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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 28 Sep 10 at 21:39 PM

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION 1 BRENTFORD 0

Brentford slipped to a second defeat in four days as they lost 1-0 to League One leaders Brighton and Hove Albion.

Kazenga LuaLua, the game's best attacking player, scored the winner inside the last 15 minutes to keep his team at the top of the table.

Brentford lined up in the 4-5-1 formation that served them so well on occasions last season with Myles Weston and Nicky Forster wide.

They condensed the game, were patient and allowed Brighton to play in front of them for large periods.

It meant there were few early chances, as both teams were happy to shadow-box, but the game opened up as it went on and Brighton scored the crucial goal with 12 minutes remaining.

Much of the game was played on the Brentford right, with LuaLua Brighton's main outlet and Marcus Bean, in the inside right for The Bees, influential.

LuaLua had the first sight of goal but shot wide after cutting infield and blasted well over from long range soon after.

Weston had a snap shot blocked for Brentford, who were by no means defensive in their outlook, but Brighton had the better chances in the first half hour.

Ben Hamer saved well to his right from an Elliott Bennett volley and then saved at the same player's feet as he tried to burst through.

Brentford could have gone ahead just before the break - Bean broke forward and fed Weston, he picked out Forster at the far post but the header drifted wide as he tried to head it back past Casper Ankergren.

Wood had a shot saved soon after and Forster lashed over but Brighton came closest to a first half goal.

Hamer saved superbly high to his left from a smart Ashley Barnes shot and from the resulting corner the same player had a shot deflected into the side netting.

LuaLua also had a shot saved by the Bees stopper late in the first period.

But it was Brentford who started the second half brighter, and they were very nearly ahead within seconds of the re-start.

Forster and Gary Alexander combined to set up Sam Wood, his shot beat Ankergren all ends up but cannoned away off the crossbar.

Bean had a chipped shot saved soon after but Brentford were thankful to Hamer when he beat Francisco Sandaza to a weak Leon Legge header when he had no right to - in truth if Sandaza had been braver, he would have scored.

LuaLua fired over from distance and Sandaza headed over as the hosts began to push forward in numbers, looking for the win.

Barnes had a golden chance soon after when put through by Glenn Murray but his low shot was saved by Hamer.

Weston had a low shot saved and Kevin O'Connor forced Ankergren to keep out a curling free kick low to his left.

Wood had a deflected effort saved while Bennett curled a free kick across the face of goal at the other end.

Brighton were probably a little more ambitious in pushing for the winner but there was still all to play for going into the final 15 minutes.

And it was the home side who got the crucial goal.

The Bees appeared to have been reprieved when Hamer made a superb save from a Murray shot when he got in between the central defenders and Karleigh Osborne reacted quickly to divert Barnes' effort wide.

But from the corner Brighton worked it to LuaLua and he lashed in from 20 yards.

Bridcutt fired wide soon after and Murray headed over as Brentford brought on Carl Cort and Nicky Adams in an attempt to salvage something.

LuaLua almost set up a second with a superb run down the left, he cut it back to Barnes but Hamer saved well.

The home side had late chances to secure a bigger win - LuaLua set up Murray who saw a shot blocked and when the striker fired a cross-cum-shot across the goal line, Barnes couldn't turn it in from a yard out.

Bennett curled a free kick onto the roof of the net in the dying seconds but it proved to be academic to the end result.

Brighton and Hove Albion: Ankergren; Calderon, Elphick, El-Abd, Painter; Bennett, Kishishev (sub Bridcutt 60 mins), Sparrow (sub Dicker 60 mins), LuaLua; Barnes, Sandaza (sub Murray 60 mins)

Subs (not used): Brezovan, Battipiedi, Baz, Dunk

Bookings: El-Abd (64 mins)

Brentford: Hamer; Spillane, Osborne, Balkestein (sub Legge h/t), Woodman; Forster, O'Connor, Bean, Wood (sub Adams 81 mins), Weston; Alexander (sub Cort 79 mins)

Subs (not used): Lee, McCracken, Saunders, Hudson

Bookings: Bean (19 mins) (third of season), Osborne (80 mins) (second of season)

Attendance: 6,740 (207 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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