Sunday 15 January 2012

Albion Sizzle Against Brizzle

Albion 2, Bristol City 0: Amex Stadium
Saturday 14th January 2012

Inigo Claderon celebrates his stunning goal for Albion
Albion’s recent run of good form continues, after beating the league leaders Southampton 3-0 last time out they secured yet another valuable 3 points against a very predictable and rather disappointing Bristol City side at the Amex today. The Brighton first team squad is looking very thin on numbers at present due to suspensions and injuries which was a bit of a concern with many Albion supporters before the match. There are currently four players out with hamstring injuries when last season we had none. The club are investigating this and there is some suggestion that the Amex pitch may possibly be responsible for these injuries but nobody really knows if this is the case. However the returning Lewis Dunk to centre half alongside the ever reliable Adam El Abd with Inigo Calderon and Romain Vincelot as full backs gave Albion a solid looking back line. As it turned out they were never put under any real test from a very weak looking City side.

Yet another 20,000 plus attendance saw an absolutely brilliant goal from skipper Inigo Calderon in the first half from fully 25 yards. At first I thought that the forward thinking defender was intending to cross the ball into the box but it was clear from television replays later that he fully meant to shoot at goal, it was a simply stunning strike that gave the experienced David James in the City goal no chance.  Matt Sparrow and man of the match Liam Bridcutt were outstanding in the midfield areas with the lively Will Buckley looking a threat out wide. The Seagulls dominated for most of the game and it was no real surprise when the quick paced Buckley sneaked in late on to get Albion a second goal which killed off the game. City had only one shot on target that I can remember and that was literally the last kick of the game from a set piece which Albion keep Peter Brezovan comfortably saved.

The Seagulls now move up to 12th in the Championship table but are only four points away from the sixth place play off place, this is proving to be a really tight league where anyone can beat anyone. The only sour note for the Albion was on the injury front, yet again. This time it was Craig Mackail-Smith who went off with a really nasty looking eye injury in the first half followed a few minutes later by the ever improving young midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey who suffered a dead leg. We await news on both as Albion visit Wrexham on Tuesday for the 3rd Round FA Cup replay. It looks like some of the young development squad players may well be involved for that game. If victorious against Conference league leaders Wrexham then Albion face a fascinating and mouth-watering 4th round tie at the Amex on 28th January against Premiership side Newcastle. The Seagulls also face arch rivals Crystal Palace in the league at Selhurst Park on 31st January so it could be an interesting few weeks coming up.

Blimey, what a shiner CMS has!