Brighton edged Huddersfield in what turned out to be a relatively tight affair.
Jamie Murphy was sent clean through by Tomer Hemed in the 8th minute. The Scotsman missed the one-on-one effort however, thus not giving Brighton the early lead.
Both teams struggled to break each other down in what was turning out to be a fairly conservative match. Long range efforts from Beram Kayal and former Albion loanee, Rajiv Van La Parra, were close to finding the net.
Brighton had the clearer chances out of both sides. However it was in the 80th minute where the deadlock would be broken. A powerful run along the edge of the box from Jamie Murphy excited Brighton fans, however the subsequent shot from Glenn Murray was blocked by the Terriers defence. Hope was not lost, the rebound was picked up by Murphy who slid the ball to Anthony Knockaert, the winger took a speculative low-driven shot towards the goal. It looked like an easy save for Huddersfield goalkeeper, Danny Ward. However, as he blocked the shot, the ball rolled out of his arms and into the back of the net. An extremely fortuitous goal for the Albion however probably a deserved one from Brighton’s control on the game.
Our Man of the Match
Lewis Dunk. The amount of times he recovered Gaetan Bong’s mistakes was incredible. His maturity, inch-perfect tackling, direct running, and beautiful long range passes to wide areas helped stretch the play and start attacks for Brighton. It is great to see him becoming such an important figure within our team. Personally, I think he should be next in line for the captain’s armband.
Stockdale – 6 – Improved since the Brentford game. Made some solid saves throughout the match.
Bruno – 6 – Helped stretch the play effectively and another player who improved since the Brentford match.
Dunk – 9 – Didn’t put a foot wrong all game. Deserved Man of the Match.
Duffy – 6 – He was solid alongside Dunk and won pretty much every header. I just worry about his definite lack of pace.
Bong – 4 – Wasn’t at the races today (and hasn’t been for a number of weeks) – Looks sluggish and gives the ball away too often. Maybe a spell out of the side would help recapture his form.
Kayal – 7 – Solid Kayal-esque performance. Did what expected!
Stephens – 7 – Put his head down and worked hard which is nice to see after the recent transfer fiasco. His partnership with Kayal is looking formidable as always.
Murphy – 6 – Missed a sitter early on and went missing for parts of the game. However did get an assist for Knockaert’s goal. Average performance.
Knockaert – 7 – Wasn’t his usual menacing self in the centre of the park and looked to get crowded out by the Huddersfield players. Went out wide in the latter stages of the game and scored a goal. Decent performance.
Skalak – 5 – Didn’t do much tonight and lacked that extra yard of pace when he did have the ball.
Hemed – 7 – I was very impressed with his hold up play in the first half. He was an effective target man and seemed to win every header. Went missing in the second half sometimes.
Overall, it wasn’t one of Brighton’s best performances. They had 15 shots but only managed to get 3 of those on target. The Albion were solid defensively, they didn’t allow Huddersfield the opportunity to get a decent chance in the box. In the end, its a big statement of intent to beat the early league leaders and has reignited the faith of many fans for the season ahead. Onwards and upwards!
Article by George Carden.