REPORT: ALBION 2 BARNSLEY 0
- Glenn Murray’s brace secures a 2-0 victory
- Albion record three consecutive clean sheets in the league
- The Seagulls seal their fifth league win of the season
- Brighton move up to third in the table
Brighton & Hove Albion secured a third consecutive league victory following a comfortable 2-0 win over high-flying Barnsley at the Amex.
A goal in each half from Glenn Murray was enough to overcome the Tykes and send Albion up to third in the Sky Bet Championship table, ahead of the league’s evening match at Villa Park between Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
Chris Hughton made one change to the side that beat Burton last Saturday, as Murray replaced Jamie Murphy in the starting line-up.
Albion were on the front foot straight away and created their first clear-cut opening when Beram Kayal played in Murray, who forced a point-blank save from Barnsley keeper Adam Davies.
There was a nervy moment for Davies when his attempted clearance rebounded off Tomer Hemed, but the Israeli international couldn’t quite make a connection with his overhead kick.
The Tykes created their first chance when Cole Kpekawa’s long-range effort sailed just wide of the right post in a lively opening five minutes.
The Seagulls cut open the Barnsley defence again when Hemed latched onto Bruno’s through ball but saw his angled strike deflected over by Angus MacDonald.
Albion broke the deadlock in what could already be a goal of the season contender with 12 minutes on the clock.
Gaetan Bong’s long ball forward released Anthony Knockaert, and after a driving run the Frenchman found Kayal, who teed up a perfect ball for Murray to fire home.
Murray came within inches of getting Albion’s second as Bong raced to the byline and picked out the forward, but his first-time effort went wide.
The visitors had a golden opportunity to equalise when Sam Winnall rose highest in the box to meet Adam Hammill’s cross, but saw his header go just wide of the left post.
The hosts caused Barnsley plenty of problems with their wing play, as Bruno got forward on the overlap and his delivery was narrowly missed by the onrushing Murray.
The only blemish to an otherwise promising first half was the withdrawal of Kayal due to injury, and he was replaced by Oliver Norwood.
Murray ensured Albion made the perfect start to the second half, as his close-range header from Jiri Skalak’s set-piece doubled the advantage.
The Skalak-Murray combination almost reaped dividends again just moments later, but on this occasion the latter’s shot was saved by Davies.
The Tykes had a chance to gain a foothold back in the game when Adam Armstrong’s header went wide from an enticing cross by Marley Watkins.
Albion could have extended their lead further as Knockaert’s searching free-kick found Shane Duffy, but the Irishman could not divert his header on target.
David Stockdale was called into his first real action of the game when he was forced into a fine one-handed save to keep out Josh Scowen’s low strike.
Barnsley skipper Conor Hourihane also had a chance late on, but his dipping shot hit the roof of the net.
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1ST GOAL TIME 12 MIN