REPORT: NEWCASTLE 2 ALBION 0
- Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey on target for Newcastle
- Shane Duffy made his Albion debut
- Sam Baldock sent off in the second half
- Albion’s six-match unbeaten run at start of the season ends.
Brighton & Hove Albion succumbed to their first defeat of the season after being beaten 2-0 by Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey gave Newcastle the victory over Albion, who also had Sam Baldock sent off in the second half for two bookable offences.
Chris Hughton made one change to the starting line-up that featured against Reading a week ago, with Shane Duffy making his Albion debut in place of the injured Liam Rosenior.
Albion had their first chance of the game when Jiri Skalak delivered a dangerous free-kick into the box towards Glenn Murray, but the linesman’s flag was raised.
After a relatively quiet start to the game, Newcastle took the lead after 15 minutes through Lascelles, who headed home from Matt Ritchie’s free-kick.
Yoan Gouffran came within inches of making it 2-0 to the Magpies with a thunderous strike from distance that cannoned off the crossbar.
The hosts grew into the game, and David Stockdale was called into action to keep out further efforts from Ritchie and Gouffran.
Albion had their first chances of the game when Baldock’s shot from distance was parried by keeper Matz Sels, before Anthony Knockaert’s follow-up strike went over the bar.
The Frenchman then delivered a searching set-piece towards Bruno at the back post, but the Seagulls skipper was in an offside position.
Baldock attempted to restore parity to the scoreline straight from the second-half kick-off with an audacious long-range attempt that nestled onto the roof of the net.
Gouffran tried his luck with a volley from inside the box that didn’t trouble Stockdale.
Brighton broke forward through Gaetan Bong down the left-hand side, and the Cameroonian delivered a cross towards Murray, but the latter could not quite wrap his foot around the ball.
Bong was the architect for Albion’s next chance with a through ball to Kayal, who drove inside and found Knockaert, only for the Frenchman’s strike to rebound off the crossbar.
But Hughton’s men were dealt a major blow when Baldock was harshly shown a second yellow card for a coming together with Sels just as Albion were edging back into the game.
Steve Sidwell had a chance to level the scores with a strike from distance that ricocheted around in the box before Newcastle cleared the danger.
But it was the hosts that struck next after Sidwell was penalised for a challenge on the edge of the box, and Shelvey curled a free-kick beyond the wall to make it 2-0 in the 63rd minute.
Albion made their three changes with 25 minutes remaining, with Murray, Skalak and Sidwell, replaced by Tomer Hemed, Kazenga LuaLua and Oliver Norwood.
Shelvey came within touching distance of making it 3-0 with a low strike that was tipped behind by Stockdale.
Knockaert almost engineered a consolation goal for Albion with his curling set-piece into the box that triggered a game of head tennis between Duffy and Kayal, before the danger was cleared.
LuaLua could have found the net against his former club, but his left-footed strike went just wide.
The Seagulls continued their positive end to the game, as another Knockaert delivery found Lewis Dunk, but the defender could not divert his header goalwards.
The Frenchman turned provider again, this time for Kayal on the angle, but Sels made a fine one-handed save and the game finished 2-0.