TOWN 1 BRIGHTON 1
Town stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-1 draw against a battling Brighton side.
Jacob Butterfield scored his second goal in three days to put Town ahead before Lewis Dunk levelled for Brighton shortly before the break.
Both teams cancelled each other out in the second-half and Town had to settle for a point against Sami Hyypia’s side, who had Kazenga LuaLua sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
Chris Powell named an unchanged team from the 4-2 win over Blackpool on Saturday, as Town looked to pick off from where they left off at the weekend.
Town started on the front foot and Sean Scannell was looking dangerous yet again, creating a chance early on after racing down the right-wing before delivering a ball which Brighton managed to divert to safety.
However, moments later, Scannell went a step further and set up the opening goal. The winger twisted and turned in the right corner before teeing up Tommy Smith who fired in a low cross that was neatly tucked away by Butterfield off the underside of the bar.
Scannell continued to be in a thorn in the side of the Brighton back line as he gave his marker, Adam Chicksen, a torrid time. The visitors responded well though, and created their best chance of the match when Danny Holla clipped a teasing ball into Chris O’Grady, who could only head straight in to Alex Smithies’ arms from six yards out.
Town responded well and went close when Butterfield played a neat one-two with Conor Coady before blazing a left-footed effort over the bar.
Brighton then equalised from a Jake Forster-Caskey corner. The England Under-21 international’s set-piece fell to Lewis Dunk inside the Town penalty box, and the Brighton centre-back made no mistake in crashing home his fifth goal of the campaign.
Scannell and Harry Bunn both fashioned good chances for themselves just before the break, before shooting wide and being thwarted by David Stockdale respectively, leaving the sides level at the break.
Town started the brightest in the second-half and Jack Robinson produced a smart save from Stockdale after crashing a low drive towards the corner.
The game then entered somewhat of a lull, as Town were forced into playing more direct balls towards Grant Holt. Then, just after the hour, came Town’s best chance of the half; Butterfield clipped in a deep cross but Holt’s volley was struck straight in to the arms of Stockdale.
Hyypia then looked to change the momentum with a double substitution. Rohan Ince and Adrian Colunga replaced O’Grady and Holla, but the changes seemed to make little impact on the game.
As the game reached a conclusion it was the away side who pressed forward and looked more likely to grab a winner. After some neat interplay on the edge of Town’s box, Forster-Caskey struck a low shot in to the far corner, only to have his effort ruled out for offside.
Danny Ward then replaced Sean Scannell, but it was Brighton who continued to press forward. Smithies then had to produce a smart save to deny a dipping 30-yard effort from substitute, Colunga.
The danger wasn’t over yet for Town, and an Inigo Calderon cross was nearly inadvertently put in to the net of Smithies off the boot of former Brighton man, Joel Lynch’s boot – only for the ball to drop onto the top of the net.
LuaLua was then shown a second yellow card by referee, Gary Sutton, as the game drew to a close and both sides seemed content with a point.
Town’s team: (4-3-3)
Alex Smithies, Jack Robinson, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson, Tommy Smith; Jonathan Hogg, Conor Coady, Jacob Butterfield; Harry Bunn, Grant Holt, Sean Scannell (Danny Ward, 86)
Joe Murphy, Paul Dixon, Murray Wallace, Lee Peltier, Martin Paterson, Nahki Wells