Report: Albion 1 Doncaster 0Leo Ulloa’s second-half header ensured Albion returned to winning ways with a hard-fought victory over Doncaster Rovers.
In a fixture that is enriched with history this may not go down as one of the classics but the three points were happily received by the Seagulls' faithful.
The visitors immediately had Albion on the back foot, but their ascendancy didn’t last long as Albion started to assert themselves. Andrea Orlandi’s delivery from wide was threatening although it was Stephen Ward's cross that presented Leo Ulloa with a sight of goal, but the Argentinian’s header dropped wide.
The game entered a lull but Oscar’s men were still the more likely to score, and the moment may have arrived on 29 minutes if Solly March’s cut-back hadn’t evaded everyone. The winger himself then came close to breaking the deadlock when he narrowly missed Stephen Ward’s teasing low ball across the face of goal.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, Rovers nearly snatched a lead on 55 minutes. The dangerous James Coppinger providing the cross only for an unmarked Billy Sharp, who scored the first ever goal at the Amex, to head wide.
Coppinger then tried his luck firing first-time down the throat of Tomasz Kuszczak while Albion responded by adding Kazenga LuaLua into the mix. The winger trying his luck within seconds of his arrival but his first-time strike only found the South Stand before Ulloa headed over from David Rodriguez’s cross.
Both sides were now seeing sights of goal with Marky Duffy drilling over for the visitors and Sam Johnstone having to beat away Rodriguez’s near-post drive after some good work from March.
Paul Dickov’s men had defended resolutely but it seemed they had been undone by Ulloa in the 73rd minute. LuaLua picked out Ulloa with a low cross, however for a second week running the Argentinian saw his effort ruled out for offside.
But despite his double denial from linesmen, the South American finally found the net in legitimate circumstances when Ward’s excellent ball from the left was powerfully headed home.
Abdoulaye Meite’s brilliant last-ditch tackle on LuaLua stopped the Seagulls from make it two in two minutes while another Ward cross caused problems as Johnstone punched clear.
Sharp may have scored the first goal at the Amex but the stadium won’t hold the fondest of memories for him. Having broken his leg on his previous visit with Rovers, this time the forward left the field early after being dismissed for an off-the-ball clash with Gordon Greer.
A man to the good with time running out, Albion almost extended their lead through a stunning strike by David Lopez, who flashed an effort just wide, but it mattered little as the Seagulls claimed a third straight home win.