Brighton made it 15 games unbeaten, as they dispatched lowly Blackburn on a cold night in Lancashire. It was a tale of two centre-halves on the night, with Shane Duffy scoring against his former club, while ex-Albion skipper Gordan Greer was sent off.
Duffy had the first chance of the game, and took out when he rose highest above Greer to nod in a Oliver Norwood corner; his first goal since signing from Rovers in August, but the 4th time he has scored past Jason Steele this season, after scoring 3 own goals earlier in the campaign. David Stockdale produced a fine save from Danny Graham, after his snap shot was hit with force, but the Albion stopper was equal to it. Ben Marshall’s long range effort nearly caught out Stockdale moments later, after the ball skimmed of the surface, and slid under Stockdale but he managed to pull the ball back into his arms, just as Sam Gallagher was racing in to tap the ball home. Dale Stephens doubled the lead shortly after the break, when his volley went through a body of players and into the corner past Steele. Blackburn responded quickly though, and Gallagher scored his 8th of the season with a low strike, after some penalty box pinball. Greer saw red not soon after, as he made a needless challenge on Glenn Murray to pick up his 2nd booking of the game; his first for a challenge on Tomer Hemed 10 minutes earlier. Brighton took advantage of the extra man, and scored a 3rd when Lewis Dunk’s shot was saved by Steele, but he pushed the ball into the grateful path of Murray, who delicately chipped the ball over the Rovers stopper, to score his first away goal of the season. Gallagher grabbed his brace in the dying seconds of the game, when he raced clear on a counter-attack, and smashed the ball low into Stockdale’s far corner, but it was Albion who collected all three points, and increase the gap to 3rd by 8 points.
Stockdale (6); Not much he could of done with the goals, a heart-in-mouth moment with the spilled Marshall shot, but nothing out the ordinary for him on the night.
Bruno (6); Saw plenty of action both defensively and offensively, but had an average night.
Duffy (7); Finally got his first Albion goal, and was solid at the back as usual.
Dunk (6); Another good game from him; picked up his 9th booking of the season, the only blemish on a fantastic rise for the former academy graduate.
Pocognoli (6); Much like Bruno, got forward a lot and was called into work at the back a lot. Still think he is better suited that Bong.
Knockaert (6); Tried to weave some of their magic we know he has, but found it difficult in tricky conditions.
Stephens (7); Wonderful finish, maybe not as good as his one at Wigan, but nevertheless a fine strike.
Norwood (6); Looked comfortable in midfield for most of the game, and set-pieces were spot on more often than not.
Skalak (6); Mixed night from him, started slow and didn’t really get going until right at the end when it was too late.
Baldock (6); His usual running game was good, and didn’t give much time for Greer or Williams to settle on the ball.
Hemed (6); Back in the starting line up, but was like a ghost at times.
Murray (7); Well taken finish, and was a nightmare in his 18 minute cameo.
Sidwell (5); On for Baldock to sure up the midfield.
March (N/A); Late change to run down the clock.
BRFC - BHAFC; Gallagher (66), (90+4) Greer (RED CARD – 74); Duffy (16), Stephens (61), Murray (79);
Att; 9,976 (426 Brighton)