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Match Reports


1 December 2018

Match Reports


1 December 2018

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Despite it being Town who took the lead inside the first minute, it was Brighton who left HD1 with all three points in a contest where Steve Mounié saw red.

Mathias Zanka's early opener was made all that bit harder to protect in light of Mounié's 32nd minute departure, and although the work rate was of an excellent level, it wasn't enough to prevent Shane Duffy - who netted on the cusp of the interval - and Florian Andone in the second period to send the points back to the Sussex coast.

An afternoon of milestones for Town's Danish trio in a team that showed just the one change from the victory at Wolves, with Zanka taking the place of Tommy Smith - a 50th Premier League start in Blue and White for the defender, a landmark which Jonas Lössl reached from the off at the John Smith's Stadium. He's been in the side for what feels like an eternity, but Philip Billing made only his 50th Terriers start against the Seagulls.

And it would take just 55 seconds for Town to go in front. Zanka made an immediate impact having been reinstated to the starting XI, nodding in a spectacularly miscued Bruno Saltor clearance which spent an age in the sky - a first competitive goal on home soil in the process.

Three fixtures on the trot with the best possible start, and those packed onto the terraces were full of energy and vigor to get behind the boys as the hunt well and truly began for that third win from four.

There was a real purpose and intent about the Terriers' play. Mooy dictated, sending Florent Hadergjonaj on his way only for the Swiss man's cut-back to be hastily cleared as Steve Mounié lurked to sweep home.

It wasn't just on the offensive end that David Wagner's men looked switched on. Christopher Schindler produced a number of perfectly timed sliding clearances to halt the progression of Albion's own reinstated figure in striker Florian Andone, as the Romanian seeked to latch onto low through balls along the slick, wet turf.

The Sussex visitors had somewhat of a marginal height advantage from set-pieces, stemming from the duo of central defensive partnership Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy.

Duffy's initial header brought about the away side's best chance of the encounter up the 20 minute mark. The Irishman rose highest after drifting unmarked towards the far post, sparking a smart reflex save from Jonas Lössl. In the aftermath, Andone couldn't manage to finish thanks to a heroic block from skipper Jonathan Hogg on the line, who diverted away for a successive corner to which nothing would arise.

But as recent form and performances suggested, Town responded. Alex Pritchard had a flurry of shots denied by the sliding action of Dunk, before continuing to fire a left-footed effort low and wide of the target. Again, chances came as a result of forcing Albion out of possession with an intense press high up the pitch.

In truth, the side from The Amex enjoyed a decent spell of pressure mid-way through the half. With that, Town kept a relatively solid shape to ensure that a leveller couldn't materialise.

The task of maintaining the lead became that little bit tougher with half-time approaching. Steve Mounié was given a straight red card by referee Michael Oliver for a challenge of Yves Bissouma in the centre of the park.

Steve's dismissal only buoyed the home support to ramp up the noise, as the action began to get a little tense itself with a number of scrappy duels forming.

Despite being a man light, the Terriers still posed a threat. Terence Kongolo's downward header from a Mooy was batted away by Ryan, and as Alex Pritchard looked to poke the rebound, the playmaker seemed to be hauled down by Duffy; no penalty given on this particular occasion.

And as that opportunity came and went, Brighton were level. Duffy headed home Solly March's cross to even the scores.

After the interval, a combination of Bissouma and Andone both saw strikes either turned away or held by a defiant Jonas Lössl, as Chris Hughton's outfit looked to turn the screw and make the man advantage count.

Andone, again, had the chance to grab his side a second, but found a determined Zanka in the way to deflect out of harms way as the forward slid to finish yet another dangerous Solly March centre.

Brighton dominated the ball as the second 45 unfolded, and the men in Blue and White worked tirelessly to man the barracks in the face of adversity.

Hard work aside, the visitors' patience eventually paid off. Solly March the architect once more as the winger delivered a fruitful cross which was guided in at the near post by Andone, who made up for missing a host of previous chances.

Town huffed and puffed but couldn't find an equaliser, largely down to the impressive rearguard action of goalscorer Duffy, who won the majority of high balls contested.

A trip to the South Coast to face AFC Bournemouth is up next (Tuesday 4 December 2018, 7.45pm).

TOWN (3-5-2)

Jonas Lössl; Terence Kongolo, Christopher Schindler, Zanka; Erik Durm, Philip Billing, Jonathan Hogg (c) (Danny Williams, 77'), Aaron Mooy (Tommy Smith, 62'), Florent Hadergjonaj; Alex Pritchard (Laurent Depoitre, 48'), Steve Mounié (Sent Off, 32')


Ben Hamer, Isaac Mbenza, Ramadan Sobhi, Elias Kachunga


Mathew Ryan; Bernardo, Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy, Bruno Saltor (c) (Leon Balogun, 78'); José Izquierdo, Yves Bissouma (Beram Kayal, 90'), Davy Pröpper, Solly March; Pascal Groß; Florian Andone (Glenn Murray, 79')


Jason Steele, Gaëtan Bong, Anthony Knockaert, Jürgen Locadia


Michael Oliver


22,973 (1,394 Brighton)

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