By Tim Hodges from The Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Barnsley 0
Albion barley got out of canter to see off Barnsley and move up to third place in the Championship.
Chris Hughton made whole sale changes from last Tuesday’s game, restoring the team that won at Burton.
Straight away the tempo looked faster, Tomer Hemed charging down a clearance from Barnsley keeper Adam Davies clearance.The forward then attempted an over head kick towards goal.
The match was very fast moving. Before fifteen minutes had passed Lewis Dunk misjudged a through ball and sythed down Adam Armstrong. Dunk was booked.
As Barnsley tentatively pressed forward, Gatean Bong from the by line the Albion penalty area, hit a long clearance which fell to Knockeart.
The French winger weaved his way throgh three Barnsley players, reminiscent of his move against Huddersfield. He then played a slide rule pass in the direction of Beram Kayal, who directed the ball into the path of Murray, who planted it in the bottom corner.
A superb team goal. One of the best ever seen at the Amex.
Murray had another go soon after, as he poked an easier chance wide of the post, from a Bong cross.
Bong had just previously picked a yellow card .Which means he will miss Ipswich away on Tuesday. His workrate will be missed.
Murray then charged down another Davies clearance, but the ball, this time, ran loose.
Barnsley had their chances also.
Adam Hammill tried his luck from distance. One effort fizzed just wide with David Stockdale looking beaten.
Hammill then fired in a cross that Sam Winnall placed inches wide with his head . But was flagged for offiside.
Then more Knockeart wizardry.
Receving a ball from Bruno. The little magician weaved through two Barnsley defenders and then sublimely wrong footed James Bree. Sadly his inviting cross was cleared before either Hemed or Murray could react .
Knockaert started on the left but switched with Jiri Skalak after about 10 minutes. A brilliant change.
Not to be outdone it was Skalak who delivered a great free kick for Albions second.
The most aptly named manager in English football. The incredibly Yorkshire themed Paul Heckingbottom, looked like he had sent his team out early for the second half . In the style of Alan Mullery when he wasn’t happy with the Albions performance in the 1970’s.
With Albion firmly in charge everyone wanted the ball.
It was Murray’s second brace of the season.
Dale Stephens provided him with a chance for hatrick. But his shot was deflected over.
Even Shane Duffy was having a go. His header from a Knockeart free kick looped just over.
Albion looked comfortable and very similar to their dominance of teams at this stage last season.
Bong and Bruno were able to get forward, though both looked cautious remembering they were on yellow cards
Barnsley reminded us they were there. As Armstrong headed just wide from a Marley Watkins cross .
Then Stockdale’s moment of the match. The keeper got down to his right to beat away Josh Scownen’s fierce drive.
Oliver Norwood, who replaced Kayal did well and kept Albion ticking over. Except for one wild shot, which troubled the north stand more than Davies.
Sam Baldock replaced Hemed and Steve Sidwell came on for Skalak. As Chris Hughton used the luxury of the Seagulls position to make changes.
Armstrong had another chance late on which Dunk cleared. But it was the Albion who had this won from the hour mark onwards.
Next up Ipswich at Portman Road next Tuesday (27th September)