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27 September 2016

Town edge the chances but Seagulls hold firm

Town edged what chances there were against high-flying Brighton but couldn’t find a way to goal. 

Cole Skuse tested former Blues’ loanee David Stockdale with a stringing drive and Jonas Knudsen went close, while at the other end Bart Bialkowski was hardly tested. 

Brighton finished the game with 10 men after Dale Stephens picked up a second booking but the Seagulls held on over closing stages to take a point. 

Town made three changes to the side that went down at Leeds on Saturday, with Leon Best coming in for his first start for Blues, Josh Emmanuel and Kevin Bru the others in from kick-off. 

Luke Chambers had to be alert to cancel out the threat of Tomer Hemed, then Glenn Murray sent an ambitious volley from 30 yards over the bar. 

Jonathan Douglas had the ball in the net just before the quarter hour after Emmanuel’s shot had fallen into his path but the offside flag was raised. 

Stockdale had to show a good touch to volley clear as Tom Lawrence closed him down, the Brighton ‘keeper then off his line to claim a cross as Best threatened. 

Emmanuel cleared from Jiri Skalak, Chambers held firm as Murray tried to get on the end of a cross as the first 30 minutes passed by with both defences in charge. 

Knudsen sent a 35 yarder high and wide, then Skuse tested Stockdale with a low drive after Blues had camped around the Brighton box.

Knudsen smashed a left footer into the sidenetting as Town finished the half the more likely to end the deadlock. 

Douglas did well to get his head on the ball from Knudsen’s cross after Lawrence had been prominent in the move, Anthony Knockeart shooting over after a Brighton break at the other end. 

Freddie Sears replaced Best on the hour, Shane Duffy then lashing the ball over from 15 yards for the visitors after Town failed to clear a corner.

Stockdale gathered from Douglas as he got on the end of Emmanuel’s cross before Town made a second change with Conor Grant on for Bru. 

Brighton shuffled their pack as well with Steve Sidwell and Jamie Murphy on for Hemed and Skalak, Murphy immediately driving a shot just wide.

Stockdale tested Bart Bialkowski with a free-kick from just inside his own half, Stephens sending a left foot volley wide.

Teddy Bishop replaced Grant Ward for the closing stages before Stephens saw red after getting a second booking for a foul on Douglas eight minutes from time but. Blues couldn’t make the extra man pay.  

Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers, Berra, Skuse, Best (Sears 61), Bru (Grant 65), Ward (Bishop 78), Douglas, Lawrence, Emmanuel. Subs not used: Gerken, Kenlock, Digby, Dozzell. Booked: Lawrence, Chambers, Douglas, Emmanuel. 

Brighton: Stockdale, Bruno, Dunk, Stephens, Skalak (Murphy 71), Hemed (Sidwell 71), Knockaert, Pocognoli, Murray, Norwood, Duffy. Subs not used: Maenpaa, Baldock, Goldson, Manu, Hunt. Sent-off: Stephens. Booked: Norwood, Stephens, Murray.
Att: 15,228


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