Report: Huddersfield 1 Albion 1
Bruno’s first goal of the season was enough to send Brighton & Hove Albion back into the play-off places following a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town.
All eyes turn to Ipswich Town’s game at Watford on Saturday as Albion’s other play-off rivals, Bournemouth and Reading, both lost their Good Friday games, meaning the Seagulls leapfrogged the Royals into sixth place.
The hosts started the game brightly, with Leonardo Ulloa and Gordon Greer both having to be alert to clear away early set-pieces from Sean Scannell and Adam Hammill.
The Terriers took the lead in the sixth minute, when Oliver Norwood sent a thunderous free-kick past Tomasz Kuszczak to break the deadlock.
Albion gradually settled into the match playing some lovely passing football; as a slick move involving Keith Andrews, Kazenga LuaLua and Jesse Lingard resulted in Anthony Gerrard’s last-ditch clearance away from Ulloa.
The Seagulls also looked threatening from set-pieces and thought they had equalised after Ulloa headed in Dale Stephens’s corner, but the referee ruled out the goal for pushing in the area.
Ulloa was then involved in another free-flowing move with Solly March, Stephens and Ward, but the Irishman’s cross went over the bar.
Town conceded a number of free-kicks before the break, as Lewis Dunk was fouled by Adam Clayton and LuaLua fired the resulting free-kick straight at the Terriers’ wall.
Albion started the second-half slowly, as the home side created opportunities to double their advantage.
Kuszczak was forced to make two saves in quick succession from Hammill and Scannell from inside the box, before the latter was presented with another opportunity moments later only for the Albion shot-stopper to clear the danger.
Goal-scorer Norwood then came close to doubling the Terriers’ advantage from another set-piece, but Kuszczak just managed to parry his rasping shot to safety.
Oscar Garcia’s side attempted to regain a foothold in the game by bringing on Craig Mackail-Smith for LuaLua just past the hour-mark and the forward’s scurrying runs caused the Terriers defence a few problems.
The Scotland international also had a chance to level the score-line after latching onto March’s deep corner into the box, but his header hit the side-netting.
Stephens then had an opportunity to get Albion off the mark, but his in-swinging free-kick hit the roof of the net.
Albion looked like they were heading for a frustrating defeat until seven minutes from time, when Bruno took advantage of a rare slip-up in the Huddersfield defence before firing in off the post to earn a crucial point in the race for a top-six finish.