Brighton & Hove Albion recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory over League Two Crawley Town at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Chris Hughton’s men were on the front foot from the first whistle; Liam Rosenior drilling a ball across the box into the path of Tomer Hemed, only for the Crawley defence to clear the danger.
Kazenga LuaLua was next to trouble the Reds' backline, showing some neat footwork on the edge of the box. He then threaded a pass into the path of Sam Baldock, but the striker blazed his shot wide of the right-hand post.
The Seagulls did break the deadlock just past the quarter-hour mark when Dale Stephens met Rosenior’s cross into the box with a sublime acrobatic effort which beat the helpless Callum Preston in the Crawley goal.
Stephens could have scored Albion’s second just moments later with another close-range strike, but on this occasion he stretched to meet Bruno’s cross and fired over the crossbar.
However, the visitors did have a second after 23 minutes as LuaLua’s deflected free-kick was pushed by Preston into the path of Hemed, who made no mistake in tucking the ball home.
The Seagulls cruised into a 3-0 lead just four minutes later, after LuaLua’s driving run and cross from the left was met by Beram Kayal, who side-footed his shot past Preston.
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Crawley could have reduced the deficit four minutes after the restart when David Stockdale was penalised for a challenge on Jimmy Smith inside the box.
But the hosts wasted the opportunity, as Stockdale made a fine left-handed save to deny Simon Walton’s resulting penalty.
Crawley showed further signs of improvement as Gwion Edwards cut inside, but his shot was blocked from just outside the area.
Hughton then rang in the changes with 25 minutes to spare; substitute James Tilley was next to trouble the Crawley backline only to see his shot rise over the crossbar.
Tilley continued to look lively and found fellow substitute Jeffrey Monakana inside the box, but the latter’s shot was blocked and cleared to safety.
ALBION: Stockdale (Maenpaa 66); Rosenior (Chicksen 66), Rea, Bong (White 66), Bruno (Dallison 46); Stephens (Monakana 66), Kayal (Holla 66); March (Calderon 24), LuaLua (Ince 66) , Baldock (Tilley 66), Hemed (O'Grady 66).