Match report: Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Hull City 0

September 13, 2015

City haven’t won at Brighton since 1965.  Could this awful run be ended, you ask?  Mark Sellers shakes his head.

A serious test of Hull City’s promotion intentions awaited Steve Bruce at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as the second placed Tigers faced table-topping Brighton & Hove Albion.

As the team news was circulated at 2pm it was noted that former City favourite Liam Rosenior was starting for Brighton, alongside former City loan Keeper David Stockdale. The Tigers were largely unchanged with Hayden in for Robertson the only alteration to the line-up that faced Preston.

01 McGregor

02 Odubajo

21 Dawson

06 Davies

11 Clucas

07 Meyler

17 Diamé

20 Hayden

27 Elmohamady

19 Akpom

09 Hernández

After poignant tributes were paid to the victims of the Shoreham air show disaster the game started with Sam Clucas slotting into defence to make up a 4-2-3-1 formation. The Tigers looked the poorer side from the off and Brighton wasted no time in capitalising. Tomer Hemed was on the score-sheet after only 4 minutes with a right-footed finish from the centre of the City box.  McGregor parried the initial shot from Dale Stephens, but the Israeli Hemed reacted quicker than the City defence. 1-0 to the home side.

Hemed should have doubled the advantage two minutes later but fluffed a fine cross from Rosenior. This rude awakening did little to snap City into life as they continued to sluggishly amble around the field, often coughing up possession, with Brighton repeatedly carving them open through the middle.

A rare chance for the vistors saw Chuba Akpom blast badly off target when City were awarded a free-kick just outside the area.

The manager didn’t wait long before taking action to try to remedy the situation, using Huddlestone to replace Meyler on 31 minutes. This also prompted a change in formation with Huddlestone operating in front of the back four.

City were slightly improved after the change – Chuba Akpom went close with a snap-shot into the side-netting – but Brighton made it to the break feeling that they should have been at least 2 or 3 goals ahead.

The second half started better with City having more possession, but still missing the cutting edge up front. A 4-4-2 system was reverted to, which did seem to give the side a greater balance. City seemed to spend long spells in the Brighton half but still lacked the creative spark to breakdown the home team’s defence. This was going to be a frustrating afternoon.

Despite threatening a comeback late in the game, with Stockdale denying both Elmohamady and Diame, City failed to make a significant impact on the Brighton goal. It was the home side who went the closest in the dying minutes with Dawson blocking with his head to keep out Beram Kayal.

Brighton extended their lead at the top of the table to four points and remain unbeaten. City however drop to sixth, still in the play-off places, but having suffered a serious reality check. The season is still in its infancy, but so far it’s becoming clear that the away form will need to improve if City are to make an immediate return to the Premier League.

Mark Sellers     @mrmarksellers