Luke Chambers bravely heads Town in front at the AMEX but Hemed penalty leaves honours even
Luke Chambers’ third goal of the season earned Town a deserved point at promotion chasing Brighton.
The skipper bravely headed Blues in front early on but the Seagulls were level at the break thanks to Tomer Hemed’s penalty.
In a thrilling full throttle game, both sides could have won it with former Town loanee David Stockdale denying David McGoldrick with a brilliant save in the first-half and Bart Bialkowski matching his counterpart to deny Sam Baldock.
The bad news for Blues was a yellow card to Tom Lawrence that means he will miss the games with Leeds and Norwich.
Town made two changes to the side that won at Villa with Jordan Spence and Myles Kenlock retaining their places having replaced the injured duo of Steven Taylor and Christophe Berra at Villa Park.
Kenlock was yellow carded inside the first minute for a foul on Solly March. Dale Stephens headed over from the free-kick after the delivery had deceived Bialkowski.
Emyr Huws was forced off to have stitches in a cut head after a clash with Bruno, his Welsh team-mate Lawrence then winning a free-kick 35 yards out. The delivery was perfect and Chambers bravely got on the end of it to head Town in front on nine minutes before colliding with Stockdale.
The skipper received lengthy treatment as Blues’ defensive injury problems threatened to hit crisis point, before returning to action.
Bialkowski saved from Stephens as Brighton looked for an immediate response, Huws taking his place back in the fray, complete with bandaged head.
Lawrence and David McGoldrick linked up well, the Republic of Ireland international’s shot blocked by Lewis Dunk as Town continued to threaten.
Josh Emmanuel entered referee Roger East’s notebook for a foul on Hemed, Anthony Knockaert then weaving his way into the Town box before testing Bialkowski with a low drive to his right.
Brighton were level on 28 minutes though, Bruno judged to have been pulled back by Huws and Hemed kept his cool to score from the spot.
Lawrence and Chambers were booked in quick succession. Town were then presented with a great chance to edge in front when a cross fell to McGoldrick but Stockdale produced an excellent save from close range.
McGoldrick joined the growing list of bookings, Bruno then fizzing the ball across goal that just evaded the supporting Steve Sidwell to bring the first-half to a close.
Lawrence almost gave Town the perfect start to the second-half, leaving two defenders in his wake before Stockdale again came to the Seagulls’ rescue, his left foot keeping out the wideman’s strike.
Dunk was booked for a foul on Lawrence and from the free-kick, Chambers hit the post and then McGoldrick’s follow up deflected off Sidwell on to the top of the bar in a frantic passage of play.
Stephens ripped a shot wide for the Seagulls as the entertainment continued, March then appealing for a penalty after Spence looked to have caught the England U21 international.
Bialkowski did brilliantly again to keep out Baldock after Knockaert had put him in on goal, Glenn Murray replacing Hemed in the game’s first change. Jamie Murphy soon following for the hosts, March making way.
Jonathan Douglas replaced Toumani Diagouraga for the closing stages, Bialkowski holding firm to save from Murphy, then Shane Duffy became another name in the book.
Knockaert stabbed the ball wide after Murphy had raced at Town’s defence, Brighton making a final change with Chuba Akpom on for Baldock.
Huws was then denied after surging into the box, while at the other end Knudsen did brilliantly to cancel out Akpom.
Kieffer Moore and Freddie Sears replaced McGoldrick and Lawrence for the last five minutes, Murray firing wide of Town’s goal as both sides pressed for the winner.
Murray hit the inside of the post after brilliant work by the impressive Murphy but Town held on to take a fully warranted point.
Brighton: Stockdale, Bruno, Dunk, Stephens, Baldock (Akpom 80), Hemed (Murray 67), Knockaert, Pocognoli, Sidwell, March (Murphy 70), Duffy. Subs not used: Walton, Tomori, Kayal, Skalak. Booked: Dunk, Duffy.
Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Spence, Chambers, Knudsen, Kenlock, Ward, Huws, Diagouraga (Douglas 73), Lawrence (Sears 85), McGoldrick (Moore 85). Subs not used: Gerken, Digby, Bru, Pitman. Booked: Kenlock, Emmanuel, Lawrence, Chambers, McGoldrick, Huws.