Seagulls Flying After Crofts’ Second Half Winner2
August 18, 2013 by bluenosebible
Birmingham City 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Written by: Oliver Osborn (The Bluenose Bible)
A second half winner by Andrew Crofts was enough to gain Oscar Garcia his first three points in charge of Brighton and heap more misery on the St. Andrews faithful who witnessed a second successive home defeat of the new season.
The visitors started brightly by creating a number of early chances in the first half with their front three of David Lopez, Jose Ulloa and Will Buckley posing a threat on the counter attack.
Darren Randolph showed his quality between the sticks to prevent Brighton taking the lead while the Seagulls were on top as the Irishmen made a fine low save to deny Ulloa’s header after a quarter of an hour and then a rushed out bravely at the Spanish striker’s feet in a one-on-one minutes later.
Blues failed to create many chances in the first half, however, as wing backs Neal Eardley and Shane Ferguson weren’t pushing forward enough to add width to their attacks and the midfielders didn’t gamble on making late runs into the box when Lee Clark’s side had the ball in a threatening area.
After the half time break the home side made up for their lack of chances with two long range efforts hitting the bar within the first five minutes.
Scott Allan passed to Andrew Shinnie and the Scotsman hit a driven effort from 25 yards past Brighton ‘keeper Tomasz Kuszczak and onto the crossbar.
Shinnie then became creator with a header to Lee Novak whose left foot effort, which was quite similar to Shinne’s shot on goal, also couldn’t find the net and cannoned against the bar and out for a goal kick.
The home fans began to back the side to encourage an opener while the Blues were on top, but they were unable to make their early second half dominance count.
On the hour mark former Blues midfielder Kemy Agustien had a great chance to put Brighton in front after being played through on goal, but Randolph made a good save to deny the Dutchman from scoring his first goal in English football.
Agustien was involved in the play again when Brighton eventually opened the scoring with 15 minutes to go. He played a through ball to Andrew Crofts, who made a good run to join in with the play before hitting home his first goal of the season.
Chris Burke and Koby Arthur came on for Birmingham to add more width to their play, but couldn’t provide a good enough ball for the home side to find an equaliser.
It is now just one home win in six for Lee Clark’s side, including the end of last season, and with Ipswich Town the next visitors to St. Andrews it will be difficult for the Blues to end this run of poor home form.
Birmingham manager Lee Clark
“It is frustrating and I cannot keep saying we deserved better from the game.
“If we keep giving away disappointing goals like we did against Brighton it has to be frustrating.
“The players have already seen the goal on the footage because I was so angry and disappointed because it was so poor. We needed to talk about it as soon as possible.
“They had five players in the move who were never pressed and the deep midfield runner had a free run to score. You cannot do that at this level because you get punished.
“I am gutted for the fans because the support they have given the squad is unbelievable and all I want is to give them some positive results.”
Brighton boss Oscar Garcia
“I am a pleased with the win but I am a person who does not look just at the result. I want to watch the overall performance.
“We knew that our performances in the other games have been good but we have not been accurate in front of goal. At this level the most important thing is the points. We want to build a successful team but it will take time.
“I want to dedicate the win to all the fans of Brighton, especially those who travelled to the game.”
Starting line up: Randolph; Eardley, Mullins, Burn, Robinson, Ferguson (Arthur 84′); Adeyemi, Elliott, Allan (Green 82′); Shinnie (Burke 67′), Novak
Unused subs: Doyle, Hancox, Bartley, Lee
Man of the match: Matthew Upson
We will be relegated by Christmas. Novak hasn’t got a goal in him. Ferguson needs to be played as a winger with Hancox at full back. Burke must start, even when he is off form he is still a goal threat which you can’t say about Novak. The midfield needs to be beefed up as they have the ball taken off them far too easily. I’m afraid it’s going to get a lot worse.
Could do better..not enough conviction for me, players have to belive and have a go. Novak works hard, but where are the goals coming from? We currently have a team of triers.. but a lack of flair and the ability to do anything different. New Owners Please. There is little Clark can do with no money.