Sam Baldock shows Bristol City what they are missing
Sam Baldock gave Bristol City a reminder of his finishing skills as Brighton rekindled their promotion challenge with a 4-0 Championship win at Ashton Gate.
The striker, who netted 25 times for the Robins in the 2013-14 season, was on target in the first half to help Chris Hughton's team quickly erase the memory of Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Cardiff City.
Jamie Murphy fired the visitors into an eighth minute lead, capitalising on a mistake by young defender Zak Vyner to burst into the box on the left and beat Richard O'Donnell with a precise low finish.
Baldock doubled the advantage on 21 minutes, playing neat one-two before taking the ball along the edge of the 18 yard line and finding the bottom corner with a fine right-footed shot.
The result was put beyond doubt on 56 minutes when Tomer Hamed toe-poked the third from close range, having got behind Vyner, who was having a difficult home debut.
And City's misery was completed when they failed to defend a 75th-minute corner. Substitute James Wilson was allowed a free header at the far post and the ball went in off defender Mark Little.
To make matters even worse the hosts missed an injury time penalty, substitute Kieran Agard blazing over after being fouled by Beram Kayal.
Brighton controlled the first half after grabbing the early lead and looked strong at the back, while posing a threat with some swift breaks.
Lee Tomlin had City's best moments. His 13th-minute free kick following a foul on Korey Smith was tipped over by David Stockdale.
Tomlin went close again two minutes later, latching onto Joe Bryan's head down and seeing his volley from 12 yards deflected over the crossbar.
But as the first period wore on City came up against a brick wall in a well-drilled Brighton defence and grew frustrated, as did their fans.
Tomlin shot just over from 30 yards as the home side attempted to start the second half at a high tempo.
Brighton had been forced into a change at the interval with Inigo Calderon replacing the injured Bruno at right-back.
After the third goal City refused to lie down. Stockdale saved spectacularly from a Jonathan Kodjia volley and dived this left to keep out a long range effort from Marlon Pack.
Vyner's difficult night ended when he was replaced by Little on 64 minutes, only for the replacement to suffer the indignity of an own goal.
Lee Johnson's first defeat as City head coach after starting his tenure with two wins could hardly have been more emphatic.
For Hughton it was the perfect response to the setback at Cardiff as, cheered on by a sizeable contingent of travelling fans, his team outplayed their hosts in all departments.