HTFC v BHAFC (2/2/17) | Match Preview

Brighton travel to Yorkshire, hoping to reclaim their 8 point gap back to 3rd place. They take on a Huddersfield side just as desperate for the points, to continue their automatic promotion challenge.

Huddersfield News;

Huddersfield will be without Sean Scannell and Kasey Palmer, as they are both sidelined with injuries, but there are no other concerns for David Wagner. The Terriers went through to the 5th round of the F.A Cup after a thumping 4-0 win away at Rochdale; goals from Collin Quaner, Izzy Brown and a brace from Michael Hefele saw them through to play Man City in the next round. Elias Kachunga is the leading scorer for Town with 8 goals.

Form; D, W, W, L, W, W

FACT; Huddersfield conced at least 1 goal in 77% of their home matches, but score at least 1 in 92% of them.

Brighton News;

Brighton will be without Gaetan Bong, but could welcome back both Bruno and Sam Baldock from injury. Loan signings Fikayo Tomori and Chuba Akpom could feature in the matchday 18, while Christian Walton, re-called from his loan at Luton, is set to be named on the bench as the back-up keeper. Brighton were knocked out of the F.A Cup by Lincoln in their last game; a first senior goal for Richie Towell wasn’t enough, as Alan Power and Theo Robinson scored either side of a Tomori own goal to see the Imps through. Glenn Murray is the top Albion scorer with 15 goals; the striker made his loan move permanent on deadline day.

Form; W, W, L, W, W, L

FACT; Brighton are top of the table for overall points gained, best home record, best defence and best form (from previous 8 games).

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [1]-[0] HTFC (13/9/16);

Brighton beat the Terriers back in September, thanks to a late goal from Anthony Knockaert.

H-2-H;

Brighton have picked up 22 wins out of 53 games played against Huddersfield, while the Terriers have recorded victory on 16 occasions. Brighton are unbeaten in the last 9 games against Huddersfield, winning 4 and drawing 5. 

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Pocognoli;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Murphy;

Hemed, Murray;

Prediction;

Huddersfield 1-1 Brighton

 

LCFC v BHAFC (28/1/17) | F.A Cup 4th Round Review

Brighton were sent crashing out of the F.A Cup against non-league Lincoln, after a dismal second half performance cost them dear.

After making 9 changes to the side which beat Cardiff, Chris Hughton’s focus seemed to be solely on promotion to the Premier League, giving fringe players like Sam Adekugbe, Niki Maenpaa, Richie Towell and debutant Fikayo Tomori all starts against the National League leaders. Brighton could of taken the lead just minutes into the game when Paul Farman produced a neat save from a Glenn Murray header. Theo Robinson thought he had given Lincoln a shock lead, but he was ruled offside by the linesman. Solly March went close with a long range effort, which cannoned back of the crossbar. Brighton did take the lead not soon after, when a long ball forward was headed onwards by Murray into the path of Towell, who’s first time finish caught out Farman, to score his first senior goal for the club. Nathan Arnold tested Albion back-up keeper Maenpaa with a long range curling effort, which forced the Finnish stopper to tip the ball round the post. Into the second half, and Lincoln were awarded a penalty when Murray was adjudged to have fouled Robinson, when a free-kick was played into the area; in the process Maenpaa fell awkwardly after claiming the ball, and was subsequently substituted for Casper Ankergren. Alan Power stepped up, and slotted the ball home to level the scores. Moments later, the Imps went infront thanks to an own goal from Tomori, after Arnold had whipped in a dangerous ball from the right wing. With time running out for Brighton, they pushed on for a late equaliser, only for Robinson to score a third Lincoln goal, after Uwe Hunemeier had given the ball away cheaply in the defensive third. Final score 3-1 to Lincoln, and while they bask in the celebrations of a potential money-spinning tie in the 5th round, its back to league focus for Brighton and the push for promotion.

Line-Up;

Maenpaa (7); Made a couple of neat saves, and was in control of his box much better than previously seen. Forced off with a nasty looking shoulder injury.

Tomori (5); Tough day for the debutant, scored an own goal and was quite shaky against an energetic Lincoln side.

