Brighton 0-1 Bristol City: Match Report

29 April 2017 07:34

Josh Brownhill postpones Brighton's title party

Promoted Brighton missed the chance to clinch the Sky Bet Championship title when a first-half goal from Josh Brownhill gave Bristol City a 1-0 victory at the Amex Stadium.

Newcastle's 2-0 win at Cardiff on Friday put them a point behind the Seagulls, and the title will be decided when Rafael Benitez's men entertain Barnsley while Brighton are visiting Aston Villa.

Chris Hughton's side were hoping to seal a fourth title in 16 years since returning to play in Brighton, but City produced a tremendous battling performance to guarantee safety with a fourth win in five.

A record Amex crowd of 30,338 were hoping to see Brighton equal a club record of 29 victories in a season but the Seagulls were well below their best.

Leading marksman Glenn Murray had an opportunity to give his side a dramatic early lead but put a right-footed shot wide after bringing the ball down on his chest when City failed to clear.

Albion keeper David Stockdale, who has kept 20 of the Seagulls' 21 clean sheets this season, was called into action when he punched clear a free-kick from Jamie Paterson in a quiet opening.

Tammy Abraham, City's top scorer with 23 league goals, was off target in the 17th minute when he put the ball wide at the far post with an attempted header following a cross by Paterson.

City had won only one of their previous 17 away league games stretching back to late September, and Marlon Pack headed an Abraham cross wide before Brighton's Czech international Jiri Skalak forced keeper Frank Fielding to make a low save from a 20-yard shot.

Skalak was one of five changes made by Albion boss Hughton following last Friday's 2-0 defeat at Norwich, and the recalled Gaetan Bong later crossed for Murray who put a downward header wide at the far post.

City shook their lofty opponents by breaking the deadlock two minutes before the interval when former Preston midfielder Brownhill scored his first goal of the season.

Brownhill rounded off a quick break with a lethal finish at the near post and beat Stockdale with a close-range header following a cross by Matty Taylor.

Hughton made his first change when Skalak gave way to Solly March, and German defender Uwe Huenemeier put a free header wide from 12 yards following a corner by the England Under-21 international.

Former Bristol Rovers striker Taylor should have doubled City's lead on 61 minutes when he wastefully shot wide from only three yards after Joe Bryan had headed on a cross by Paterson.

Seagulls striker Murray, who had scored in his previous five home games, had a close-range header cleared when French winger Anthony Knockaert played in a dangerous cross.

Brighton stepped up the pressure as the match wore on and Israel international Tomer Hemed was unable to get on the end of a fine cross from strike partner Murray.

Stockdale came to Albion's rescue on 85 minutes by diving to keep out a goal-bound shot from substitute Bobby Reid, before Murray had a late header saved.


Source: PA


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