Report: Bristol City 0 Albion 0Bristol City held Albion to a goalless draw at Ashton Gate in a game where defences dominated.
Chances for both sides were at an absolute premium as neither keeper was truly tested throughout the 90 minutes.
However, with results elsewhere mainly falling in the Seagulls' favour, Gus Poyet's side remain in the play-off spots, two points clear of seventh-placed Nottingham Forest and with a game in hand on the majority of their rivals.
City midfielder Paul Anderson had the first strike of any threat on 19 minutes but his powerful drive was straight at Tomasz Kuszczak who comfortably dealt with it.
Brendan Moloney’s deflected shot dropped over the bar on 32 minutes for the hosts before Liam Kelly pulled a decent one-handed stop out of Kuszczak.
The Polish keeper could only beat the powerful strike up in the air but claimed the dropping ball; only to be bundled over the line by Jonathan Stead. With some sections of the home fans celebrating a goal, referee Darren Drysdale immediately awarded a foul against Stead.
Anderson nearly broke through in the 39th minute but was denied by an excellent last-ditch tackle by Matthew Upson, before the recalled Craig Mackail-Smith was withdrawn after going down awkwardly on the right wing; Leonardo Ulloa replacing the former Peterborough striker.
Kuszczak then had to be sharp to deny captain Marvin Elliott’s header in first-half stoppage time, but the sides went in equal after a rather low key first 45 minutes.
The second half carried on in similar fashion, with Albion still probing but unable to unlock the resolute City backline, while the home side thought they had found the breakthrough just before the hour mark.
Moloney’s low shot from distance took a wicked deflection off Adam El-Abd, but the ball dropped safely wide with Kuszczak wrong footed.
Albion nearly caught the hosts on the break a few minutes later with a ball over the top releasing Will Buckley. The winger then created space for a chipped ball in to Dean Hammond, but the heavy bounce off the surface mean the chance was lost as the Robins' defenders cleared the danger.
With 20 minutes remaining Albion grew in confidence and started to put pressure on City but clear-cut chances were still hard to come by for both sides.
It looked as if Ulloa had capitalised on a defensive lapse late on but City managed to hold up the striker and once again nullify the danger, as Albion played out a second goalless draw against a Sean O’Driscoll side this season.