Goldson (6); Wonderful ball forward to find Murray, who then picked out Towell for the goal. Wasn’t the worst performance of his Brighton career, but couldn’t live up to the performances of last season.

Hunemeier (6); One of the better players in a dominant first half, but one of the worst in a disastrous second; mixed day for the big German.

Adekugbe (5); Up against Lincoln’s main attacking threat in Arnold, and never really looked convincing against him. Couldn’t stop the cross coming in for the second goal, when he might of done with a bit more effort.

Skalak (5); Clearly out-of-sorts at the moment, and is struggling to find his form from last season. Slowly starting to fall down the pecking order it seems.

Sidwell (6); Tough day for the stand-in captain; lost the midfield battle on a difficult surface and struggled to link up with Norwood as much as he would of liked to.

Norwood (6); Had a couple of glimpses of his magic, but overall needed to do better that what he gave.

March (6); Some neat play to get away from the Lincoln defenders before crashing his shot against the bar, but hardly featured after that.

Towell (7); Scored his first senior goal, and a well-taken one too. Unfortunately sacrificed for Hemed just as he was starting to link up play after going behind.

Murray (5); A day to forget for the top scorer; should of scored within the first few minutes, and then gave away a second penalty in as many matches.

Subs;

Ankergren (5); Not much he could of done with either of the 3 goals. Distribution was ok, but not of Stockdale/Maenpaa quality.

Hemed (5); Had an effort saved late on, but didn’t influence the game as much as Hughton had hoped for.

Murphy (5); Had some nice runs, but couldn’t produce when it mattered in he final third.

LCFC [3]-[1] BHAFC ; Power (57pen), Tomori (o.g – 62), Robinson (85); Towell (24);

Att; 9,469 (1,391 Brighton)

MOTM; Towell

 

LCFC v BHAFC (28/1/17) | F.A Cup 4th Round Match Preview

Brighton move away from their promotion push, as they take on Lincoln City in the 4th round of the oldest club competition in the world.

Lincoln News;

Lincoln have no fresh concerns, except that Albion loanee Joe Ward is ineligible for the game against the Seagulls. Lincoln, top of the National League,  were on the receiving end of a thumping by the hands of Barrow on Tuesday night, thanks to goals from Byron Harrison, Richie Bennett and Ross Hannah. Matt Rhead and Nathan Arnold are the leading Imps scorers with 11 goals apiece.

Form; W, D, W, W, W, L

FACT; Not played in the Football League since their relegation back in 2011, but look in good stead to return this season.

Brighton News;

Brighton will be without Bruno, Sam Baldock and Gaetan Bong as they all recover from their respected injuries. Glenn Murray is available again after suspension, but Chris Hughton is set to reap the changes, resting key players, before their showdown with Huddersfield during the week. Brighton won last time out against Cardiff thanks to a Tomer Hemed goal. Murray is the leading scorer with 15 goals this season.

Form; W, W, W, L, W, W

FACT; Have won 6 home league games in a row after Tuesday victory against Cardiff.

Last Time We Met: LCFC [3]-[1] BHAFC (8/11/03);

Lincoln won 3-1 in this 1st round F.A Cup match 14 years ago, thanks to goals from Paul Mayo, Matt Bloomer and Simon Yeo, while Chris McPhee got a consolation goal fro the Seagulls.

H-2-H;

Brighton edge the H-2-H, with 10 wins of the 22 meetings, while the Imps have 9 wins. There has been a mammoth 76 goals scored in the 22 meetings between the 2 sides, so expect some more on Saturday.

Likely Line-Up;

Maenpaa;

Tomori, Goldson, Hunemeier, Adekugbe;

March, Sidwell, Norwood, Skalak;

Towell;

Hemed;

Prediction;

Lincoln 2-2 Brighton

 

BHAFC v CCFC (24/1/17) | Match Review

Brighton returned to the top of the table, with a hard fought win over Cardiff, to also extend their cushion back to the play-offs to 11 points. It was by no means an easy ride for The Seagulls, with the visiting Bluebirds trying every time-wasting ‘technique’ in the book, from slow goal-kicks to changing throwers at the last second. In the end, karma had its say and Brighton walked away with the 3 points.

