By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Cardiff City 1
The Seagulls shared the spoils with the Bluebirds in Falmer this evening (Tuesday 30 September).
A superb Bruno Saltor chip gave Albion the lead after 20 minutes. But Cardiff were level a minute later. Kenwyne Jones headed into an empty goal after David Stockdale was left stranded as he failed to claim the ball on the edge of the area.
Cardiff keeper David Marshall made several world-class saves, three of those from Albion’s Aston Villa loanee Joe Bennett.
Another Villa loanee, Gary Gardner, on his first Albion start, also tested the Cardiff keeper, who was equal to his fierce shot.
Craig Mackail-Smith again went off injured. This time a hamstring problem looked the likely cause.
Chris O’Grady, already this season’s forgotten man, replaced him and held the ball up well.
Referee Neil Swarbrick mistook Gordon Greer for Jake Forster-Caskey, after the latter fouled ex-Albion favourite Craig Noone but the sometime Premier League referee rectified his mistake.
Stockdale redeemed himself after Lewis Dunk misjudged a header and Jones spied a second goal, the Albion keeper making a starfish-like save.
Apparently 23,712 people were scattered around an empty-looking Amex.
Right at the end Bruno Ecuele Manga upended Kazenga LuaLua but Mr Swarbrick shook his head as no fewer than five Albion players including Bruno, Greer and LuaLua himself screamed for a penalty. In the kerfuffule Gardner shot narrowly wide. Afterwards LuaLua was booked.
Albion have had more than 70 shots at goal in the past three home games, with 20 of those on target but producing just three goals. The last three goals at home have been scored by defenders (Dunk and Bruno).
Three different centre forward’s have started, all under 6ft tall – Adrain Colunga, Sam Baldock and Craig Mackail-Smith.
Most worryingly Albion failed to win a league game in September.
Former Albion defender Guy Butters told Brighton and Hove News: “The Albion had enough chances but their keeper has made a few worldy’s.”
Next up for Albion: Watford away on Saturday (4 October).
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