Brighton & Hove Albion 1 West Ham United 0
By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Albion won their first Premier League game since August as Glenn Murray netted his ninety ninth goal for the club, although it was hard work , as a creative West Ham spurned a number of clear cut second half chances.
Bruno started at full back in place of Montoya, and looked to renew his previously successful partnership with Anthony Knockaert.
West Ham pressed Albion back early in the first half. Although they didn’t have a clear cut chance until Marko Arnautovic saw his rasping deflected off Murray’s thigh.
Ali Jahanbakash making his full Premier League debut for the Albion saw Lukaz Fabianski get down well to smother his shot.
Then Anthony Knockaert released Solly March , who was seemingly playing in a free role , but March got his angles wrong and fired well wide and over.
Beram Kayal, enjoying an extended run in the team , with Dale Stephens our injured , looked composed and energetic and it was he who made Albion’s goal.
Kayal took the wide course as he clipped in a cross , which appeared to get a flick from Jahanbakash, before falling nicely to Murray to side foot home and put the Seagulls in front.
Almost immediately Mark Noble took the game by the scruff of the neck and created a chance for Pedro Obiang, who fired over.
Just before half time Jahanbakash fired over from distance again
It was really backs against the wall for Albion for most of the second period.
The impressive Pablo Zabaleta was getting forward as much as possible for the visitors.
Arnautovic fired a free kick over from a good position , then from an Andiry Yarmolenko corner Fabian Balbuna headed wide , when it seemed much easier to score.
Albion couldn’t get possession often, but when they did, looked promising.
West Ham introduced Mikail Antonio and Robert Snodgrass to try and support Arnautovic up front.
Albion brought on Jose Izquierdo and Jurgen Locadia, it was the formers shot that Fabianski saved , but when Locadia following up the rebound was offiside.
West Ham has two more chances to score both spurned by Arnautovic; the first a free kick and then after Snodgrass and Antonio combined, skied his shot from just outside the six yard box.
Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy fresh from new contract deals looked solid and Izquierdo’s industry and skill has been missed.
Albion move to 12th in the Premier League and next play Newcastle United in October 20th.
But the night belonged to Murray yet another Premier League goal and Joint second top scorer in the League
Murray now goes joint second, in Albion’s all time scorer records. Behind Tommy Cook from the 1920’s (129) and is level with Kit Napier who played in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s
Murray will have to score 31 more times for Albion, to be the clubs all time top scorer.