FOOTBALL: Brighton Seal First Home Victory of 2016

Brighton & Hove Albion won at home for the first time in 2016 and moved up to 3rd in the championship table after beating Huddersfield Town on Saturday

Anthony Knockaert shone on his home debut as he set up goals for Bobby Zamora and James Wilson either side of a Harry Bunn equaliser for the terriers.

Chris Hughton’s side were hoping to capitalise on last week’s win away at Blackburn, a first win in 8 for the Seagulls, by naming an unchanged side for the visit of Huddersfield Town.

It was the terriers, though, that made the better start. The Yorkshire team were on a 5 game unbeaten run and came close to scoring early on when former Albion player Joel Lynch beat keeper Stockade only to see Jamie Murphy clear off the line.

Murphy was again involved in the early action when his shot across the face of goal narrowly missed Zamora and Hemed.

A half of few chances came to life on the half hour mark when Kayal broke from a poor Huddersfield corner and fed Knockaert through on the half way line. The debutant bided his time and expertly dinked the ball through to Zamora, who finished past a helpless Steer.

Knockaert was soon involved again, as the Frenchman’s mazy run was finally cleared by Jason Davidson when he attempted to play in Zamora, with the Brighton faithful enraged the former Leicester and Standard Liege winger didn’t have a go himself.

Huddersfield’s top scorer Nahki Wells lashed his shot over the bar from close range in the closing stages of the first half, in what seemed to be the only good chance Huddersfield could muster. However, in the last action of the half, the terriers found an equaliser against the run of play, with Mark Bunn capitalising on poor marking from Brighton to connect to Tommy Smith’s cross.

The goal came before the wet zippy surface was working in Huddersfield’s favour, who played some eye catching moves in front of 25, 367 fans at the Amex.

A Knockaert free kick hit the post from range in the only notable opportunity before he again turned provider in the 66th minute to regain Brighton’s lead. The man of the match found James Wilson 6 yards out who managed to direct his header into the bottom right of a once again helpless Steer’s goal.

It was a day of indiscipline for the Terriers which got worse in the 83rd minute. Kazenga LuaLua, on as a substitute for the first time in over a month after injury, broke after Huddersfield were dispossessed easily and went 45 yards unchallenged until Smith bundled him down just outside the box, who rightly saw a second yellow for his troubles.

The resulting free kick didn’t trouble 10 man Huddersfield’s goal but the game was as good as over, with the West Yorkshire outfit doing nothing to provoke an unlikely late equaliser.

James Wilson did well in the closing stages to slow the game down and the Seagulls held on for an important three points.

The result moves Brighton up to third with fellow promotion contenders Burnley and Derby playing on Monday night, coupled with Middlesborough’s loss at home to Nottingham Forest.

Huddersfield remain 17th after their 5 game unbeaten run ended in East Sussex.

The Verse Staff

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