BHAFC v BRFC (1/4/17) | Match Preview

Brighton head into the home straight in pole position to get promoted to the Premier League, but will have a hard task on their hands when they face an improving Blackburn side who hope to avoid the drop to League One.

Blackburn News;

Blackburn could feature Corry Evans for the first time since January after a groom injury; he came through international break with Northern Ireland. Danny Graham and Adam Henley both have returned to training but will miss the game due to lacking of fitness, while Gordan Greer is unavailable due to injury. Blackburn conceded a 93rd minute equaliser to Lancashire rivals Preston last time out; Tom Barkhuizen opened the scoring for Preston before Elliot Bennett and Craig Conway put Rovers in front, only for Aiden McGeady to strike deep into injury time. Graham is the leading scorer with 12 goals this season.

Form; W, W, D, D, D, D

FACT; Blackburn have yet to lose a game since Tony Mowbray took charge back in February.

Brighton News;

Brighton welcome back defensive trio Bruno, Seb Pocognoli and Gaetan Bong after injuries, while central defender Vegard Forren could also feature after working up his fitness over the international break. Brighton were defeated last time out 2-0 by Leeds, thanks to a brace from ex-loanee Chris Wood. Glenn Murray leads the way for the Seagulls at the top of the goalscorting charts with 17 goals this term.

Form; W, L, L, W, W, L

FACT; Only one team has ever failed to gain promotion from the 2nd tier haven’t won 77+ points from 38 games played; Wolves in 2001/02.

Last Time We Met: BRFC [2]-[3] BHAFC (13/12/16);

Brighton came out on top back in December, thanks to goals from Shane Duffy, Dale Stephens and Murray; consolation goals from Sam Gallagher weren’t enough for Rovers. Greer was also sent off for 2 bookable offences.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 15 of the 37 games played, while Rovers have claimed victory 11 times. Brighton have won the last 4 games, and are undefeated in the last 9 meetings (5W, 4D), with the last defeat coming back in 1992. There has never been a goalless game between the 2 sides.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, March;

Baldock, Murray;

Prediction;

Brighton 3-1 Blackburn

 

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LUFC v BHAFC (18/3/17) | Match Review

Brighton saw their 6 match winning streak against Leeds disappear, after the Yorkshire outfit claimed a huge three points, in the race for promotion.

The match began rather cagily with no clear-cut chances for either side inside the opening quarter of an hour. Chris Wood put the ball in the back of the net with 20 minutes on the clock, but referee Lee Mason ruled out the strike following Alfonso Pedraza’s pass. A corner from Pablo Hernandez was met by Kyle Bartley at the far post, but his header back across goal drifted wide. The hosts stepped up the pressure on Albion’s goal, as Uwe Huenemeier headed Hernandez’s cross behind, before Wood somehow failed to make contact with the ball from the subsequent corner. Beram Kayal did brilliantly to engineer a chance for the Seagulls when his low cross was backheeled by Sam Baldock and took a nick off Liam Cooper, which forced Leeds keeper Rob Green into a fine one-handed reaction save. The second-half began in the same fashion to the first with little in the way of goalscoring action, with the only chance of note coming from Hadi Sacko whose effort went wide. Kayal then tried his luck from distance from 25 yards out, but Green remained untroubled in the Leeds goal. Wood almost took advantage of a lapse of concentration in the Brighton defence, but his close-range shot was met with a comfortable save from David Stockdale. But the league’s top scorer did break the deadlock with 63 minutes on the clock, when he met Charlie Taylor’s left-footed cross with a fine header that beat Stockdale at his near post. Albion came close to levelling the scores almost immediately as Glenn Murray flicked on Anthony Knockaert’s corner, but Baldock couldn’t reach the ball at the far post. The Frenchman played in another delivery that caused the Leeds defence problems, when his corner narrowly eluded Lewis Dunk in the area. Knockaert surged forward down the right-hand side moments later and opted his low strike was met with a comfortable save by Green. Murray was played through down the left-hand side, but dragged his shot wide with an angled attempt. Murray was involved in the thick of the action again when was found by Knockaert inside the box, and Green palmed away his fierce strike. Solly March was brought on in place of Jiri Skalak and made an instant impact on the left flank. He teed up Kayal in the box, but the Israeli saw his attempt blocked. The hosts wrapped up the three points in the 85th minute when Fikayo Tomori was penalised for bringing down Souleymane Doukara in the box, and Wood scored from the resulting spot-kick to make it 2-0.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Not givens much to do, but saved well from Wood in the second half, before the marksman struck with a header.

