Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Huddersfield Town 1
By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Albion won their first game at the Amex since Saturday 5 December as they overcame a resolute and hard-working Huddersfield Town.
Anthony Knockaert and Liam Ridgewell made thier Amex debuts but it was the Terriers who almost struck first as Jamie Murphy cleared Nhaki Wells header off the line.
The Seagulls winger then had Albion’s first clear-cut chance as his cross shot went past Town keeper Jed Steer but also the far post.
Knockaert was Albion’s main outlet as he scampered down the left wing although at times he appeared to leave Bruno Saltor a little exposed.
Albion’s first goal came just before the half hour. Zamora headed clear from a corner, Beram Kayal raced forward to slide the ball to Knockeart as the Frenchman cut inside, Zamora had angled a run wide of his marker and met Knockeart’s cross with a crisp volley to put Albion in front.
It was Zamora’s seventh of the season and his first at the southern end of the stadium since his return.
Soon after, Knockeart ploughed through the middle of the Town defence but his pass just caught Zamora offside.
There was little other notable action in the first half, except Brighton-born Joel Lynch grabbing Zamora by the neck as Albion launched unsuccessful attacks.
Then just before half time, as Huddersfield knocked the ball around in a prolonged period of possession, Jamie Paterson fired in a harmless-looking cross which the diminutive Harry Bunn rose above Lewis Dunk and Conner Goldson to head past Stockdale.
Parity restored by the son of Frankie, who scored six in a league cup tie for Oldham back in 1989.
Andrew Crofts replaced the injured Dale Stephens as the second half began.
The Seagulls took the game to Huddersfield but a patchy pitch was not helping their flow.
Just after the hour James Wilson replaced Zamora who had appeared to have run out of puff.
Albion almost looked like they were playing a 4-2-4 for a while as Crofts and Knockaert pushed forward. Knockaert seized on a loose ball and angled a cross which Wilson expertly directed past Steer and put Albion back in front.
Kazenga LuaLua continued his comeback as he replaced the largely ineffectual Hemed. This gave Albion another outlet as he and Ridgewell combined well.
Before the end Tommy Smith received his marching orders for a second yellow after he chopped down LuaLua in full flow, Kayal and Crofts had potshots and the visitors stuck Brighton-born and ex-Albion centre half Joel Lynch up front. But the Seagulls held on to win and move back up to third.
After the match Sky Sports pundit and ex-Liverpool and England star Paul Walsh told Brighton and Hove News that “Albion’s confidence had been fragile but they had appeared to overcome that” and that for him “Knockeart was the stand-out player”.
Albion now have a break until the home match with Brentford on Friday 5 February.