The game started of in less than lively fashion, although Tomer Hemed had a good chance early on, but dragged his shot wide of Allan McGregor’s goal. The flow of the game was always being interrupted with Cardiff slowing everything down, disturbing Brighton’s rhythm. Brighton’s inability to make simple passes allowed Cardiff to have some glorious chances midway through the half; first Joe Ralls hit the side netting from a Junior Hoilett cutback. Sean Morrison had a header well saved by David Stockdale after a Ralls free-kick. Hoilett had an effort well saved too, after the ball pinged to him from a deflection. Inbetween the Cardiff chances, Anthony Knockaert went close with a free-kick, which just went wide of the post. Solly March had a pile-driving shot saved by McGregor in a half of little chances for the Albion. Into the second half, and Brighton could of taken the lead just minutes into the half, when March’s cut back from the byline was met by Hemed, but he dragged his shot wide, with Knockaert lurking behind him had he missed the chance. Shane Duffy came close to scoring his first home goal for the club, but his flicked header went just wide. With the game faultering, Chris Hughton brought on Ollie Norwood, who made an immediate impact; his pass into Hemed allowed the Israeli to take the ball on the turn, before unleashing a sweet strike past McGregor from just inside the edge of the box. Knockaert could have made it two not soon after, but his effort was just over the bar after a mazy run through the Cardiff defence. Final whistle went, and Brighton returned to the top of the Championship, and are in firm control of their promotion destiny; it would take a real ‘balls up’ from here to stop them from being promoted this season.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Made some key saves, especially in the first half, but not much rot do in the second.

Goldson (7); Much braver at getting forward this time, and supported Knockaert very well. Maybe gave Hoilett a little bit too much respect when he attacked him.

Duffy (7); Marshalled Zohore very well, gave away a couple of free-kicks but won the majority of headers all over the pitch.

Dunk (6); Simple night for the stand-in captain, helped Duffy win the long balls from Cardiff, and was as strong as every defensively.

Pocognoli (6); Got forward a lot, but not as much from him as Friday night. Rarely troubled defensively.

Knockaert (7); Gave Cardiff nightmares all night with his agility on and off the ball, should of had a goal for his efforts.

Stephens (6); Pretty easy night for the central midfielders, with Cardiff backing of to the edge of their box, it was just a matter of picking the right pass.

Kayal (6); Pretty easy night for the central midfielders, with Cardiff backing of to the edge of their box, it was just a matter of picking the right pass.

Murphy (6); Missed a great chance in the opening minutes, but had a fairly decent night otherwise.

March (6); Created some nice chances, as well as his first half shot, which had McGregor flapping at it.

Hemed (7); Fantastic goal which sealed the win; had to work hard up top on his own, but was up to the task.

Subs;

Norwood (6); Immediate impact with the assist, and was firm but calm when Cardiff pushed for an equaliser.

Sidwell (5); Replaced March, and slotted into the ’10’ role well.

Skalak (N/A); Last minute run out, to run down the clock.

BHAFC [1]-[0] CCFC ; Hemed (73);

Att; 26,688

MOTM; Hemed

 

BHAFC v SWFC (20/1/17) | Match Review

Brighton returned to the top of the table, for a few hours at least, as the beat promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday, in a game which saw 3 goals and 3 red cards.

