Brighton & Hove Albion: Seagulls gunning for play-off place after Navarro strike

Posted On 11 Feb 2012 at 9:44 pm
By Tim Hodges

Leeds United 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2

The Albion have beaten Leeds at Elland Road for the first time since 1985.

They won with another last-minute strike, this time from midfielder Alan Navarro. It puts them almost  level with the teams in the play-off positions. Albion are currently eighth – and one point behind those in the top six.

There was very little between the teams in the first half although Kazenga LuaLua was causing the Leeds defence some significant problems.

The Spearhead

Leeds had a great shout for a penalty when Albion’s Adam El-Abd clattered into Ross McCormack but referee Graham Salisbury was unimpressed.

Luciano Becchio had a good chance for Leeds before half time but it was all square at the interval.

Craig Noone replaced Will Buckley at the start of the second half and soon got into some good positions.

Albion loan signing Joe Mattock made a brilliant intervention to deny Becchio then went storming through the Leeds defence at the other end, only to see his shot deflected away for a corner.

From the set piece Sam Vokes should have opened his Albion account but Lonergan saved his close-range shot.

Craig Mackail-Smith replaced Vokes soon after. Then ten minutes later LuaLua made way for Vicente Rodriguez.

And it was from a Vicente corner that Albion opened the scoring. Craig Mackail-Smith fired home from close range to score his first goal since November.

However, Albion’s collective delight was shortlived as Becchio guided a header past Peter Brezovan to restore parity at 1-1 less than two minutes later.

Albion continued to attack and the inspirational Vicente came into the game more and more although it seemed as if the Seagulls may just have run out of ideas.

Leeds, in the form of Becchio, Robert Snodgrass and full back Tom Lees, all had attempts to win the match for the home side.

But well inside the four minutes of injury time Vicente orchestrated a move which ended with Navarro scoring his first goal for the Seagulls in spectacular fashion.

Albion: Brezovan; Jara Reyes, Greer, El-Abd, Mattock; Bridcutt, Navarro, Buckley, LuaLua; Barnes, Vokes. Subs: Ankergren, Calderon, Vicente, Noone, Mackail-Smith.

Leeds: Lonergan; Smith, Lees, O’Dea, Pugh; Snodgrass, Delph, Clayton, White; Becchio, McCormack. Subs: Taylor, Bruce, Nunez, Brown, Townsend.

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)

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