REPORT: ROTHERHAM 2 ALBION 0
- Goals from Danny Ward and Matt Derbyshire secure victory for Rotherham
- Albion fall two places to sixth in the Championship
- Anthony Knockaert makes his Albion debut
- Brighton now winless in eight games
Brighton & Hove Albion’s unbeaten away league record was ended at the New York Stadium following a 2-0 defeat to Rotherham United.
Goals in each half from Danny Ward and Matt Derbyshire earned the Millers all three points, as Albion’s winless run extends to eight games.
Chris Hughton made nine changes to the side that was knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup by Hull City on Saturday, which included the return of captain Gordon Greer from a hamstring injury.
January signing Anthony Knockaert came in to make his Albion debut, while Lewis Dunk and Liam Ridgewell were the only survivors from the weekend.
Derbyshire had Rotherham’s first chance of the game after some neat footwork by Joe Newell found him inside the box, but the striker blazed his effort over the bar.
Knockaert showed his undoubted quality when his excellent cross was headed clear and the Frenchman volleyed the subsequent loose ball wide.
Millers winger Grant Ward cut inside the Albion defence only to see his tame shot comfortably saved by David Stockdale.
There was a nervy moment for Stockdale shortly afterwards after a backpass was almost intercepted by Derbyshire inside the six-yard box.
Kirk Broadfoot gave the Albion defence another nervy moment when his cross went right across the face of goal and was cleared by Greer, but the referee halted play in Brighton’s favour for an infringement in the box.
Paul Green had Rotherham's next chance, although his header from Grant Ward’s cross was easily collected by Stockdale.
The lively Derbyshire had another opportunity to break the deadlock after he drove into space, only to see his subsequent strike go wide.
The forward was then found in space on the left-hand side and a save from Stockdale diverted the cross-shot away from danger.
Danny Ward gave Rotherham the lead on the stroke of half-time with a clinical strike past Stockdale, after Albion’s defence failed to clear the ball.
Dale Stephens could have brought parity to the scoreline shortly after the restart, following some good link-up play with James Wilson, but he fired wide of the target.
Tomer Hemed delivered a dangerous ball across the area towards Wilson, but the Manchester United loanee could not make a connection with the cross.
Hughton brought on Bobby Zamora to add fresh impetus to Albion’s attack and the striker was immediately involved in the action after setting up a chance for Jamie Murphy, but Rotherham keeper Lee Camp made an easy save.
Murphy was then impeded on the edge of the box and Knockaert stepped up to take the resulting set-piece which was saved by Camp.
Knockaert produced a fine lofted ball towards Zamora, but the latter’s header drifted wide of the near post.
The Seagulls were dealt an injury blow when Greer was forced off late in the game.
Derbyshire then sealed the three points for the Millers in the 86th minute after taking advantage of some indecision in the Albion defence and he prodded the ball past Stockdale.
Stephens had a chance to net a consolation for Albion deep into stoppage time, but he hit the post from Knockaert’s free-kick before Camp tipped over Zamora’s header from the subsequent corner.