Glenn Murray had a fantastic chance to put Brighton ahead early on, but a fine save from Kieran Westwood denied the Albion top scorer. The first half was frantic affair, until Tomer Hemed picked up a loose bal in the middle of the park, and drove towards the Wednesday goal. After breaking a Sam Hutchinson tackle, he fed Anthony Knockaert through in towards goal; a heavy touch front the Frenchman seemed to give Westwood the chance to steal the ball from him, but the Albion winger got it past him, before cutting the ball back and curling his shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle. The lead lasted 10 minutes as Wednesday drew level, thanks to an unfortunate own goal from stand-in captain Lewis Dunk; Fernando Forestieri’s cross was diverted goalwards by Oliver Norwood, but hit Dunk’s head on the way through, giving David Stockdale little hope of saving it; it looked like he would of stopped Norwood from getting an own goal himself. Into the second half, and Brighton should of regained the lead, but Shane Duffy’s powerful header was just to high, after a lovely free-kick from Norwood. Not long after Albion were reduced to 10 men, after Murray was penalised for handball in the area; penalty awarded and Murray sent off. Forestieri stepped up for the Owls, but he couldn’t score past Stockdale with the initial shot, and then was denied again with his follow up. Against the run of play, Brighton regained the lead thanks to another Knockaert goal; Seb Pocognoli sent in a teasing cross, which beat everyone but Knockaert who dived in to divert the ball into the net, and send the home fans wild. The tension didn’t stop there, just minutes later Steven Fletcher was sent off, after lashing out at Dale Stephens with most of the players getting involved in the melee after. As the game finally drew to a close, Hutchinson was also sent packing, after his wild diving challenge on Solly March saw him pick up a second yellow card, although it could have also warranted in a straight red card too. The final whistle went, and after a tense night it was Brighton who picked up the points, and returned to the top of the league, at least until 5pm on Saturday.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (9); Not called into action as much as he was expecting to, but was more than heroic to keep out Forestieri’s penalty; not just the initial effort but the incredible ability to dive back across the goal to tip the ball around the post. World class double save, and kept the Seagulls level.

Goldson (7); Superb defensively, but slightly hesitant in getting forward, which was understandable with the attacking powers of Forestieri and Reach.

Duffy (7); Claimed everything that Wednesday threw into the box, and was as good as he has been all season.

Dunk (7); Unfortunate own-goal for the stand-in captain, but brushed it off with another solid performance in tough times during the second half.

Pocognoli (8); Set up the winner with a superb curling cross into Knockaert, and was pretty solid attacking too as well as defending.

Knockaert (9); Definatly his best game since his father’s passing, maybe his best of the season. Run rings around the Owls defence for much of the 1st half, before scoring his goal, then popping up later in the game for the winner.

Stephens (7); Sat a little deeper than he usually did, but was alert to dangers when Wednesday were instigating attacks.

Norwood (7); His unfortunate touch lead to the own goal, but still had a good game. Should of had an assist when Duffy headed over from his free-kick in the second half. 

Murphy (6); Given the chance to prove he is the player for the wide left role, but couldn’t grab that chance. Struggled in possession and was quite passive.

Hemed (7); Brilliant work on the counter attack to break a tackle, then to feed Knockaert through for the opening goal. Upped his game when Murray was sent packing, and left as the lone striker.

Murray (6); Should of scored early on in the game if not for Westwood’s good save. Sent off for handball, which will divide opinions, but would of been thankful for Stockdale heroics in the goal; his celebrations showed that.

Subs;

March (6); Sent on for March when Brighton needed some attacking intent.

Sidwell (5); Helped see the game through when Brighton got ahead late on. 

Skalak (N/A); Late run-out for the winger.

BHAFC [2]-[1] SWFC ; Knockaert (35), (85), Murray (64; OFF); Dunk (45 OG), Fletcher (89; OFF), Hutchinson (90+6; OFF)

Att; 27,162

MOTM; Knockaert

 

BHAFC v SWFC (20/1/17) | Match Preview

Brighton welcome Sheffield Wednesday to the South Coast, looking to bounce back after their defeat to Preston last weekend; a defeat which ended their 18 match unbeaten run. 

Sheffield Wednesday News;

Wednesday could give new signing Sam Winnall his first start, while Callum McManaman should be available after illness. Kieran Lee is out as he undergoes surgery on a hip injury. Wednesday won last time out against Huddersfield, thanks to goals from Ross Wallace and Fernando Forestieri. Winnall is the top scorer with 11 goals, but they all come when he was at Barnsley, so Forestieri is the actual top scorer with 7.

Form; W, W, D, D, L, W

FACT; The Owls have never lost twice to the Seagulls in the same season.

