Albion return to winning ways

Albion winger Anthony Knockaert. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion winger Anthony Knockaert. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Brighton returned to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory at bottom-of-the-table Rotherham this evening.

Albion remain second in the Championship, six points ahead of third-placed Huddersfield, who beat Aston Villa 1-0.

Anthony Knockaert and substitute Solly March got the goals for the Seagulls as they bounced back from two successive defeats.

Albion made four changes from the 3-0 loss at Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Uwe Hunemeier, Beram Kayal, Jiri Skalak and Tomer Hemed came in for Steve Sidwell, Jamie Murphy, Glenn Murray and Shane Duffy, who has been ruled out for six weeks after breaking a metatarsal at Forest.

Rotherham went into the game with just one point in nine matches and made three changes from their 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, with ten-goal top-scorer Danny Ward ruled out through injury.

In a lively first half, Albion dominated possession but chances came and went at both ends.

Albion keeper David Stockdale kept out Jon Taylor's low effort early on, before Anthony Knockaert curled a free kick over from 20 yards on 12 minutes.

Dale Stephens' fierce strike was straight at home stopper Lewis Price three minutes later and Stockdale was then called into action two minutes later, keeping out Tom Adeyemi's close-range effort with his legs.

Skalak volleyed a decent opening over at the other end, which began a spell of Albion pressure. Hunemeier then headed over and Lewis Dunk saw a header cleared off the line by Rotherham full-back Will Vaulks.

Stockdale had to dive full length to his right to acrobatically keep out Jerry Yates' hooked volley on 26 minutes, before Albion almost went ahead late in the first half.

Sam Baldock raced on to Tomer Hemed's flick but was denied by Price from a tight angle.

The Seagulls made a bright start to the second half and Hemed curled a shot on to the roof of the goal, before they took the lead on 49 minutes. Hemed burst through but could not get past Price, Baldock's follow-up was cleared off the line but Knockaert was on hand to fire home his 12th goal of the season.

Albion continued to dominate possession and Skalak had a low effort blocked on the hour, before Hemed's deflected shot dropped just wide and Skalak's fizzing effort flew just over.

Brighton made sure of all three points ten minutes from time when substitute Solly March cut in from the right and his low 20-yard drive was too powerful for Price to keep out, although the home stopper should have done better.

Albion could have had more in the closing stages but Baldock blasted over when Skalak was up in support and sub Richie Towell broke clear but shot wide of the far post with only Price to beat.

ROTHERHAM: Price; Vaulks, Ajayi, Belaid, Mattock (Purrington 73); Smallwood (Newell 59); Forde (Bray 71), Adeyemi, Frecklington, Taylor; Yates. Subs: Bilboe, Wilson, Newell, Dawson, Warren.

BRIGHTON: Stockdale; Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Rosenior; Knockaert (March 73), Kayal, Stephens, Skalak; Baldock (Towell 84), Hemed (Murray 75). Subs: Walton, Sidwell, Murray, Norwood, Tomori.

Att: 8,366 (1,006 Albion fans)

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