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Match Report


Posted Sun 14 Dec 03 at 12:59 PM


Brentford outclassed top-of-the-table Brighton to record a thoroughly deserved victory - scoring four goals for the second consecutive game.

Stephen Hunt bagged a brace of penalties, with in-form Jay Tabb weighing in with his fifth goal in over a week. Brighton could not penetrate the solid Bees' backline and were very much second-best.

There was drama beforehand, Alan Julian hurt his back in the warm-up, and Bees boss Wally Downes made a frantic search for youth-team goalkeeper Josh Lennie, who borrowed Julian's gloves to sit on the bench.

Brentford got off to a great start when they opened the scoring in the sixth minute. Richard Carpenter brought down Stephen Hunt in the penalty area, and referee M Jones had no option but to award a spot-kick. Hunt, who had rejected overtures to join the South Coast club in the summer, stroked home the penalty with ease. Two minutes later, a Tony Rougier shot went narrowly over the bar.

Brighton's first serious attack arrived in the 26th minute, Leon Knight turning on a sixpence to fire in a shot that took a last-gasp deflection from Joel Kitamirike. The Bees' doubled their lead ten minutes later. Tony Rougier sent over a swirling low cross from the right-hand side that had the Seagulls groping for thin air - Jay Tabb side-footing the ball into the net from six yards.

Just ninety seconds into the second half, Brentford were on the attack again, Tony Rougier's pin-point cross to Eddie Hutchinson gave the midfielder a great opportunity but he blazed over the bar. As the half progressed, Brentford restricted their visitors to just a tame drive from Richard Carpenter. Tabb and Hunt combined for the latter shoot over before Brentford missed an opportunity to go further ahead in the 68th minute.

Jay Tabb picked up the ball from the half-way line, and fed Kevin O'Connor. Brighton goalkeeper Michel Kupiers in the area brought down the midfielder leaving the referee no option but to award another penalty. However, Hunt's shot was weak and Kupiers palmed it away.

Nine minutes later, it was three - Ben May stabbing home Ibrahima Sonko's goalbound header from Stephen Hunt's corner.

A sublime build-up led to the fourth Bees' goal with four minutes left. Tony Rougier teased the Seagulls defence, giving O'Connor the chance to feed Hunt. Hunt dribbled his way past Mayo but the Brighton left-back brought the Irishman down for the game's third penalty. This time Hunt made no mistake, driving the ball home for his fourth goal in three games.

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