Brighton News;

Brighton welcome back Lewis Dunk from suspension, while Dale Stephens and Seb Pocognoli are back after illness/injury; however Gaetan Bong still remains sidelined. Brighton lost for the first time in 19 games last time out, as they lost to Preston. Goals from Paul Huntington and Callum Robinson were enough to collect all 3 points, even after Tomer Hemed had missed a injury time penalty. Glenn Murray is the top Seagulls scorer with 15 goals.

Form; W, W, W, W, W, L

FACT; Have conceded just 17 league goals this season; their fewest after 25 matches of a season in their history.

Last Time We Met: SWFC [1]-[2] BHAFC (1/10/16);

Brighton won for the first time at Hillsborough thanks to goals from Sam Baldock and Anthony Knockaert. A late Gary Hooper goal was only good enough to be a consolation goal for the Owls.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 6 of the 34 meetings between the 2, while Wednesday have claimed victory 14 times. Before Brighton’s success in October, their last victory against the Owls was back in September 2012; the last game to be played on a Friday night between the 2 sides. In between those victories, Wednesday had won 4 of the 8 and had let in only 3 goals.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Pocognoli;

Kncokaert, Stephens, Norwood, Murphy;

Baldock, Murray;

Prediction;

Brighton 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday 

 

PNEFC v BHAFC (14/1/17) | Match Preview

Brighton tasted defeat for the first time in 18 games, after they fell at the feet of a rugged Preston side. With their first defeat since early September, they also lost top spot, after Newcastle disposed of Brentford.

Preston were by far the better team, and fully deserved to win the game, and this was a wake up call to anyone who though Brighton could coast towards the finish line; it is far from over.

Callum Robinson had the first chance of the game for the hosts, when he was put through on goal by Jordan Hugill, but his deflected shot was just narrowly wide of David Stockdale’s far post. Shane Duffy had an effort go just over the bar from an Anthony Knockaert free-kick, while Oliver Norwood had a long-range effort go just wide of the far post. Preston did take the lead though moments later, when Paul Huntington headed home a Paul Gallagher free-kick, although it did take a deflection which wrong footed Stockdale. Glenn Murray outmuscled Tom Clarke to race clear on goal, but his tame effort was saved by Chris Maxwell; he could of squared the ball to his strike partner Sam Baldock had he looked up earlier. Murray was in the thick of things again, this time he headed wide after Sam Adekugbe put in an excellent cross, after a good burst forward. Into the second half, and Brighton were given another blow, when Robinson outstrengthed Albion skipper Bruno, and prodded the ball home past Stockdale to double the hosts lead. Duffy had a good opportunity to claw one back, but his header was cleared off the line by Marnick Vermijl. Brighton pressed for a way back into the game, and managed to earn themselves a penalty after Maxwell had brought down sub Jamie Murphy. Regular penalty taker Tomer Hemed stepped up, but his effort was well matched by the Welsh keeper, and was up quick enough to save a rebound from Murphy. The game finished 2-0, and it was a real reality check that no game is going to be a walk in the park, even if you have gone 18 games unbeaten previously. The good news is that they have a chance to redeem themselves on Friday night, and start another long unbeaten run.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Didn’t have anything to do other than pick the ball up from the net; spectator all game.

Bruno (5); Let Robinson go, in which he scored the killer second goal. Pretty poor all afternoon too, not much went his way.

Duffy (6); Should of scored at least one; heading over from a Knockaert free-kick, then having one blocked on the line.

Goldson (7); Probably the best player on the pitch; looked pretty solid and did well in the absence of Dunk.

Adekugbe (7); Given his league debut, and looked encouraging. Held of getting forward too much with Horgan’s attacking presence, but didn’t get much support from Skalak.

Knockaert (6); Tried his hardest to get things going on a very slow afternoon, but nothing went his way.

Sidwell (6); Fortunate not to receive a booking in the first half, but had a reletivly good game when it came to controlling possession.

Norwood (6); Passing was of high quality as per usual, but didn’t have the defensive influence needed to support Sidwell at times.

