February 12, 2013
All square at the Amex
Play-off hopefuls Brighton and Blackburn shared a point apiece after an enthralling npower Championship 1-1 draw which the hosts will feel they should have won.
The Seagulls dominated the opening quarter and enjoyed chance after chance only to be rocked by Scott Dann's 24th-minute header from Danny Murphy's corner, the centre-back's third goal of the season.
Brighton were again wasteful towards the end of the first half, but finally hit the back of the net from the penalty spot shortly before the hour mark.
Rovers protested furiously after Marcus Olsson was penalised for handball from Vicente's cross but the Spaniard kept his cool to drill home from the spot for his second goal in as many games.
It was the second 1-1 draw between Albion and Rovers in the space of three weeks, coming after David Lopez's last-gasp penalty rescued a point at Ewood Park.
Michael Appleton's Rovers had not conceded a single goal in three successive wins since that late draw and as well as conceding here on the south coast, hot-shot striker Jordan Rhodes failed to score for the first time in seven games.
And with both Middlesbrough and Hull winning tonight, the draw did little for both sides' play-off hopes as they slipped further adrift of the top six.
It was a pulsating opening to proceedings from Brighton, Dean Hammond seeing a shot blocked before Leonardo Ulloa volleyed wide inside the opening minute.
Vicente's seventh-minute effort from distance, comfortably saved by Jake Kean, was a precursor to a drilled effort which flew narrowly wide of target.
The former Spain international was at the centre of everything and his lob soon found Will Buckley, whose should have done better as he saw his fluffed shot tipped around a post by Kean.
Blackburn broke from the resulting corner and DJ Campbell fired wide before, at the other end, Bruno Saltor blasted just wide from 20 yards - all within the opening 12 minutes.
The Seagulls had already enjoyed a handful of good chances before Buckley's deflected effort in the 21st minute sparked a mad scramble.
And the home side were made to pay for their profligacy.
Murphy sent in an outswinging corner and an unmarked Dann was on hand to head downwards from eight yards.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of a Brighton side who will certainly have felt they could have been a couple of goals to the good.
Matters went from bad to worse for the hosts as Will Hoskins was forced off with what appeared to be a serious injury just before the interval.
And in first-half injury time Brighton were thwarted twice more, Kean producing a great stop to keep out Hammond's header before the midfielder nodded straight at the Rovers stopper.
Both sides had claims for a penalty at the start of a second period which Brighton opened the stronger.
And it was not long before the home side got the goal they dominance deserved, this time courtesy of a successful spot-kick appeal.
Vicente's cross was handled by Olsson and, after the assistant referee signalled for a penalty - much to the disbelief of the visitors - the Spaniard converted straight down the middle.
Clear-cut chances were less forthcoming following the equaliser, with Kazenga LuaLua's wayward effort the closest in stoppage time, and both sides were left to reflect on a point.
|Brighton & Hove Albion||Blackburn Rovers|
|29 Tomasz Kuszczak||34 Jake Kean|
|28 Wayne Bridge||2 Bradley Orr|
|20 Matthew Upson||16 Scott Dann|
|2 Bruno||3 Martin Olsson|
|6 Adam El-Abd||31 Grant Hanley|
|4 Dean Hammond||13 Danny Murphy|
|15 Vicente||14 Marcus Olsson|
|26 Liam Bridcutt||6 Jason Lowe|
|30 William Buckley||39 Colin Kazim-Richards|
|7 Will Hoskins||11 Jordan Rhodes|
|19 Jose Ulloa||10 DJ Campbell|
|16 Casper Ankergren||Sebastian Usai 30|
|14 Inigo Calderon||Gael Givet 5|
|21 David López||Lee Williamson 17|
|11 Andrea Stabilin Orlandi||Morten Gamst Pedersen 12|
|25 Kazenga LuaLua||Josh Morris 24|
|18 Gary Dicker||Nuno Gomes 21|
|12 Craig Mackail-Smith||David Goodwillie 25|
|Andrea Stabilin Orlandi for Will Hoskins (43)|
|Kazenga LuaLua for William Buckley (72)|
|Matthew Upson (22)||Jason Lowe (20)|
|Kazenga LuaLua (87)||Jake Kean (57)|
|Marcus Olsson (57)|
|Danny Murphy (58)|
|Grant Hanley (62)|
|· Squads: Brighton & Hove Albion | Blackburn Rovers|