Tomori (7); Had an absolute belter of a game, only to ruin it with a very clumsy penalty.

Hunemeier (7); Had a great game; filled Duffy’s boots well with towering headers and got through lots of good work.

Dunk (6); Mixed afternoon against Wood; on top it seemed in the first half, but bullied in the second especially for the opening goal.

Rosenior (6); A reasonably steady performace from him, although could count himself lucky he only saw yellow for a late challenge on Sacko.

Knockaert (6); Quiet first half, before coming into the game in the second; wrong decision to go for goal instead of cutting it back to Murray/Baldock when there was a chance to equalise.

Stephens (6); Nothing out the ordinary for him; just helped tick things over in the midfield.

Kayal (7); Probably the pick of the front 6; looked dangerous with the ball and nearly had his cross deflected in in the first half.

Skalak (5); Quiet game from him, set-pieces summed up his night; poor.

Baldock (6); Lots of goof running in the channels, but usually quelled by the Bartley-Cooper partnership.

Murray (6); Usualy thrives on crosses, but very little came in. Had a glorious chance to equalise, but hit his shot straight at Green.

Subs;

March (6); Bright cameo from the England U21 international, looked the threat of the game when introduced.

Akpom (N/A); Not enough time to make an impact.

Norwood (N/A); Last throw of the dice from Hughton to try and rescue a point.

LUFC [2]-[0] BHAFC ; Wood (63), (85pen);

Att; 29,767 (Brighton – Unknown)

MOTM; Kayal

 

LUFC v BHAFC (18/3/17) | Match Preview

Brighton travel to Yorkshire on Saturday, hoping to claim an important 3 points on the road to promotion; they face a Leeds side desperate for the points themselves.

Leeds News;

Leeds will be without Luke Ayling, Kalvin Phillips and Lewis Coyle, while Charlie Taylor could return to the squad after missing the previous game. The Lilywhites were held to a goalless draw last time out, at home to QPR. Chris Wood is the leading scorer for United with 22 goals this season. 

Form; W, D, W, W, D, D

FACT; Leeds have won 20 league games this season; more than their final tally of wins in each of the past 6 seasons.

Brighton News;

Brighton will have Bruno available, after the right back was forced off with injury last week, while Seb Pocognoli and Gaetan Bong are still a few weeks away from recovering from their injuries, although are expected to be fit for after the international break. Brighton won 3-0 last time out, as goals from Anthony Knockaert, Sam Baldock and Glenn Murray help sink Derby, and claim Steve McClaren’s job just 48 hours after. Murray is the leading scorer for the Seagulls with 18.

Form; W, W, L, L, W, W

FACT; Knockaert has had a hand in 9 goals in his last 9 appearances for Brighton (3 goals, 6 assists).

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [2]-[0] LUFC (9/12/16);

Brighton coasted to victory last time these two played, thanks to goals from Murray and Tomer Hemed, both being penalties.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 16 of the 44 previous meetings between the 2 sides, while Leeds have come out on top 17 times. Brighton have a proud record against Leeds in recent years, with the South Coast club winning the last 6 games in a row and 8 of the last 10, losing just once in that spell.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, Skalak;

Baldock, Murray;

Prediction;

Leeds 1-2 Brighton

 

BHAFC V DCFC (10/3/17) | Match Review

Brighton moved a step closer to their 90 point target, thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win over Derby, in a game where they never got out of 2nd gear.

