REPORT: ALBION 0 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 0
- Albion play out back-to-back goalless draws
- The Seagulls secure a fourth consecutive clean sheet
- Brighton remain 10 points clear of Cardiff City in seventh
- Chris Hughton’s men move up one place to third in the table
Brighton & Hove Albion played out their second consecutive 0-0 stalemate, after being held by play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday at the Amex.
The result lifted Albion up one place to third in the Sky Bet Championship table, above Hull City, who contested an FA Cup fifth round replay with Arsenal.
The Seagulls also moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places following Middlesbrough’s 1-0 defeat at Rotherham. But perhaps more crucially, the gap between Brighton and seventh-placed Cardiff was 10 points at full-time.
Chris Hughton made one change from the side that played Preston North End on Saturday, as Beram Kayal replaced Steve Sidwell in the starting line-up.
Gaetan Bong and Kazenga LuaLua also made welcome returns to the matchday squad on the bench, replacing Inigo Calderon and Jiri Skalak.
The game began in a cagey fashion with few chances for either side. The first glimpse of goal came after 12 minutes when Liam Palmer’s cross was gathered by David Stockdale.
At the other end, Sam Baldock got to the left-hand byline and his cross-shot was collected by Keiren Westwood.
Albion could have broken the deadlock in the 15th minute when Liam Rosenior played in Jamie Murphy, but his strike rose over the crossbar.
The Seagulls probed the Wednesday defence without much joy; Rosenior’s low cross was collected by Westwood before Anthony Knockaert’s cross went across the face of goal.
The Frenchman was involved in the action again when his ball into the box was headed clear and Murphy’s first-time strike went wide of the right-hand post.
Kieran Lee broke forward for Wednesday, but his shot from distance drifted harmlessly wide of the target to sum up a rather tepid first half of action.
Barry Bannan came close to breaking the deadlock for the Owls just a few minutes after the re-start, when his curling strike forced a fine save from Stockdale.
Dale Stephens threaded in a pass towards Knockaert but after a couple of twists and turns, the Wednesday defence cleared the danger.
Hughton looked to add fresh impetus to Albion’s attack by bringing on Bobby Zamora for Knockaert and LuaLua for Tomer Hemed.
Bannan was one of the liveliest players for the Owls and another left-footed strike from distance forced another fine stop from Stockdale.
Sidwell tried his luck for the Seagulls, but a tame shot veered wide of the right-hand post.
LuaLua had a final chance for Hughton’s men, only to see his low strike deflected into the hands of Westwood, as Albion shared the spoils with their top six rivals.
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