QPRFC v BHAFC (7/4/17) | Match Preview

Brighton will be looking to return to the top of the table with a victory in London on Friday night; they face a QPR side who have been on the up since the last encounter back in December.

QPR News;

QPR will be without Jordan Cousins, but could welcome back Jack Robinson, otherwise its no new injury concerns for Ian Holloway. QPR lost 1-0 last time out to Aston Villa, thanks to an early goal from Jonathan Kodija. Idrissa Sylla is the leading scorer for the R’s with 8 goals this term.

Form; W, W, D, W, L, L

FACT; QPR haven’t kept a clean sheet at home since the 1-0 win over Bristol City back in October.

Brighton News;

Brighton are without Sam Baldock for the 3rd game in a row, as he recovers from a flute injury, but Lewis Dunk is available after he had to be subbed in Tuesday’s win with a sickness bug. The Seagulls won 3-1 in that game against Birmingham, thanks to goals from Glenn Murray, Tomer Hemed and Uwe Hunemeier, with Che Adams grabbing a consolation goal for the visitors. Murray now had 20 goals this season; the first time an Albion player has reached the landmark since Murray did it himself back in 2010/11.

Form; L, W, W, L, W, W

FACT; Brighton are unbeaten in their last 7 Championship games contested on a Friday (6W, 1D).

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [3]-[0] QPRFC (27/12/16);

Brighton coasted to a comfortable 3-0 victory thanks to goals from Baldock, Murray and Anthony Knockaert.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 31 of the 78 meetings between the 2, with QPR winning 30. Brighton are unbeaten in the last 8 games against QPR (4W, 4D), and have kept 6 clean sheets during that period and scored 13 times.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Rosenior;

Knockaert, Stephens, Sidwell, Skalak;

Murray, Hemed;

Prediction;

QPR 1-2 Brighton

 

BHAFC v BCFC (4/4/17) | Match Review

Brighton climbed back to the top of the table, after beating Birmingham 3-1 at The AMEX. Goals from Glenn Murray, Tomer Hemed and Uwe Hunemeier.

Brighton were 1-0 up in a matter of minutes; some superb link-up play involving Anthony Knockaert and Bruno laid the ball on a plate for Albion’s leading marksman, whose first-time finish beat Tomasz Kuszczak for his 20th goal of the season. Blues came within inches of levelling the scores just five minutes later, but captain Craig Gardner’s free-kick cannoned off the crossbar with David Stockdale rooted to his line. Gardner then tested Albion with another set-piece, but Stockdale made a save down low to his right-hand side. The visitors were undeterred by the early setback, as two shots by Clayton Donaldson were blocked by Lewis Dunk and Hunemeier. The Seagulls were dealt a blow with half an hour gone, however, as Dunk was forced off due to a sickness bug and was replaced at centre-back by Fikayo Tomori. Albion worked an opening shortly after the re-start when Solly March whipped in a perfectly-weighted cross towards Hemed, whose header was blocked. Knockaert then saw his follow-up strike blocked. Albion doubled their advantage when Murray headed Bruno’s cross towards the far post and Hemed was on hand to nod the ball home with 48 minutes on the clock. The lead was made more emphatic just five minutes later thanks to Hunemeier’s first Albion goal – his volley taking a deflection off Donaldson to beat Kuszczak in the Birmingham goal. The German could have doubled his tally soon after with a glancing header from the corner that just beat the far post. But just as Albion were heading for yet another clean sheet, Adams grabbed a consolation when his close-range shot deflected past Stockdale in the 85th minute to end a swift counter-attack for the visitors. Blues substitute Maikel Kieftenbeld also tried his luck from distance in the closing stages, but Stockdale made a comfortable save and the game finished 3-1 to the Seagulls.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (7); Not an awful lot of work for this to do, will be dissapointed not to have kept another clean sheet, but will be thankful that Gardner’s free-kick crashed off the bar in the first half.

Bruno (8); Defensively sound, and was a menace in attack, creating the opening goal and playing a hand in the 2nd.

Hunemeier (8); Caught out by Donaldson a couple times, but was generally on top of him throughout the game; rewarded with his first goal for the club.

Dunk (6); Made a vital block from Donaldson, before going off with sickness.

Bong (7); A surprise inclusion with the full-backs being rotated, but coped well and had some bright ideas with March in front of him.

Knockaert (8); Played a part in all 3 goals; but his judgement of passing was generally off, although he made up for it with a top work-rate.

Stephens (7); Had his work cut-out against a stern 3 man Birmingham midfield, but seemed to cope well enough.

Kayal (7); Like Stephens he had his work cut out; more of a defensive night for the Israeli.

March (7); Might of had a penalty in the first half, but his movement was superb and was a threat throughout.

Murray (8); Scored his 20th of the season, and looked like he would bag a few more; work-rate was class once again.

Hemed (8); A very quiet first half soon sprung into life in the second with his 11th of the season.

Subs;

Tomori (7); Played a majority of the game after replacing Dunk, and looked comfortable in his usual position of centre-back.

Murphy (6); Replacement for Knockaert, and but didn’t affect the game too much.

Norwood (N/A); Replaced Stephens and looked to shine with a string of fancy and long range passes.