Albion worked their first opening inside four minutes, as Anthony Knockaert picked out Jiri Skalak in space and the Czech winger cut inside the Derby defence and saw his shot go just past the far post. But Knockaert did break the deadlock just a minute later when he latched onto Bruno’s pass eluded Julien de Sart with some brilliant skill and fired an unstoppable low strike beyond Scott Carson. Derby reminded Albion of their own threat going forward when Cyrus Christie drifted in a cross towards former Seagulls loanee Darren Bent, but his downward header went over the crossbar. Hughton’s men continued their lively start when Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock linked up well to create a chance for Glenn Murray, but Carson was out quickly to thwart the striker. Skalak then floated in a corner towards Murray, who couldn’t quite divert his header on target at the near post. Albion’s movement continued to cause the Rams defence problems as Murray and Knockaert set Baldock through on goal, but his angled attempt went over. Brighton ramped up the pressure on the Derby goal with further chances for Murray and Baldock, before Carson had to react quickly to push over Skalak’s goalbound corner. The hosts continued to dominate proceedings; Kayal released Baldock through on goal again but Carson denied Albion’s number nine, while Murray’s header went agonisingly over from Skalak’s incisive cross. The second goal finally arrived courtesy of Baldock with 43 minutes on the clock, as he latched onto a deflected ball from Murray before coolly slotting home. Albion took little time after the re-start to reassert their dominance. David Stockdale sent a long ball forward, which was flicked on by Baldock into the path of Knockaert, who forced Carson into a one-handed save from distance. Despite Brighton’s superiority, Derby came close from another Christie cross but Matej Vydra’s header skimmed off the frame of the goal. The Seagulls were dealt an injury blow midway through the second half when Bruno was forced off with what looked like a groin injury and he was replaced by Fikayo Tomori. The Chelsea loanee set up Albion’s next chance with a flick on towards Murray, who controlled the ball inside the box but saw his shot blocked. Albion then made the game safe when Knockaert found Murray inside the box, whose shot ricocheted off Carson, then the striker’s own shin, before hitting the back of the net with 78 minutes played. Baldock almost got his second and Albion’s fourth in stoppage time with a strike that deflected inches wide, but the game ended 3-0.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Nothing to do, could of sat out in the goal mount with his sun lounger and newspaper.

Bruno (7); Stood up well with Vydra, and added extra incentive when attacking.

Hunemeier (7); Very good performance for his first home game in 15 months, against 2 very good strikers in Bent and Nugent.

Dunk (7); Standard night for the big centre half, nothing to trouble him too much.

Rosenior (8); Looked sharp going forward, and limited Ince to barely anything the whole game.

Knockaert (9); Back to his bubbly best with some neat trickery, and another great goal, not to mention another assist.

Kayal (8); Absolutly brilliant game from him; dynamic, busy and dangerous all what was needed to beat a side like Derby.

Stephens (7); Not much offering when going forward, but it was all about quelling the Derby front 4 and keeping the clean sheet.

Skalak (8); Played in some brilliant crosses, one of which should of been scored by Murray, but his hustle allowed him to nick the ball of Hughes for the third goal.

Baldock (7); Back on the scoresheet, but finishing and decision-making was lacking just a bit.

Murray (8); Gave the Derby centre-half a tough night winning balls in the air; was rewarded for his presistance with a goal.

Subs;

Tomori (7); Did a solid job when filling in for Bruno, and had a couple of good strides forward.

Hemed (N/A); On for the closing stages of the game.

March (N/A); Last minute run-out to see the game out.

BHAFC [3]-[0] DCFC; Knockaert (5), Baldock (43), Murray (79);

Att; 27,552

MOTM; Knockaert

 

BHAFC v DCFC (10/3/17) | Match Preview

Brighton have the chance to extend their gap to 3rd by 9 points with a win on Friday. They take on a Derby side, who’s play-off push has faultered in the last few weeks.

Derby News;

Derby will be without Bradley Johnson, George Thorne, Jason Shackle and Craig Forsyth due to injuries, while Richard Keogh faces a late fitness test. Derby were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Preston on Tuesday; Matej Vydra put the Rams ahead, before a 95th minute equaliser from Tom Barkhuizen meant that the teams shared the points. Tom Ince is the leading scorer for the Rams, with 12 goals so far this season.

Form; L, D, L, L, W, D

FACT; The Rams last clean sheet away at Brighton came back in November 2005

Brighton News;

Brighton’s new signing Forren should be included in the matchday 18, while Chuba Akpom could also feature after missing the last 2 games through injury. Seb Pocognoli is closing in on a return, but might not be back until after the international break. Brighton were 2-0 winners in midweek at Rotherham; goals from Anthony Knockaert and Solly March got them back to winning ways, after back-toback defeats in the previous 2 games. Glenn Murray remains the top scorer with 17 goals this term.

Form; D, W, W, L, L, W

FACT; Brighton have kept the most clean sheets this season with 16, closely followed by Derby on 14.

