By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Watford 2
Albion lost their final home game of the season to promotion-chasing Watford in a lunchtime kick-off at the Amex.
The Seagulls had chances to score early on with Chris O’Grady getting the ball stuck under his feet in the penalty area.
But it was Troy Deeney who put Watford in front after a mistake by Albion captain Gordon Greer and Greg Halford not clearing the ball effectively.
Albion took the game to Watford and Chris O’Grady forced a super save from Heurelho Gomes who tipped the ball around the post.
David Stockdale made a good save with his foot to foil Ikechi Anya before half time. Anya looked offside and was later replaced by Daniel Tozser.
Albion really tried to break the goal drought in the second half.
The Seagulls pressured Watford with Beram Kayal and Dale Stephens pulling the strings in midfield. Stephens had a great chance to put the Albion ahead but scuffed his shot, allowing Gomes to save.
Craig Mackail-Smith came on for Albion to a great reception but only had one chance to score.
The Seagulls pressed Watford as much as they could but were undone by a counter-attack.
Halford was struggling to cope with Tozser’s pace and he slotted the ball to Matej Vydra who steered it past Stockdale to make it 2-0 to Watford.
Before the end Adlene Guedioura clattered Lewis Dunk and escaped with a booking and Inigo Calerdon made a cameo appearance.
After the match ended Albion players completed a lap of appreciation to a less than half empty Amex Stadium.
Former Seagulls boss and club ambassador Alan Mullery told Brighton and Hove News that Albion’s problem was that they can’t score goals. But they were not far behind either Watford or Bournemouth in respect of other qualities.
Mullers also mused about the perfect combination of Bobby Zamora and Peter Ward, with the latter attending the match, and suggested that that partnership would provide instant promotion.
By 5pm Watford’s promotions to the Premier League was confirmed as Middlesbrough lost and both Derby and Norwich drew.
Millwall’s draw with Derby means that Albion are mathematically safe.
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