By Tim Hodges
Burnley 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 0
The Albion will drop out of the play-off places within 24 hours after losing a scrappy game away at Burnley this afternoon (Friday 6 April).
Former Swindon striker Charlie Austin calmly rounded Peter Brezovan to give the Clarets the lead just before the half hour.
Austin’s original shot rebounded back to him off Seagulls skipper Gordon Greer as the Albion defence tried to back-pedal to avert the danger, but to no avail.
The Seagulls had numerous chances to pull level, these most notably falling to Craig Mackail-Smith and Alan Navarro.
Mackail-Smith shot wide from a good position, this after great work by Vicente Rodriguez. Then towards the end Navarro lacked power in a header from close range.
Vicente himself was an enigma. Providing the ammunition for most of Albion’s best moments, he also saw a 35-yard effort go just over the bar.
However, the former Spanish international appeared to go missing in the last 20 minutes and failed to make an impact late on in the game. Albion would have benefited from his trademark surging runs through the opposition defence.
Off the pitch it appeared that the Seagulls boss Gus Poyet left the bench and technical area a few minutes before the referee Carl Boyeson blew the final whistle.
Poyet may have been exasperated by Burnley’s negative style and overzealous physical in approach in the latter stages.
One bright note for Albion was the return of Irish midfielder Gary Dicker, who came through the 90 minutes successfully, his first since breaking a leg in mid October.
The Seagulls take on current Championship pacesetters Reading at the Amex on Tuesday evening (10 April) in what may now be seen as a must-win match.
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