Skalak (5); Struggled to get into the game; crossing was below par and left Adekugbe vulnerable at times before his inevitable departure.

Murray (6); Should of scored on the stroke of half-time, and got himself into dangerous positions but with no reward.

Baldock (6); Spent most of his afternoon chasing the Preston defenders rather than having an impact on the game.

Subs;

Murphy (6); Introduced for Skalak, and added a dirtiest threat down the left, as well as supporting Adekugbe when Preston continued to attack. Won the penalty also.

Hemed (5); Missed the penalty, although it wouldn’t of made much difference other than reducing the goal difference. Hard to say if he will be on penalty duty after the miss, with Murray always eager to take them.

Kayal (6); Looked eager to get out there, and had some bright moments.

PNEFC [2]-[0] BHAFC ; Huntington (13), Robinson (53);

Att; 11,391 (1,205 Brighton)

MOTM; Goldson

 

BHAFC v CCFC (24/1/17) | Match Preview

Brighton have the chance to return to the top of the table on Tuesday night, as they take on Cardiff at The AMEX in their re-arranged fixture.

Cardiff News;

Cardiff have no new injury concerns, and could name the same side which beat Burton Albion on Saturday. Rhys Healy scored the only goal in that game, and will be pushing for a starting place, after scoring in injury time. Anthony Pilkington is the top Bluebirds scorer with 7 goals.

Form; L, D, W, L, W, W

FACT; Cardiff have won their last 3 league games; they havent won 4 of the bounce since January 2013.

Brighton News;

Brighton will assess Bruno and Sam Baldock ahead of the game, after the duo missed out on Friday’s game with injuries, while Gaetan Bong will miss the game as he still recovers from injury. Brighton will also be without Glenn Murray, as he serves a 1 match ban after being sent off in that game. Brighton won last time out in a dramatic contest with Sheffield Wednesday. A brace from Anthony Knockaert, his 9th and 10th of the season, either side of a Lewis Dunk own goal was good enough for the 10 men of Brighton to beat the 9 of Wednesday. Murray is the leading scorer for the Seagulls with 15 goals.

Form; W, W, W, W, L, W

FACT; Brighton are joint top with Derby with the most clean sheets kept in the Championship this season (14).

Last Time We Met: CCFC [0]-[0] BHAFC (3/12/16);

Brighton missed the chance to go top, after they were held to a 0-0 draw in South Wales.

H-2-H;

Brighton have struggled against Cardiff in recent games; not winning any of the last 5 meetings, and only twice in the last 10 although there has been 6 draws during that time. Both teams have 22 wins apiece in the 66 games played, and there has only been 8 goalless games. 

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Pocognoli;

Stephens, Norwood;

March, Knockaert, Skalak;

Hemed;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-0 Cardiff

 

PNEFC v BHAFC (14/1/17) | Match Preview

Brighton travel to Lancashire to try and end another stadium hoodoo. They take on a Preston side, who will be geared up after crashing out of the F.A Cup dissapointingly last weekend.

News;

Preston will be without Jermaine Beckford and Ben Pearson, as both are suspended for the game. Alex Baptiste and John Welsh are also expected to be missing through injury. Preston were cruelly knocked out of the F.A Cup last time out, as Arsenal scored a late winner. Callum Robinson had put the Lancashire outfit in the lead, but goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud sent the Gunners through. Robinson and Jordan Hugill both lead the way as top scorers with 5 goals each this season.

Form; D, W, L, D, W, L

FACT; Have never lost at home to the Seagulls in 15 meetings (9W, 6D).

Brighton News;

Brighton will be without Lewis Dunk as he finished his 2 match suspension. Beram Kayal is set to miss out, as he returns to full fitness after featuring last weekend in the F.A Cup; Liam Rosenior won’t be near a return until at least the end of the month. Brighton progressed to the 4th round of the F.A Cup, after a victory over MK Dons. Goals from Israeli duo Kayal and Tomer Hemed set up a tie away at either Lincoln or Ipswich. Glenn Murray is the leading Albion scorer with 15 goals so far this season.