Last Time We Met: DCFC [0]-[0] BHAFC (6/8/16);

Brighton were held to a goalless draw on the opening day of the season at the iPro Stadium.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 14 of the 41 previous meetings, while Derby have claimed victory 20 times. The last 3 games have all ended level (2-2, 1-1, 0-0), with he last victory from either side being a 2-0 win to Brighton back in March 2015. Brighton have lost just once at home to Derby since moving to The AMEX (excluding play-offs); that was back in August 2013

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, Murphy;

Baldock, Hemed;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-1 Derby

 

RUFC v BHAFC (7/3/17) | Match Review

Brighton got back to winning ways, as the disposed of a resilient Rotherham side to keep the gap back to 3rd to 6 points, after rivals Huddersfield beat Aston Villa at home 1-0. In a game where Brighton needed the 3 points, they put in one of their better away performances of the season, to return to the South Coast with all 3 points.

After a cagey start where Albion dominated possession, it was Rotherham who had the first chance when David Stockdale made a low save to keep out Joe Mattock’s effort. Jiri Skalak was then bundled down on the edge of the area by Semi Ajai, but Anthony Knockaert sent the subsequent free-kick well over the target. Dale Stephens took advantage of a loose ball on the edge of the box, but saw his shot go straight towards Lewis Price. The Millers had a golden opportunity to the break the deadlock when Tom Adeyemi was played through on goal but Stockdale made a crucial stop with his feet. The game began to open up; Skalak was found in space down at the other end, but his rash first-time strike went over the bar. The Czech turned provider from a corner, this time for Uwe Huenemeier, whose header drifted just over the target. Skalak continued his lively start to the game with another corner towards Lewis Dunk, whose header was cleared off the line. Rotherham had another chance to gain the advantage, but Stockdale palmed away a hooked effort from Jerry Yates. Dunk and Skalak linked up well from a free-kick and the former’s drag-back from the byline was narrowly missed by Tomer Hemed. Anthony Forde took advantage of a weak defensive clearance from Stockdale, but he thankfully fired over the bar from a tight angle. Albion broke forward again through Hemed and he flicked the ball on for strike partner Sam Baldock, who was denied by Price from close range. The Seagulls were keen to make a quick start after half-time and Hemed’s shot from distance skimmed the roof of the net following some good link-up play with Skalak. Knockaert was next to try his luck moments later, but was denied by Price at his near post. However, the Frenchman got the goal that Albion deserved for their efforts; Baldock and Beram Kayal were both thwarted inside the box before he fired home past Price with 49 minutes on the clock. After weathering a spell of Rotherham pressure, the Seagulls came forward again through Hemed, who teed up Skalak on the left, but the winger’s strike was blocked by Sam Vaulks. Albion pressed forward in search of a second and potentially decisive goal, as Knockaert linked up well with Hemed, and the latter’s shot deflected inches wide. Skalak was allowed to cut inside from the left and shot just over the target from distance. The crucial second goal did come courtesy of substitute March, who worked his way in off the right-hand side and fired home beyond the outstretched Price, who got a touch on the ball but couldn’t keep it out. Baldock and substitute Richie Towell both could’ve added extra gloss to the scoreline in the closing stages, but neither were able to find the target and the result was 2-0.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Three decent first half saves, but a very quiet second half.

Bruno (7); Had a couple of nice runs forward, but it was all about keeping a clean sheet for him and the team.

Hunemeier (7); An excellent return to the team, very busy first half, but a more standard one in the second. Should keep his place over new arrival Vegard Forren.

Dunk (7); Had a header cleared off the line, but hard graft in the second half to preserve the clean sheet.

Rosenior (7); Doing a decent job at left-back; first half was challenging, second more comfortable.

Knockaert (8); Not much space allowed out wide, but took up great central positions and scored the opening goal from a such occasion.

Stephens (7); Controlled the tempo in the second half, as Brighton took control of the game following the first goal.

Kayal (7); Good battle with Frecklington in the centre, and lots of ground covered.

Skalak (7); Lively game from the winger, his first in 6 games; couple of decent chances not taken though.

Baldock (7); Missed 2 great chances, but gave the Rotherham backline an absolute headache with his runs in behind.

Hemed (7); Held the ball up well and linked up with Baldock well; couple of half-chances before being replaced by Murray.