BHAFC [3]-[1] BCFC; Murray (2), Hemed (48), Hunemeier (53); Adams (85);

Att; 28,654

MOTM; Hunemeier

 

BHAFC v BCFC (4/4/17) | Match Preview

Brighton can take a giant step towards the Premier League with a victory on Tuesday night; they take on a deteriorating Birmingham side who’s play-off ambitions have turned into relegation survival.

Birmingham News;

Birmingham have Michael Morrison and David Davis both missing, but have no other injury concerns. Birmingham came away with a point on Saturday as they drew 1-1 with Ipswich; goals from Johnathan Grounds and Grant Ward help share the points. Lukas Jutkiewicz is the leading scorer for the Blues with 11 goals.

Form; W, L, L, D, D, D

FACT; Birmingham have lost 10 games since Giafranco Zola took charge; only Rotherham have lost more games (15).

Brighton News;

Brighton could feature captain Bruno int he matchday squad, after he sat out Saturday’s game while Sam Baldock is still missing as he recovers from injury. Brighton won last time out with a 1-0 victory against Blackburn, thanks to a Glenn Murray strike. Murray is the leading scorer with 19 goals this term, and is on course to be the first 20 goal player since he did it back in 2011.

Form; L, L, W, W, L, W

FACT;  Brighton have recorded 12 home clean sheets this season, their highest tally in a season since 2003-04.

Last Time We Met: BCFC [1]-[2] BHAFC (17/12/16);

Brighton scored deep into injury time to snatch all 3 points; Murray heading home a 94th minute corner after Anthony Knockaert cancelled out Jutkiewicz’s opener.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 12 of the 31 game played between the 2 sides, with the Blues claiming victory 10 times. Brighton have won 5 of the previous 6, and have won the last 3 all by a 2-1 scoreline.

Likely Line-Up;

Stockdale;

Rosenior, Hunemeier, Dunk, Pocognoli;

Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, March;

Murray, Hemed;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-1 Birmingham

 

BHAFC v BRFC (1/4/17) | Match Review

Brighton moved a step closer to the promise land, after a huge victory against Blackburn, while rivals Huddersfield slipped up at home to Burton Albion. It was a less than convincing victory, but they don’t need to be entertaining, just as long as the 3 points are claimed after each match.

Lewis Dunk had Albion’s first opportunity of the game with a dipping set-piece from a central position that was kept out by Jason Steele. Anthony Knockaert then worked his magic after weaving in off the right flank to find Uwe Huenemier, but the German’s effort was deflected behind by Charlie Mulgrew. Dunk was again denied by Steele at his near post, before Huenemeier headed wide from the subsequent corner. Rovers barely threatened inside the opening 30 minutes, but did come close to breaking the deadlock through Lucas Joao, who ended some slick Blackburn build-up play with a volley that went wide. Glenn Murray forced a save from Steele with a low driven effort to the bottom corner, before the Seagulls were tested with two dangerous corners from the visitors. Huenemeier was called into action to block a shot from inside the box, before Stockdale tipped the second set-piece away from goal. Former Seagulls winger Elliott Bennett then got the better of Liam Rosenior on the left flank, but Jason Lowe ended the move with a deflected strike that was saved by Stockdale. In an eventful end to the first half, Beram Kayal saw his cross-shot parried away into the path of Jiri Skalak, who forced Steele into another save. Hughton freshened up his attack just shy of the hour mark, when Solly March and Tomer Hemed replaced Skalak and Chuba Akpom. The deadlock was then broken thanks to Murray, who took a touch before coolly slotting home from close range following some brilliant link-up play between Rosenior and Knockaert. After firing home his 19th goal of the season, Murray almost got number 20 moments later, but was denied by Steele. March also came close to setting up a second Albion goal, but Hemed slid his effort wide, ending a brilliant move. The hosts rode their luck just moments later though when Mulgrew saw his attempt go inches wide via a deflection, after a corner was only half cleared, but the Seagulls held on for three more crucial points.

Line-Up;

Stockdale (6); Rarely tested throughout the game, on his way to another clean sheet. Only scare was during injury time from Mulgrew’s effort.

Rosenior (7); Looked solid against tricky opponent Bennett, but slightly lacking in attack.

Hunemeier (8); Has been a revelation since his includement after Duffy’s injury, and another stand-out performance; hard luck losing out on Man of the Match.

Dunk (7); Another big performance in a tough game; handled Joao quite well but a much different challenge when Gallagher came on.

Pocognoli (7); Back involved for the first time in over a month, and continued where he left off.

Knockaert (7); Blackburn knew he was the main threat, and snuffed out anything that involved him, but game opened up to him during the second half, and his header provided the goal.

Stephens (7); Lot’s of good work in midfield; defensively and offensively.

Kayal (7); In the squad despite tonsillitis, and never looked like it affected him with a solid performance.

Skalak (6); Lacked the attacking intent he had been producing in recent matches, and subbed off 10 minutes into the second half.

Akpom (4); DIdn’t have a great game; lacked movement and ideas, disposed regularly and passes went astray, although the booing was harsh and uncalled for.

Murray (7); Pops up with yet another match winner, taking his tally to 19 for the season. Another big performance from him when his attacking partner was out of the game.

Subs;

Hemed (6); Immediate impact as soon as he was introduced.

March (6); Like Hemed, he changed the complexion of the game when introduced.

Murphy (N/A); Last minute sub to give Knockaert a breather.

BHAFC [1]-[0] BRFC; Murray (67);

Att; 30,216

MOTM; Hunemeier

 

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

 

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