Written by Morgan Lecomber
Brighton missed out on the chance to go four points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship as they were beaten 3-1 by fellow promotion contenders Huddersfield.
The home side were dominant from the off and could’ve been ahead in the opening 5 minutes. A Huddersfield corner caused problems amongst the Albion defence, the ball eventually fell at Rajiv Van La Parra’s feet, his quick-fire shot cannoned off the post.
With the home crowd providing an electric atmosphere, Huddersfield stayed on the front foot. In the 9th minute right-back Tommy Smith found himself in acres of space inside the box. His attempted cross deflected straight back to him, and the full back made no mistake blasting past David Stockdale at his near post.
After a torrid opening 20 minutes, Chris Hughton’s men found themselves level. Aaron Mooy’s headed pass evaded Town centre-back Christopher Schindler, Albion striker Tomer Hemed was quickest to react as he pounced onto the ball and rounded Danny Ward before tucking it into the empty net.
But Huddersfield regained their advantage fifteen minutes later. After neat build up play from the terriers, Beram Kayal’s sliding challenge only played in Nahki Wells who turned and fired into the top right corner giving Stockdale no chance.
Brighton thought they’d got themselves level again when Glenn Murray headed home from a free-kick but he was adjudged offside by the linesman.
Just before the break, as Brighton though it couldn’t get any worse – it did. Unfortunately the fingers were being pointed at David Stockdale after Nahki Wells’ timid shot was parried into the air by the goalkeeper, Elias Kachunga got in-front of his man to nod the ball in from a couple of yards, and Town went in at the break two goals up.
The second half would have a lot to live up to if it was going to be anywhere near as entertaining as the first. Sadly it never sparked into life. Hughton threw on new signing Chuba Akpom in a hope of a comeback but it was virtually game over in the 67th minute when Lewis Dunk was given his marching orders after a lunging challenge on Izzy Brown saw him pick up his second yellow card.
The 3-1 victory for Huddersfield consolidated their place in the playoff positions as they prepare for the Yorkshire Derby against Leeds United on Sunday.
Brighton remain top of the Championship, but only by a single point with Newcastle breathing down their necks.
Huddersfield Town: Danny Ward 7, Tommy Smith 9, Christopher Schindler 8, Micheal Hefele 8, Chris Löwe 8, Jonathan Hogg 8, Aaron Mooy 8, Rajiv Van La Parra 8, Izzy Brown 9, Elias Kachunga 8, Nahki Wells 9.
Substitutes: Kasey Palmer 7, Joe Lolley 7, Collin Quaner 6.
Brighton and Hove Albion: David Stockdale 5, Bruno Saltor 5, Shane Duffy 5, Lewis Dunk 4, Sebastian Pocognoli 5, Anthony Knockaert 6, Beram Kayal 5, Oliver Norwood 5, Jamie Murphy 6, Glenn Murray 6, Tomer Hemed 7.
Substitutes: Steve Sidwell 6, Solly March 6, Chuba Akpom 6.
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featured image by Neil Turner