Subs;

March (7); Fortunate to see his shot go in, but they all count and it wrapped up a fine away performance for the Seagulls.

Murray (6); Got on for the final stages, ads Brighton seeked out a second goal.

Towell (N/A); Late run-out for the Irishman, and could of had a goal late on.

RUFC [0]-[2] BHAFC ; Knockaert (48), March (78);

Att; 8,366 ( 1,006 Brighton)

MOTM; Knockaert

 

RUFC v BHAFC (7/3/17) | Match Preview

Brighton hope to return to winning ways, after 2 straight defeats since the end of August/start September; they travel to Yorkshire to take on rock-bottom Rotherham.

Rotherham News;

Rotherham have injury concerns with Stephen Kelly, Danny Ward, Jon Taylor Richard O’Donnell and Dexter Blackstock all sidelined with injuries. Lee Frecklington could return to the squad after recovering from an injury. The Millers slumped to their 4th straight defeat after losing 2-0 to Aston Villa thanks to goals from Jonathan Kodija and a Will Vaulks own goal. The top scorer for Rotherham this term is Ward with 9 goals, but as mentioned will miss out.

Form; L, D, L, L, L, L

FACT; 16 of the 17 points (94.1%) that Rotherham have earned this season have come at home; a league-high proportion.

Brighton News;

Brighton will be without Shane Duffy after he broke a metatarsal in Saturday’s defeat to Nott’m Forest; he joins Gaetan Bong and Seb Pocognoli on the injury list as does Chuba Akpom after he picked up an injury in training last week. Brighton fell to their heaviest defeat of the season to Forest, after a brace from Zach Clough and Ben Osbourn inflicted a 3-0 defeat on the Seagulls. Glenn Murray remains the top scorer for the Albion with 17 goals.

Form; W, D, W, W, L, L

FACT; Brighton have lost their last two Championship games; they havent lost 3 in a row since January 2016, where the 3rd defeat was against Rotherham.

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [3]-[0] RUFC (16/8/16);

Brighton recorded back to back 3-0 home wins, after goals from Anthony Knockaert, Murray and Tomer Hemed followed up the 3-0 win the Seagulls secured the previous Friday against Nott’m Forest.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 18 of the 50 meetings between the 2 sides, with the Millers coming out victorious 17 times. Rotherham have won the last 2 games played at the AESSEAL Stadium, keeping a clean sheet in both games (1-0 and 2-0).

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Stephens, Norwood, March;

Baldock, Hemed

Prediction;

Rotherham 0-1 Brighton

NFFC v BHAFC (4/3/17) | Match Review

Brighton slumped to their 2nd defeat of the week, after a dreadful performance against Nottingham Forest. They missed the chance to return to the top of the table, and extend the gap back to 3rd to 9 points, however it remains 6 after Newcastle did Albion a favour and defeated Huddersfield in the late game.

Albion created their first chance of the game when Anthony Knockaert made a driving run from the right-hand side and forced Forest keeper Jordan Smith into a save, while Jamie Murphy couldn’t direct his follow-up effort on target. Bruno then played the ball into Glenn Murray, who fired the ball into the back of the net, but the strike was ruled out for handball. At the other end Chris Cohen played a pass up to Britt Assombalonga, who fired well over the target from distance. Hildeberto Pereira broke forward for Forest, but Rosenior and Steve Sidwell combined well to counter the threat. Murray attempted to liven up an otherwise lacklustre first half with a run down the right, but his cross was comfortably collected by Smith just before half-time. Albion began the second half with a lot of possession, but struggled to break down a resolute Forest defence. Knockaert worked the first opening after the break from a corner, but Murray couldn’t quite reach the ball, before Murphy saw his shot on the follow up blocked. Assombalonga was played through on goal again, this time by Jamie Ward, but Albion’s high defensive line caught out the Forest number nine, who was in an offside position. Knockaert drove a deep free-kick to the back post towards Lewis Dunk, and he headed back across goal towards Shane Duffy, who collided with the post in an attempt to reach the ball. But despite an improved start to the half, substitute Zach Clough’s shot  gave Forest the lead with 60 minutes on the clock.
Albion players protested that Assombalonga was standing in an offside position when he connected with the ball but having consulted with his assistant, the referee gave the goal, adjudging that the Forest man had not made contact with the ball. Solly March was brought on in an attempt to freshen up the attack and after being teed up by fellow sub Oliver Norwood, he saw his shot tipped away. Norwood then delivered a searching corner towards into the box but neither Dunk or Duffy could divert their efforts goalwards. Knockaert then had a chance to level the scores with a close-range shot of his own that went over the bar. Norwood found Dunk again from another set-piece, but the Albion defender’s header didn’t trouble Smith. It went from bad to worse for Albion, as Osborn intercepted Stockdale’s attempted clearance in the box and fired home to make it 2-0 in the 89th minute. Then in virtually the last kick of the game, Dunk was penalised for a challenge in the box, although he appeared to connect with the ball, and Clough fired home the resulting penalty.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (5); An absolute horror moment for the Albion stopper for Forest’s second, but should be cut some slack considering the amount of games he has saved for the Seagulls this season.

