REPORT: ALBION 1 HULL 0
- Both clubs made a moving pre-match tribute to those who lost their lives in the Shoreham air crash
- Tomer Hemed breaks the deadlock after just five minutes
- Bobby Zamora makes his Amex debut
- Kazenga LuaLua suspended for Tuesday’s visit of Rotherham after picking up a fifth booking of the season
Brighton & Hove Albion kept their place at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table after a 1-0 win over Hull City in a first-versus-second clash at the Amex.
Prior to kick-off, both teams made a moving tribute to the 11 men who tragically lost their lives in the Shoreham air crash, which included Albion groundstaff member Matt Grimstone and fellow Seagulls fan Jacob Schilt.
Albion, starting with the same side that beat Ipswich Town 3-2 before the international break, made an opening to the game which Matt and Jacob would have been proud of. Indeed, just five minutes were on the clock when Tomer Hemed slotted home from close range after Dale Stephens and Sam Baldock both tried to test Hull keeper Allan McGregor.
Hemed had a great opportunity to get a second goal just moment later, but could not apply the finish touch from former Hull man Liam Rosenior’s cross.
Albion continued to put the Hull defence under pressure, as Gaetan Bong reacted to a loose ball, but his angled strike did not test McGregor.
Hemed was proving to be a constant threat and after being fed by Rosenior, the Israeli international made a driving towards goal, but saw his deflected strike saved by McGregor.
The Tigers had their first chance of the game when Chuba Akpom’s free-kick sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
Kazenga LuaLua then picked up his fifth booking of the season in the closing stages of the half, meaning he will now miss Tuesday’s visit of Rotherham to the Amex.
The visitors began to establish more of a foothold in the game after Albion’s spell of persistent pressure, and Akpom’s shot on the angle was deflected behind for a corner.
The second half began in a cagier fashion, with LuaLua’s deflected strike the only chance of note inside the opening 15 minutes.
But on the hour mark, Beram Kayal spotted Baldock in space with a superb ball over the Tigers’ defence, but the Albion forward fired a first-time effort wide of the right-hand post.
Hull had an opportunity to level the scores when Ahmed Elmohamady shot from a tight angle on the right-hand side, but David Stockdale was equal to his shot.
Stockdale was called into action again moments later, producing two fine stops to deny Abel Hernandez and Tom Huddlestone.
With 15 minutes remaining, an eruption of noise swirled around the Amex as Bobby Zamora replaced Baldock to make his second home debut for the club.
Hughton’s men almost wrapped up the win with two minutes of normal time remaining, after Bong's cross from the left found Kayal inside the box, but the Israeli midfielder saw his shot blocked by Tigers skipper Michael Dawson.
Substitute Jamie Murphy caused havoc in the Hull defence when his floated ball into the area was spilled by McGregor, but the visitors managed to clear the danger.
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1st goal time 5 mins