REPORT: ALBION 3 BRENTFORD 0
- Anthony Knockaert scores his first goal for Albion
- Tomer Hemed and Jamie Murphy make the win more emphatic
- Albion move up to third in the table
- The Seagulls record their first win by more than a one goal margin this season
Brighton & Hove Albion moved up to third in the Sky Bet Championship table after a 3-0 win over Brentford in a Friday night fixture at the Amex.
First-half strikes from Anthony Knockaert and Tomer Hemed and a goal in the dying moments from Jamie Murphy, were enough for Albion to overcome the Bees and ensure the Seagulls recorded their first win by more than a one goal margin this season.
Chris Hughton named an unchanged side to the one that beat Huddersfield Town almost a fortnight ago, but Casper Ankergren and the returning Steve Sidwell were new inclusions on the bench.
Albion created their first chance within the opening minute when Murphy raced down the right-hand side and found Knockaert, but the Frenchman poked a close-range effort wide.
Alan Judge was next to break forward, but his angled strike for the Bees hit the side-netting.
Man of the match Knockaert then made a superb run from inside his own half, only to see his effort deflected wide.
Judge could have broken the deadlock just moments later but was denied thanks to a strong two-handed save by David Stockdale.
After a relatively quiet spell, the Seagulls came within inches of netting when Bruno met Murphy’s cross on the edge of the box and his strike was deflected onto the crossbar by Bees defender Harlee Dean.
But the pressure finally paid off in emphatic fashion on 27 minutes as Knockaert met Murphy's ball, took a touch inside the area, before firing a low strike beyond keeper David Button.
It could have been 2-0 just a minute later after Beram Kayal found compatriot Hemed on the left, but his strike hit the side-netting.
The visitors could have levelled when Josh McEachran’s dangerous corner found Lasse Vibe, but the striker could not make a decent connection.
Albion doubled their lead in the 43rd minute after Hemed guided his header superbly beyond Button from a Kayal cross.
Hughton made one change at the break, replacing Bobby Zamora with James Wilson, and he teed up Murphy for a shot, but the winger's attempt was off target.
Murphy was teed up again by Liam Ridgewell only to be intercepted just as he was about to pull the trigger.
The Scot was involved in the thick of the action again just moments later, when an intricate piece of skill set up a pass to Wilson. His cross was then met by Knockaert, who shot over the bar from close range.
Brentford had a chance to gain a foothold in the match after John Swift reacted quickest to a loose ball inside the box, but saw his close-range shot deflected wide.
The Bees rallied late on in a bid to rescue the game, and Stockdale had to be alert to save a deflected drive from Sergi Canos.
Sidwell came on for Kayal to make his second Albion debut but could not direct his shot goalwards from inside the box.
The Seagulls continued to look threatening going forward and Murphy laid the ball on a plate for Knockaert, but the Frenchman could not quite a make a connection with the cross.
Wilson raced through one-on-one with Button in a bid to add a third Albion goal, but a superbly-timed tackle by Yoann Barbet prevented the forward from pulling the trigger.
But there was still time for Murphy to add extra gloss to the scoreline when he was played through in the dying moments and having drew Button, his shot clipped in off the far post to give Albion a convincing victory.
£1000 JACKPOT 106248
£100 SUPERSTORE VOUCHER 106156
MAGNUM OF CHAMPAGNE 108141
BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE 108298
BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE 106803
1ST PRIZE £450 4998
2ND PRIZE £50 2198
3RD PRIZE £25 3462
1ST GOAL TIME 27 MINUTES