Sunday 28 August 2011

Albion Go Top Of The League

Albion 2, Peterborough 0 - Amex Stadium, 27th August:

An absolutely stunning second half free kick from 30 yards out by Ryan Harley on his home league debut secured Albion all three points on a day that saw them go surging to the top the Championship.

Star of the show yet again was Craig Noone who taunted and teased the Posh defence. A typical jinky run and shot from 20 yards out brought him his reward in the tenth minute of the first half. Albion were playing their usual passing game and looking comfortable went in 1-0 up at half time.

The second half got off to a worrying start for Albion as Posh almost scored direct from the kick off when Lee Frecklington rounded keeper Casper Ankergren but Inigo Calderon cleared off the line. Peterborough started to gain more possesion without posing any real threat to the Albion defence. Then in the 65th minute Albion got a free kick awarded from fully 30 yards out. Harley stepped up to take the kick with most Albion fans probably thinking that he surely couldn't score from there, but he was about to prove the doubters wrong. It was a simply brilliant free kick that went straight into the top left hand corner of the goal, it was unstoppable. I don't think you will see a better free kick at the Amex this season, it was just stunning. It  would appear that Albion have now found a free kick specialist to replace the recently departed Elliott Bennett. The goal effectively ended Peterborough's attempt to get something out of the game.

Liam Bridcut playing this usual holding role in midfield was outstanding at breaking up the play when needed and rookie centre half Lewis Dunk was yet again immense at the back when called upon. This 19 year old is a real find and it surely won't be long before he gets an England under 21 call up. Up front Craig Mackail-Smith had a somewhat quieter afternoon playing against his former club and was hampered by Posh defenders who clearly knew his abilities in front of goal. Overall Albion deserved their win and although Posh made some good forward attacking play their front players were not clinical enough to make their second half possession count. With Saints and Derby both losing the result saw Albion climb to the top of the Championship table. A wonderful start to the season for Gus Poyet and his team. Full match report here.

With a two week international break coming up because of the European qualifiers it means that Brighton will hang onto top spot for at least a fortnight until they visit Bristol City for their next Championship league game. Unbelievably it will be four weeks before Albion's next home game so no pies and pints at the Amex for a month means an enforced diet for yours truly, still at least the XXXL shirt might now fit me!

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