WWFC v BHAFC (14/4/17) | Match Review

Brighton claimed another 3 points on their way to promotion, after Anthony Knockaert scored towards the end of both halves, as Albion moved one step closer towards the Premier League.

It was the hosts who created the first opportunity of the game after a quiet start, but Andreas Weimann blazed his effort wide of the target from just inside the penalty area. Tomer Hemed then came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock for Albion, but his effort came back off the crossbar after he had latched on to Knockaert’s perfectly-weighted through-ball. Hemed turned provider for his strike partner Glenn Murray soon after, but Albion’s top goalscorer sliced his half-volley wide from 20 yards. Wolves striker Ivan Cavaleiro then picked up the ball and found space to shoot from just outside the box, however Lewis Dunk was well positioned to intervene with a superb block in front of goal. Knockaert swung an inviting free-kick into the penalty area for the Seagulls, and after Hemed did well to glance his header on target, Wolves goalkeeper Andy Lonergan tipped over at full stretch. Solly March was next to try his luck after receiving a short corner from Knockaert, but the winger’s low-driven effort from 20 yards could only find the side netting. But the Seagulls found a breakthrough on the stroke of half-time and it was Knockaert, the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season, who latched onto David Stockdale’s long ball forward, cut inside and fired low into the bottom corner. Hemed had a chance to double Albion’s lead in first-half stoppage-time, but the forward’s left-footed strike flew over the crossbar after he had taken advantage of Danny Batth’s short clearance. Few chances were created inside the opening exchanges of the second-half, as Albion protected their narrow lead and showed patience in their attempts to add to the scoreline. Stockdale was called into action on the hour mark, as Conor Coady found space at the back post and directed his header on target, but Albion’s shot-stopper reacted well to parry the full-back’s firm effort. Ben Marshall drove into Albion’s penalty area and unleashed a powerful right-footed effort, but once again Stockdale was on hand to push the midfielder’s attempt away from danger. Wolves pushing their players further up the pitch in search of an equalising goal, Albion broke away and doubled their advantage in the 82nd minute, as Knockaert benefitted from Murray’s persistence, before slotting the ball home from close range. Hughton’s team had chances to break away and extend their lead further, but the scoreline remained 2-0 as the Seagulls move closer to promotion.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (8); Played his part in the win, with 2 big saves in the second half. Strong in the air too.

Bruno (8); A performance so good its probably gone unnoticed with Knockaert and Stephens performances; defended well and started the move for the second goal.

Hunemeier (7); A solid job against a hit and miss Wolves attacking line.

Dunk (8); A busy afternoon for the centre-half; lots of crosses to defend and got through good work.

Pocognoli (7); Not really exposed by Weimann, but did a decent job when attacking.

Knockaert (9); Another dazzling performance from the Player of the Year; got himself 2 goals and terrified both full-backs when interchanging with March.

Stephens (9); Lots of hard graft in a busy midfield; oozed control and composure throughout, and was at the heart of much of Brighton’s attacking play.

Sidwell (7); Kept his place in the starting XI, and was busy throughout with some good defensive work against an unorthodox front 4.

March (7); Interchanged with Knockaert from time to time, but had much of his joy down the left against Coady where he thrived.

Hemed (7); Came so close to opening the scoring when his effort crashed off the bar. Played a big part in the second goal.

Murray (7); An exhausting afternoon for the frontman; dragged defenders away and got the assist for the second.

Subs;

Murphy (7); On for the injured March, and won the 50/50 tackle which ended with Knockaert’s second goal.

Norwood(N/A); Replaced Hemed late on, and help see the game through.

WWFC [0]-[2] BHAFC; Knockaert (45), (82);

Att; 23,221 (2,787 Brighton)

MOTM; Knockaert

 

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