Form; W, W, W, W, W, W

FACT; No Championship side has taken more points (26) in the last 10 games than the Seagulls.

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [2]-[2] PNEFC (15/10/16);

Brighton were denied victory earlier in the season, as they conceded a late goal. Hugill had given the Lilywhites the lead, before Sam Baldock and Murray turned it around during the second half; however Simon Makienok scored at the death to share the spoils.

H-2-H;

Brighton have never won at Preston, but will be in good heart, after winning fore the first time at Hillsbrough earlier in the season. The Seagulls have only won 7 of the 32 games played, with Preston picking up 12 victories. The last 5 games have all been draws, including a run of four 0-0’s before the previous meeting.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Goldson, Bong;

Knockaert, Stephens, Norwood, March;

Baldock, Murray;

Prediction;

Preston 1-2 Brighton

 

FFC v BHAFC (2/1/17) | Match Review

Brighton came from 1-0 down to score twice within 90 seconds, and take away all 3 points from West London, to reclaim top spot in the Championship. It was by no means an easy task, and were 2nd best for much of the game, but held strong and claimed a valuable win.

Albion could of been 1-0 down early on in the game after Bruno was judged to of handled the ball inside the box, to which ref Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot and gave Fulham the chance to take the lead; Stefan Johansen stepped up, but his loose penalty was easily saved by David Stockdale before Lewis Dunk cleared the ball away. Matt Smith had a glorious chance, but he couldn’t get the slight touch needed to score, after a teasing ball in from Sone Aluko, which left both central defender and goalkeeper stranded. Not much for either team in the first half, but the second half came to life early on, as Fulham did manage to take the lead after Lucas Piazon’s curling effort found its way into the bottom corner, with Stockdale unsighted. Anthony Knockaert had a great chance, after Glenn Murray had knocked the ball down into his path, but the Frenchman blazed his shot over. Knockaert had another chance, but his effort this time was well saved by David Button as he pushed it over the bar. Brighton then got themselves a penalty after Tomer Hemed was fouled in the box; the Israeli stepped up to take it, and placed the ball past Button who fell on his arse trying to judge which way the penalty was going. Seconds late Brighton took the lead after a driving run from Dunk, he slipped in Knockaert who’s shot cannoned off Button, only for the ball to fall kindly for Dunk who headed the ball into the empty net, and send the 6,000+ travelling fans wild. A late flurry of chances for the home team, but they couldn’t find a shot on target to test Stockdale, after a few half chances went begging. 2-1 the full time and after Newcastles surprise defeat away at Blackburn, Brighton sit top of the table by 2 points with a game in hand.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (8); Great penalty save; couldn’t do much with the goal, and was a basic afternoon at times for him.

Bruno (6); Slightly harsh call for the penalty, but his afternoon didn’t get much better in truth.

Duffy (7); Had a real battle with Smith, but was relatively sound.

Dunk (8); Got the winning goal, and like Duffy was sturdy at the back.

Bong (6); Not the same player as last season, where he would turn heads with his performances, and this was another one of those where you didn’t realise he was on the pitch at times.

Knockaert (7); Bit quiet in the first half, but lit the game up when Fulham took the lead with his great talent.

Stephens (6); Both him and Norwood slightly over-run in midfield, but stood strong to quell the threat posed from them.

Norwood (6); Was more on defensive duty that attacking, but was still a good performance.

Skalak (6); Surprisingly re-called to the side, but didn’t make much of an impact.

Baldock (6); Had some chances here and there, but not much going for him on a tough afternoon.

Murray (6); Mostly used to get the long balls under control; wanted the penalty but shrugged off it by regular penalty taker Hemed.

Subs;

Hemed (7); Clinical penalty to get Albion back level; a specialist in that department.

March (6); Brought on for Skalak, and made an impact with an chance early on but couldn’t convert.

Murphy (6); Brought on for Knockaert, just to help with the imminent bombardment of Fulham attacks coming Brighton’s way.

Fulham [1]-[2] Brighton; Piazon (55); Hemed (74pen), Dunk (75);

Att; 24,300 (6,400 Brighton – Estimated)

MOTM; Dunno