million target man Pritchard, never looked in the game, and also marshaled Marcus Olsson very well.

Duffy (8); Another impressive performace, mainly aerial. Completly chocked Cameron Jerome of service.

Dunk (8); Good headed goal, and a commanding defensive performace against one of the best attacking sides in the league, although you wouldn’t of guessed it.

Bong (8); Possibly his best game; went toe-to-toe with Jacob Murphy, and won a majority of the duals. His attacking side of play was just as good.

Knockaert (8); Gave Olsson the run around in the second half, before his wonderful goal towards the end.

Sidwell (8); In very fine form, and was at his best again to hold Hoolahan to only a limited amount of possession.

Stephens (8); His 4th home start of the season; and all 4 have been clean sheets, which proves just how important he is to the midfield. Another fine display against Alex Tettey and Graham Dorrans.

Skalak (9); On any other day he would of been man of the match, but was over-shadowed by a clinical striking performance. A hat-trick himself with assists, and is looking like the threat from last season.

Murray (10); What more can you ask for from your centre-forward? 3 well-taken goals, but put in a shift elsewhere and never stopped running Russell Martin, Bennett and Klose ragged.

Baldock (8); Didn’t get his allusive goal he wanted, but his runs and mobility helped Murray play his game.

Subs;

Hemed (6); Late replacement for the hat-trick hero.

Norwood (6); Unlucky to lose his starting place, but settled in well later on.

Murphy (N/A); Last few seconds for Knockaert.

BHAFC [5]-[0] NCFC; Murray (6) (60) (73), Dunk (64), Knockaert (84);

Att; 29,469

MOTM; Murray