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Match Report


Posted Sat 25 Feb 12 at 17:44 PM


Town's winning run came to an end at the Amex Stadium, after losing 3-0 to Brighton.

Goals from Craig Mackail-Smith and a second-half brace from Ashley Barnes was enough for the Seagulls, although Michael Chopra did see a goal disallowed for Town midway through the second-half.

Paul Jewell named an unchanged side following the win over Cardiff last time out, although Ibrahima Sonko replaced Jack Ainsley on the bench after recovering from his dislocated rib.

Town started the game brightly and created the first opening, with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas cutting in from the right and firing in a shot that Brighton 'keeper Peter Brezovan did well to push away from danger after just two minutes.

The hosts did respond soon after and Arran Lee-Barrett did well to punch out a Mackail-Smith cross under pressure from his strike partner Barnes after eight minutes.

Despite an electric atmosphere inside the Amex Stadium, it was Town who were dominating the opening exchanges and Emmanuel-Thomas went close after 11 minutes, but his shot from a Chopra lay-off was well blocked by Gordon Greer just in front of goal.

Blues were knocking on the door and came close to breaking the deadlock after 14 minutes. Lee Martin capitalised on a weak back-pass before Brezovan scrambled the ball away, but with the 'keeper way off his line Chopra chipped goalwards only to see his effort headed off the line by Seagulls skipper Greer directly underneath the crossbar and somehow over for a corner.

Despite creating the better of the chances, Town went behind after 20 minutes. Will Buckley got the better of Aaron Cresswell before crossing for Mackail-Smith who coolly slotted past Lee-Barrett from eight yards.

Gus Poyet's side were coming more into the game, but it was Town who created the next real opportunity, with Martin squaring the ball off to Luke Hyam, but the midfielder's effort was easily held by Brezovan just before the half hour mark.

Buckley was looking lively for the hosts and he whipped a ball across the face of Lee-Barrett's goal after 31 minutes that Barnes just failed to connect with at the back-post.

Town did have a late flurry of chances towards the end of the first-half, with Martin particularly involved.

The midfielder saw Brezovan beat away his right-footed drive after 42 minutes after he linked up well with Chopra, before flashing just wide a minute later after again being played in by Chopra.

However Town couldn't find an equaliser and Paul Jewell's side went in behind at the break.Town started the second-half as they did the first and thought they had drew level three minutes after the restart.

Smith rose highest in the box to meet an Andy Drury corner before the ball fell to Chopra who swivelled and fired past Brezovan, only for the referee to adjudge the striker of handling the ball in the process.

But it was Brighton who scored the next goal and doubled their lead.

Liam Bridcutt played in Barnes who curled the ball past Lee-Barrett and into the far corner from the edge of the area after 65 minutes.

The hosts then went close a minute later, with Mackail-Smith beating the Town offside trap before crossing for Buckley who fired wide after turning Cresswell in the box.

Town continued to knock at the Brighton door in search of a goal and Emmanuel-Thomas flashed a ball across the goal after 70 minutes that both Chopra and Martin just failed to connect with before the ball went away from danger.

With five minutes remaining Carlos Edwards almost pulled a goal back after being sent through by Emmanuel-Thomas, but the stand in skipper's shot was blocked on the line by Greer before Brezovan gathered the loose ball.

But with just two minutes remaining the home side wrapped up the win, with Barnes grabbing his second and Brighton's third of the game, after beating Smith in the box before firing the ball past Lee-Barrett and into the net.

That was the way it stayed and Town's winning run came to an end, suffering defeat in their first visit to the Amex Stadium.

Brighton: Brezovan, Jara Reyes, Greer, El-Abd, Mattock, Razak (LuaLua 89), Bridcutt, Navarro, Buckley (Assulin 78), Mackail-Smith (Vokes 78), Barnes. Subs not used: Ankergren, Calderon.

Booked: Jara Reyes

Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Drury, Hyam (Leadbitter 64), Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Murphy (Scotland 71), Chopra. Subs not used: McCarthy, Sonko, Bullard.

Booked: Hyam, Chopra, Delaney

Att: 20, 490 (2, 429 Town fans)

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