REPORT: ROTHERHAM 0 ALBION 2
- Anthony Knockaert and Solly March on target
- Albion remain six points clear of third
- Chris Hughton makes four changes to the side that lost at Forest
- The Seagulls complete a league double over the Millers
Brighton & Hove Albion returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Second-half strikes from Anthony Knockaert and Solly March sealed three vital points to maintain a six-point gap between themselves and third-place Huddersfield Town.
Chris Hughton made four changes to the side that lost at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, which included Uwe Huenemeier coming in for the injured Shane Duffy.
After a cagey start where Albion dominated possession, it was Rotherham who had the first chance when David Stockdale made a low save to keep out Joe Mattock’s effort.
Jiri Skalak was then bundled down on the edge of the area by Semi Ajai, but Knockaert sent the subsequent free-kick well over the target.
Dale Stephens took advantage of a loose ball on the edge of the box, but saw his shot go straight towards Lewis Price.
The Millers had a golden opportunity to the break the deadlock when Tom Adeyemi was played through on goal but Stockdale made a crucial stop with his feet.
The game began to open up; Skalak was found in space down at the other end, but his rash first-time strike went over the bar.
The Czech turned provider from a corner, this time for Huenemeier, whose header drifted just over the target.
Skalak continued his lively start to the game with another corner towards Lewis Dunk, whose header was cleared off the line.
Rotherham had another chance to gain the advantage, but Stockdale palmed away a hooked effort from Jerry Yates.
Dunk and Skalak linked up well from a free-kick and the former’s drag-back from the byline was narrowly missed by Tomer Hemed.
Anthony Forde took advantage of a weak defensive clearance from Stockdale, but he thankfully fired over the bar from a tight angle.
Albion broke forward again through Hemed and he flicked the ball on for strike partner Sam Baldock, who was denied by Price from close range.
The Seagulls were keen to make a quick start after half-time and Hemed’s shot from distance skimmed the roof of the net following some good link-up play with Skalak.
Knockaert was next to try his luck moments later, but was denied by Price at his near post.
However, the Frenchman got the goal that Albion deserved for their efforts. Baldock and Kayal were both thwarted inside the box before he fired home past Price with 49 minutes on the clock.
After weathering a spell of Rotherham pressure, the Seagulls came forward again through Hemed, who teed up Skalak on the left, but the winger’s strike was blocked by Sam Vaulks.
Hughton’s men pressed forward in search of a second and potentially decisive goal, as Knockaert linked up well with Hemed, and the latter’s shot deflected inches wide.
Skalak was allowed to cut inside from the left and shot just over the target from distance.
The crucial second goal did come courtesy of substitute March, who worked his way in off the right-hand side and fired home beyond the outstretched Price, who got a touch on the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
Baldock and substitute Richie Towell both could’ve added extra gloss to the scoreline in the closing stages, but neither were able to find the target and the result was 2-0.