By Tim Hodges
Swindon Town 3 Brighton & Hove Albion 0
Albion lost their first competitive match of the season, going down 3-0 to Swindon at the County Ground.
The Seagulls had all the play in early part of the match. New signing Bruno Saltor was getting forward well from left back, and Vicente Rodriguez was pulling all the strings in midfield.
But Albion just couldn’t find the killer instinct in front of goal despite numerous crosses being fired into the Swindon penalty area.
Wayne Bridge, making his Albion debut, went close inside the first 10 minutes. And then from a Vicente corner, Ashley Barnes hit the post.
Liam Bridcutt was an influential figure in Albion’s midfield as Swindon appeared to have very little to offer. The Seagulls, it seemed, were the more likely to open the scoring.
Just before half time Vicente found Barnes just inside the Swindon penalty area but his shot was well saved by Wes Foderingham.
Both teams emerged with the same 11 for the second half but it was a different scenario for Albion.
Within ten minutes of the restart former Albion midfielder Alan Navarro played a free kick via Tommy Miller to Paul Benson who slipped the ball past Albion keeper Tomasz Kuszczak to put Swindon in front.
Soon after Matt Richie went close for Swindon from distance, then Vicente forced another good save from Foderingham.
Just past the half hour Swindon went 2-0 up as Alan Navarro scored a dream debut goal against the club who controversially let him go in the summer.
Albion tried to muster a response but almost looked to have run out of ideas.
Navarro’s dream night was complete when his shot hit Albion substitute Inigo Calderon and was deflected past Kuszczak to put the Albion 3-0 down.
In truth it was far from Gus Poyet’s preferred starting 11. However, he would most certainly have not wanted to lose in such a manner, with so much of his available talent on the pitch.
Albion: Kuszczak; Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Bridge; Bridcutt, Harley, Dicker; Vicente , Noone, Barnes. Substitutes: Ankergren, El-Abd, Calderon, Painter, Agdestein, Oatway, Dickenson.
Swindon: Foderingham; Devera, Archibald-Henville, McCormack, McEveley; Ritchie, Navarro, Miller, De Vita; Williams, Benson. Substitutes: Bedwell, Flint, Rooney, Ferry, Risser, Thompson, Storey
Referee: Andy D’Urso (Essex)
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