- Albion beat Huddersfield Town 1-0
- Florin Andone scores the decisive goal
- Chris Hughton’s men secure their first league victory of 2019
- The Seagulls are next in action away at Crystal Palace next Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion secured their first league win of 2019 with a crucial 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Amex Stadium.
Florin Andone came off the bench to score the decisive goal of the game to settle a cagey contest, and move the Seagulls five points clear of the bottom three.
Chris Hughton made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 against Leicester City on Tuesday night, with Bernardo, Yves Bissouma and Alireza Jahanbakhsh replacing Gaetan Bong, Pascal Gross and Solly March in the starting line-up.
The match started in a cagey fashion with few chances for either side in the opening 20 minutes, with neither team managing to create a clear-cut opportunity.
Albion’s only chance of note came when Jahanbakhsh made a run down the left and saw his cross narrowly missed by the onrushing Lewis Dunk.
Both Dunk and Shane Duffy then came just inches away from connecting with Anthony Knockaert’s corner, which summed up a nervy start to the game.
Alex Pritchard had the first shot on target as Maty Ryan initially fumbled the midfielder’s effort, before clawing away the ball at the second attempt.
Bissouma looked to feed Glenn Murray down the other end, and after a good first touch, the Seagulls frontman was intercepted by Terence Kongolo.
Albion could’ve broken the deadlock in emphatic fashion after Jahanbakhsh cut in off the left and saw his right-footed strike cannon back off the crossbar, with Jonas Lossl standing motionless in the Huddersfield goal.
Duffy beat Christopher Schindler to Knockaert’s corner, but the former’s diving header sailed over the bar.
Juninho Bacuna then drove into space for the Terriers, only to see his resulting shot pushed away by Ryan in the last action of the half.
Bissouma fed in Murray for the first chance after the break, following the Malian’s run from midfield, but the latter’s strike was blocked.
Bernardo then played Jahanbakhsh through on goal, and the winger opened up his body only to see his right-footed effort saved by Lossl.
Philip Biling was allowed to turn and shoot inside the penalty area, but his shot was comfortably saved by Ryan.
Duffy met another Knockaert corner with a diving header that went just wide of the near post, as Albion looked to increase the intensity.
Andone replaced Murray just shy of the hour mark, and almost broke the deadlock after turning his marker on the edge of the box and forcing a fine save out of Lossl.
Jose Izquierdo replaced Jahanbakhsh for Albion’s second change, and the Colombian played his part in breaking the deadlock.
Izquierdo threaded in a pass to Knockaert, whose cross was brilliantly headed home by Andone in the 79th minute, sparking wild scenes of celebration.
But Albion’s hard work was almost undone just two minutes later, as Ryan had to be alert to tip Steve Mounie’s header over the bar.
Hughton’s men were looking to put the result beyond doubt and had two penalty shouts, after Andone’s cross appeared to hit a Huddersfield arm, before Bernardo went down inside the box.
But the game finished 1-0 and the vast majority of the Amex crowd breathed a huge sigh of relief after claiming a massive win.
ALBION: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Bissouma (Kayal 84), Stephens, Propper; Knockaert, Murray (Andone 57), Jahanbakhsh (Izquierdo 78).
SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Bong, Burn, March.