REPORT: ALBION 1 BLACKBURN 0
- Glenn Murray on target for Albion
- The Seagulls move nine points clear of Huddersfield in third place
- Brighton secure their 24th league victory of the season
- A sell-out crowd of 30,216 fans watch the game
Brighton & Hove Albion opened up a nine-point gap between themselves and third-placed Huddersfield Town with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over a resolute Blackburn Rovers side at the Amex.
The Seagulls were kept at bay by Tony Mowbray’s well-organised team, until Glenn Murray scored the decisive goal in the 67th minute.
The result consolidated Brighton’s position in second place, after Huddersfield succumbed to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Burton Albion.
Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that lost at Leeds a fortnight ago, as Sebastien Pocognoli and Chuba Akpom replaced Fikayo Tomori and Sam Baldock.
Lewis Dunk had Albion’s first opportunity of the game with a dipping set-piece from a central position that was kept out by Jason Steele.
Anthony Knockaert then worked his magic after weaving in off the right flank to find Uwe Huenemier, but the German’s effort was deflected behind by Charlie Mulgrew.
Dunk was again denied by Steele at his near post, before Huenemeier headed wide from the subsequent corner.
Rovers barely threatened inside the opening 30 minutes, but did come close to breaking the deadlock through Lucas Joao, who ended some slick Blackburn build-up play with a volley that went wide.
Murray forced a save from Steele with a low driven effort to the bottom corner, before the Seagulls were tested with two dangerous corners from the visitors.
Huenemeier was called into action to block a shot from inside the box, before Stockdale tipped the second set-piece away from goal.
Former Seagulls winger Elliott Bennett then got the better of Liam Rosenior on the left flank, but Jason Lowe ended the move with a deflected strike that was saved by Stockdale.
In an eventful end to the first half, Beram Kayal saw his cross-shot parried away into the path of Jiri Skalak, who forced Steele into another save.
Hughton freshened up his attack just shy of the hour mark, when Solly March and Tomer Hemed replaced Skalak and Akpom.
The deadlock was then broken thanks to Murray, who took a touch before coolly slotting home from close rangr following some brilliant link-up play between Rosenior and Knockaert.
After firing home his 19th goal of the season, Murray almost got number 20 moments later, but was denied by Steele.
March also came close to setting up a second Albion goal, but Hemed slid his effort wide, ending a brilliant move.
The hosts rode their luck just moments later though when Mulgrew saw his attempt go inches wide via a deflection, after a corner was only half cleared, but the Seagulls held on for three more crucial points.
1901 CLUB LOTTERY
1ST PRIZE £1000 59682
2ND PRIZE 54300
3RD PRIZE 53108
4TH PRIZE 54087
5TH PRIZE 53567
ALBION HAT TRICK
1ST £500 1547
2ND £50 2749
3RD £25 3412
1ST GOAL TIME 67 MINS