REPORT: BLACKBURN 0 ALBION 1
- Bobby Zamora scores his 82nd league goal for Albion, breaking Peter Ward’s record
- The Seagulls move up into fifth
- Brighton end a run of eight games without a win
- Albion reach 47 points, equalling their total tally from last season
Bobby Zamora was Brighton & Hove Albion’s hero once again, as the Seagulls reclaimed their place in the top six with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Zamora’s 82nd league goal for the club surpassed Peter Ward’s record and was enough to claim all three points over Rovers. It also moved the Seagulls up into fifth after briefly dropping out of the play-off places, following Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Leeds United.
Albion’s victory ends a barren run of six games without a goal and eight without a win in all competitions.
Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that lost at Rotherham in midweek, as Connor Goldson came in to replace the injured Gordon Greer and Zamora took the place of James Wilson.
Albion made the best possible start to the game inside the opening five minutes, when Jamie Murphy’s strike rebounded off the post and Zamora slotted the rebound home - the legendary front man scoring on his 35th birthday.
But just moments later, Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes came within touching distance of an equaliser, but his header glanced wide of the right post.
Dale Stephens could have doubled Brighton’s advantage, but he volleyed an attempt over the bar with a shot from the edge of the box.
But Rovers still carried a threat going forward, as the ball fell to Rhodes inside the box and his left-footed shot hit the side-netting.
Former Seagulls winger Elliott Bennett delivered a dangerous ball into the box and Rhodes headed wide under pressure from Goldson.
Hope Akpan was next to try his luck from distance for Rovers, but saw his strike go wide and over the target.
Tomer Hemed and Zamora combined to almost score a second for Albion, but the latter’s shot was pushed away to safety by Blackburn keeper Jason Steele.
Zamora had two opportunities to double his and Albion’s tally after the restart. His first chance was a speculative effort from distance that went wide, while the second saw him capitalise on a slip by Matthew Kilgallon but after lobbing Steele, the frontman could not apply the required finish.
Ben Marshall had a chance to restore parity to the scoreline, after Liam Ridgewell was penalised for a challenge on Bennett just outside the area. Ben Marshall took the subsequent set-piece, which David Stockdale saved and Lewis Dunk’s clearance prevented the ball from crossing the line.
Ridgewell was involved in the thick of the action again shortly afterwards when his cross found Anthony Knockaert inside the area, but the Frenchman’s strike cannoned off the post.
Craig Conway stung the hands of Stockdale, as the Albion shot-stopper pushed the winger’s powerful strike away to safety.
Wilson came on to replace Zamora in the second half and the Manchester United loanee almost doubled Albion’s advantage from Murphy’s cross, but his curling effort went wide of the right post.
There was still time for Rhodes to create another nervy moment for the Albion defence, but his shot was comfortably saved by Stockdale as Brighton claimed three much-needed points.