REPORT: ALBION 2 ROTHERHAM 1
- Tomer Hemed and Dale Stephens on target for Albion
- The Seagulls go five points clear at the top of the Championship
- Brighton maintain their unbeaten league record
- Jonson Clarke-Harris scores consolation for Rotherham
Brighton & Hove Albion went five points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table after a 2-1 win over Rotherham United at the Amex.
Goals from Tomer Hemed and Dale Stephens were enough to continue Albion’s impressive start to the season, with 19 points from their opening seven games.
Albion manager Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that beat Hull City at the weekend, as Jamie Murphy came in to replace the suspended Kazenga LuaLua and Solly March replaced Liam Rosenior.
Albion created their first chance of the game inside the opening five minutes, when Beram Kayal met a Stephens cross unmarked inside the box, but could not divert his header on target.
Rotherham created a chance of their own just moments later, as Matt Derbyshire headed Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe’s cross wide.
Murphy was next to test Lee Camp’s goal, but his low shot went wide of the left-hand post.
Sam Baldock turned well on the halfway line and found Murphy with a cross-field pass, but the Scotsman fired wide on the angle from the right.
But the breakthrough came after 27 minutes, when Gaetan Bong played in Murphy down the left-hand side and the latter’s cross was fired into the roof of the net by Hemed.
The Seagulls had a penalty shout turned down a few minutes later when Rotherham skipper Danny Collins sent Murphy tumbling inside the box, but referee James Linington dismissed the winger’s appeals.
March made a darting run forward on the right flank and his shot on the inside produced a fine reaction save by Camp.
Kayal had an attempt from just outside the box which was deflected narrowly over the bar from a corner. The subsequent set-piece saw Dale Stephens collect the ball on the right and Hemed headed the cross straight into Camp’s hands.
The Israeli international created Albion’s first meaningful opening after the break when he found March with a superb through ball and the latter laid off a pass to Murphy, who was eventually overpowered by Rotherham’s defence.
A second goal came in emphatic fashion in the 68th minute when Stephens rifled home an unstoppable drive past Camp into the bottom left-hand corner.
But the Millers brought the deficit back to one just two minutes later, as Jonson Clarke-Harris’s deft header from an in-swinging free-kick eluded the Albion’s defence and keeper David Stockdale.
Bruno had a chance to restore Albion’s two-goal cushion in spectacular fashion, as his looping half-volley from the edge of the box forced a fine reaction save from Camp.
Bobby Zamora replaced Sam Baldock in the closing stages and could have scored a third Albion goal himself, but Camp saved his close-range strike.
The Millers peppered round the Albion box in six nervy minutes of injury time, but Albion held on to record a sixth win in seven league games.
LOTTERY RESULTS- ROTHERHAM
£100 store 74019
1st Goal 27 min