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2 October 2012

Town leave the south coast with a share of the spoils

Town earned a second successive away point, after holding Brighton to a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

Daryl Murphy headed Blues in front midway through the first-half, before Will Buckley salvaged a point for the Seagulls with 11 minutes remaining.

Paul Jewell made two changes to the side that drew with Barnsley, with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Michael Chopra replacing Luke Hyam and Jason Scotland in the starting line-up.

The game started at a frantic pace and the home side could have taken the lead inside the opening 60 seconds, as a lovely flowing move saw the ball eventually worked into the path of Kazenga LuaLua but the midfielder dragged his shot wide.

Almost immediately Town went close themselves, with Emmanuel-Thomas testing Tomsz Kuszczak with a low drive that the Brighton stopper did well to hold on to.

Stephen Dobbie was linking the play well and the Seagulls striker forced Scott Loach into a save after nine minutes, that the Town ‘keeper did well to turn away.

Two minutes later and Blues had a great chance to go in front, as Murphy got in front of Inigo Calderon at the back-post but flashed his header back across Kuszczak and wide of the target.

Loach had to be at his very best to tip over an Andrea Orlandi free-kick after 20 minutes, with the former Swansea man’s effort curling towards the top corner.

But six minutes later Town broke the deadlock. A superb cross to the back-post from skipper Carlos Edwards landed straight on the head of Murphy, who made no mistake in planting his header beyond Kuszczak and into the bottom corner.

And Blues almost doubled their lead after 32 minutes, but Chopra was just unable to connect with Emmanuel-Thomas’ teasing centre which skidded across the face of goal.

That was the way it stayed as Blues went in one goal to the good at half-time.

Town were quick out of the blocks in the second-half too and Murphy twice went close to adding to his earlier strike inside the first minute, first seeing a shot turned behind by Kuszczak before then heading over from the resulting corner.

Town’s goalscorer was then involved in another attack, beating Calderon before crossing to the back-post for Andy Drury, but the midfielder could only head over.

The home side did go close to drawing level after 52 minutes though, as Dobbie’s effort deflected off Danny Higginbotham towards the top corner but fortunately for Town the ball fell just the wrong side of the post and behind for a corner.

20 minutes later and Town went close again, with Emmanuel-Thomas unfortunate to see a rasping drive fly over the top.

But the hosts were next to threaten and they soon drew level. A scramble in the penalty area saw the ball find its way to the back-post where Buckley was waiting to tap home from two yards out.

Blues were still pressing for a winner though and a neat pass from the impressive Edwards allowed Jason Scotland enough space to fire in a shot, which Kuszczak pushed away, but Murphy was unable to get on the end of the rebound with four minutes left on the clock.

That was the way it stayed though, as neither side could find a winner and Blues left the south coast with a share of the spoils.

Brighton: Kuszczak, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Orlandi (Lopez 76), Bridcutt, Hammond (Dicker 61), LuaLua (Buckley 61), Dobbie, Barnes. Subs not used: Ankergren, Dunk, Harley, Painter.

Booked: Hammond, Bridcutt, El-Abd

Town: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Drury, N’Daw, Murphy, Emmanuel-Thomas (Carson 83), Martin, Chopra (Scotland 63). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Smith, Ainsley, Luongo, Ellington.


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