Bruno (6); Tough afternoon against Ward, and his ventures forward had limited success.

Duffy (7); His injury will be far worse than the result. Commanded the back like well and held Assombalonga to minimal chances.

Dunk (5); Looked to try and play out from the back plenty of times, but got a really cheap booking and gave away the penalty at the end.

Rosenior (6); Good performance from the versatile defender. Handled Pereira well, with his only blemish being booked for dissent at the end of the game.

Knockaert (6); Tested Smith in the first half with a low shot, but his end product was missing when Albion needed it the most.

Stephens (6); Was at the centre of everything when Brighton had a spell of possession, but it didn’t last long and he was soon chasing the game.

Sidwell (6); Looked good in the first half when helping Rosenior with Pereira, but never got going in the second before being replaced by Norwood.

Murphy (6); Had a couple of promising situations, but it didn’t fall for the Scot and was replaced by March mid-way through the second half.

Baldock (6); Covered distances with his endless running, but not much went his way, and looked a frustrated figure when replaced.

Murray (6); Goal rightly disallowed for the use of a hand, but generally was shutout by the Forest defence.

Subs;

March (6); Had some good link up play with Rosenior and tested Smith with a long-range effort.

Hemed (5); Offered some energy, but was a real threat.

Norwood (6); Looked to try and release the front 2 at every occasion; set-pieces were very good as usual.

NFFC [3]-[0] BHAFC ; Clough (60)(90+8pen), Osbourn (89);

Att; 22,020 (1,919 Brighton)

MOTM; Sidwell

 

NFFC v BHAFC (4/3/17) | Match Preview

Brighton will look to bounce back from defeat on Tuesday, by claiming all 3 points when they travel to the Midlands to take on Nottingham Forest.

Nott’m Forest News;

Nott’m Forest will be without Michael Mancienne, Jack Hobbs Matt Mills, Hildeberto Pereira and Matt Fryatt, but hope both Chris Cohen and Armand Traore will be in contention to start after overcoming injuries. Forest drew 0-0 last time out with Wigan, their first point in 4 games after 3 straight defeats prior to the game. Britt Assombalonga is the top scorer for the Reds with 9 goals this term.

Form; W, W, L, L, L, D

FACT; Forest have made the most line-up changes in the Championship this season (114).

Brighton News;

Brighton will be without Seb Pocognoli after the defender was forced off in the 2-1 defeat against Newcastle, but hope Liam Rosenior will be fit enough to take his place at left-back. Gaetan Bong and Niki Maenpaa are closing in on a return, but won’t feature. Brighton lost top spot after their defeat against Newcastle on Tuesday; a Glenn Murray penalty was cancelled out by Mo Diame and Ayoze Perez goals. Murray has now scored 17 goals this season, and is the top scorer for the Seagulls.

Form; D, W, D, W, W, L

FACT; Brighton haven’t lost back to back league games since September, although it was directly after playing Newcastle.

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [3]-[0] NFFC (12/8/16);

Goals from Anthony Knockaert and a brace from Murray, meant that Brighton came away with their first win of the season

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 11 of the 36 meetings previous, while Forest have claimed victory 15 times. Albion are unbetaen in their last 6 visits to the City Ground, and have won the last 3 meetings between the sides.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, March;

Baldock, Hemed

Prediction;

Forest 0-2 Brighton

 

BHAFC v NUFC (28/2/17) | Match Review

Brighton fell to only their 2nd home defeat of the season, as Newcastle came from behind to re-claim top spot in the Championship. In a tense and frantic game, it was Newcastle who came out with the points, with Brighton having to go back to the drawing board, and re-group for their pivotal game on Saturday away at Nottingham Forest.

