By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Huddersfield Town 0
Albion beat Huddersfield to move back into the Championship play-off places after a largely unconvincing display.
Jamie Murphy’s early miss looked like being the focal point of a poor match until Anthony Knockaert’s shot squirmed in via the glove of Danny Ward with ten minutes remaining.
It was Tomer Hemed who sent Jamie Murphy scurrying clear after eight minutes. But the Scot in a one-on-one with Ward probably had too much time to think and tried to lift his shot over the keeper. His effort was palmed away.
It was a very warm night at the Amex and the players had a couple of water breaks.
Rajiv Van La Parra was causing Albion some problems down the left. But Stockdale was commanding his area well although Albion’s keeper trod on the ball while in possession, which frankly could have gone anywhere, although he cleared it to Bruno Saltor successfully.
Beram Kayal produced some Albion attacking moves playing in what appeared to be a free role behind Hemed. Knockaert then fired a shot from 20 yards which screamed past Ward’s post and hit the stantion.
Huddersfield’s best chance of the half fell to Aaron Mooy, who shot into the side netting when well placed.
Albion appeared to be having problems down the left. Gaetan Bong didn’t look confident in himself – nor did Jamie Murphy. Bong’s first-half pass completion rate must have been very low.
As the second half started so Hemed pounced on an immediate chance. Many fans returning late from half time thought it was Glen Murray getting a shot away as their statutes are similar. But Hemed could only fire into the side netting.
Huddersfield tried to take control of the game and keep possession – a bit like Gus Poyet’s Albion team tried to. But not before Jiri Skalak’s backheel set Bruno up in the area. His shot was charged down.
Then a super Knockaert corner was headed wide by Lewis Dunk.
It was getting a little niggly as Chris Schindler piled into Skalak, then Dunk became involved in a shoving match with Elias Kachunga for which the Albion defender received a yellow card.
Knockaert was trying his best but again fired well wide and kicked the advertising panel on frustration.
Huddersfield still kept the ball well but did little with it as the game fizzled out.
The almost all or nothing Knockaert tried his luck from the edge of area. Ward got down to it but only managed to palm it into the net. Knockaert and the fans were delighted as Albion scored their first goal for 260 minutes.
Huddersfield tried to get forward to bag an equaliser but Stockdale did well to command his area and take crosses.
Steve Sidwell replaced Skalak as Albion attempted to tighten things up in midfield.
Then the moment of the match – Knockaert dragged the ball back across his heel and took out three Huddersfield players with one turn. Glenn Murray, on as a sub, couldn’t get his shot away.
Nahki Wells had the last chance for Town but Stockdale was equal to it.
This win lifted the whole club.
The Seagulls next take on another Albion, Burton, on Saturday 17 September and will want to build on this win.
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