Brighton played out a pulsating game at Griffin Park, as 2 late injury time goals helped share the spoils of a incredible match. They had the heroics of David Stockdale to thank, after the Albion keeper saved his 3rd penalty in a row to help Brighton return home with a point.
Brentford went in front thanks to a cheeky flick from Jota, after Josh Clarke had cut the ball back to the edge of the 6 yard box. It got worse for the Seagulls just 7 minutes later, after Harlee Dean headed home a second after the ball fell to him from a deflected corner from Josh McEachran; Stockdale trying his best to keep it out, but just out of his reach. After a disastrous first half, Brighton started the second with a flurry of good build-up plays and half-chances, as well as a penalty shout after Anthony Knockaert’s effort was blocked by Tom Field, before hitting his hand and then subsequently clearing the danger. Things went from bad to worse for the Seagulls, after they were caught on the break, and a McEachran pass found Jota in bags of space, he drove into the box before being taken out by Uwe Hunemeier, and ref Jeremy Simpson had no hesitations to give a penalty. Lasse Vibe stepped up to take the spot kick, but it was saved by the legs of Stockdale, after the Brentford man had tried to put it down the middle. It was just the left that Brighton needed, although Brentford went close to adding a third, when Stockdale had to be alert to save a Nico Yennaris effort. They were made to pay for missing their chances, when Solly March picked up a deflected Knockaert pass outside the Bee’s penalty area, before unleashing a thunderous left footed shot into the top corner. Just minutes later, Albion were level after Shane Duffy headed in a Knockaert cross, sparking wild celebrations in the away end. Brighton were in the ascendancy, and could have pulled in front just moments later when Duffy put his 3 yard strike straight at Daniel Bentley, after a deflected March pass fell kindly to him at the back post; either side and it was a goal. Tomer Hemed squandered a glorious chance at the death, after both him and Chuba Akpom went for the same March cross, only for the Israeli to be put of by his fellow teammate and head over from 3 yards out. Brentford thought they had won it when sub Konstantin Kerschbaumer curled a 25 yard effort, into the bottom corner late in injury time. But there was time for more drama; Brighton pushed forward for a last-gasp equaliser, and got it when Hemed nodded home a Knockaert cross, igniting the away end into ruptures as if they had won promotion then and there. There was barely anytime to take the kick-off and the game finished at 3-3; a result Brighton won’t mind taking considering they were 2-0 down at half-time.
Stockdale (8); The game was over had he not saved Vibe’s penalty, as well an Yennaris’s effort just minutes later. Will be disappointed letting in 3 for the second game running, but like last Thursday, it could of been way more without him.
Bruno (6); Much better against his man than on Thursday, although it still wasn’t his brilliant best.
Duffy (7); Mixed afternoon for the Irishman; completely dominated in the first half by Brentford’s waves of attack, before popping up to score the first equalizer. Should of had a second just moments later, but couldn’t divert his shot past Bentley.
Hunemeier (5); Quite a woeful performance from the German, but he can be forgiven that he hasn’t played a lot of competitive football in the last 12 months, which shows given his decision to dive in on Jota for the penalty.
Pocognoli (6); Suffered in the first half with Skalak not tracking Clarke back, before having a much better half with March in front of him.
Knockaert (8); A frustrated figure in the first half, the game suddenly opened up to him with a couple of runs at defenders, crosses and shots. His 2 crosses for Duffy and Hemed were world-class, and had both the defenders and keeper stuck in limbo about what to do with it.
Sidwell (6); Quiet first half with Brenford enjoying the possession, it livened the game up in the second as Albion looked to get back into the game.
Norwood (6); Seemed to be slightly passive in his approach in the first half, giving Brentford more time that they deserved; much better in the second half with the tempo raised up to his level.
Skalak (5); Only highlight of his 45 minutes was a cross to Murphy who headed wide, other than that it was a slack and inefficient performace from what was a key player at the start of the season.
Murphy (6); Looked ok in the opening few minutes in the No. 10 role, not much to feed on in the first, but looked as if the role suited him well before being taken off in the final push.
Murray (6); A hugely frustrating afternoon for the top marksman; nothing for him to feed on, and when there was he was sitting 50 yards away on the bench.
March (8); Changed the dynamic of the game with some brilliant crosses, energy rate and of course his fantastic goal.
Akpom (6); Thrown on to help rescue a point as the clock ran down. Got in Hemed’s way when he looked certain to score, which eventually put him off.
Hemed (7); Could have sealed all 3 points had Akron not got in his way, but managed to rescue a point in the end just 8 minutes later.
BFC - BHAFC ; Jota (15), Dean (22), Kerschbaumer (90+4); March (75), Duffy (78), Hemed (90+7);
Att; 10,433 (1,644 Brighton)
MOTM; Stockdale/March (Can’t decide)