Albion created their first opening inside the first five minutes when Jamie Murphy whipped in an inviting cross towards Murray, but Paul Dummett got to the ball first. Skipper Bruno came close to a first goal of the campaign with a driven strike that forced Karl Darlow into a low save. Sam Baldock then latched onto a brilliantly worked free-kick, but Darlow palmed the ball away. The Seagulls were rewarded for their fast start when referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot after Glenn Murray was pulled back in the box by Ciaran Clark. Brighton’s top scorer made no mistake from the spot and sent Darlow the wrong way with his 17th goal of the season. However, the Seagulls were dealt a blow and forced into an early change, as Sebastien Pocognoli appeared to be struggling and was replaced by Fikayo Tomori. Matt Ritchie twice came close to scoring an equaliser, as his left-footed shot clipped the bar, before he lost his footing just as he was about to pull the trigger. The Magpies continued to carry a threat going forward, and Yoan Gouffran took advantage of a momentary lapse in the Albion defence but saw his shot saved by David Stockdale. The visitors raised their game after going behind and came close again through Christian Atsu, whose shot took a nick off Lewis Dunk before going wide. Dale Stephens was next to try his luck from distance after some brilliant work by Jamie Murphy, but his shot was met with a routine stop from Darlow. DeAndre Yedlin was lucky to avoid a straight red card when he sent Baldock tumbling, but Madley only brandished a yellow. Murray almost got his and Albion’s second with a brilliant volley inside the box that was parried away by Darlow. Newcastle’s movement was a constant threat and Stockdale made a fine reaction save to keep out Atsu’s shot in the last action of the half. Following a breathless first half, the second began in the same manner when Dummett made a brilliant goalline clearance to keep out Dunk’s rising header. Baldock then found Anthony Knockaert in space and the Frenchman cut inside before being denied by Darlow. Stockdale almost had a horrible moment when his short backpass went straight to Gouffran, but thankfully the Frenchman failed to take advantage. Following a spell of Albion possession on the edge of the Newcastle box, Murphy let fly from distance but his shot went way over the target. Rafael Benitez freshened up his forward line with the introduction of Daryl Murphy, who had an immediate impact with a towering header that was saved by Stockdale. Newcastle got the equaliser in the most fortuitous fashion possible, as a mis-hit shot from Atsu took the faintest of deflections off Diame and looped over Stockdale and Tomori into the net. Newcastle then grabbed the winner in the 89th minute when Ayoze Perez met Atsu’s cross with close-range finish, sending the visitors top of the table.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Made a couple of really good saves, but nothing he could of done for either of the goals.

Bruno (7); Almost blew the roof off when he’s volley went goalwards, before Darlow parried it away. Was good at the back, until Atsu switched sides which turned the game.

Duffy (7); Looked fierce in the air with Diame and made some good challenges too.

Dunk (7); So very close to scoring from a corner early into the second half; commanding as always, looked to have the beating of Gouffran for much of the evening.

Pocognoli (N/A); Left early through injury.

Knockaert (6); Always has the potential to cause problem; had a couple of shots saved by Darlow, but it was his defensive work which was more noticeable.

Stephens (7); A lot goes through him in midfield; composed on the ball against tough opposition and made some decent passes forward.

Sidwell (6); Got stuck in to challenges and won a fair amount of them. Was slightly wasteful with his passing.

Murphy (6); Looked lively against Yedlin, but soon filtered out when Newcastle were in the ascendancy.

Baldock (6); Hard graft again from him; plenty of running and will feel annoyed after Yedlin brought him down when near clean through on goal.

Murray (7); Held the ball up well when the ball came to him, but much of the evening was chasing the Magpies back four. Well-taken penalty to score his 17th of the season.

Subs;

Tomori (6); On early for Pocognoli; had a hard time early on but grew into the game well.

Kayal (N/A); On for the last few minutes to try and defend for the point.

March (N/A); Quick run-out to give Knockaert a rest.

BHAFC [1]-[2] NUFC ; Murray (14pen); Diame (81), Perez (89);

Att; 30,230

MOTM; Stephens