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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 12 Mar 11 at 16:57 PM

Report: Brighton 2 Tranmere 0

Two second half goals gave League 1 leaders Brighton & Hove Albion a 2-0 win over Tranmere at the Withdean Stadium.

Rovers had held Albion - who were unbeaten at home in 2010/11 - for over an hour but the turning point proved to be a penalty awarded against Ian Goodison which allowed the home team to take the lead and they added their second soon after.

There were two changes to the side that started against Bristol Rovers with Michael Kay and Lucas Akins coming into the starting line-up and Joss Labadie and Ash Taylor missing out. Kay slotted in at right back with Robbie Weir moving back into the centre of midfield alongside captain John Welsh in a 4-4-2 formation. Akins joined Zoumana Bakayogo in playing in a wide midfield role while Andy Robinson joined Enoch Showunmi up front.

The starting formation against Brighton

The opening minutes of the game were fairly even with neither team able to create a clear opening though both defences were called upon. It needed Kay to head Elliot Bennett's corner away from the area on ten minutes, while Robinson's movement into the Brighton area was brought to an abrupt halt soon after, though the former Swansea player's appeals for a penalty were ignored.

The first shot came on 16 minutes with Tony Warner twice keeping the score level. First the Tranmere keeper kept out Matt Sparrow's effort and he was quick to react to prevent Glenn Murray's follow up from finding the target.

Murray fired over the bar on 18 minutes while Robinson headed an Aaron Cresswell free kick over the bar six minutes later.

Sparrow's long range effort failed to trouble Warner on 27 minutes and a cross from Gary Dicker went straight through the Rovers area 13 minutes later as Rovers frustrated the hosts.

A Cresswell free kick struck the wall on 41 minutes after Brighton captain Gordon Greer had been booked for a foul on Showunmi and another set piece soon after had to be cleared by Brighton at the near post.

And with Rovers pressing further forward towards the end of the half, Showunmi picked up a harsh booking for a collision with Seagulls keeper Casper Ankergren.

There was still time for the action to swing back into the Tranmere half, and after Robinson was penalised for a foul outside the area, Bennett sent his free kick narrowly wide of the target seconds before the whistle blew for half time.

Murray headed over Warner's bar in the second minute of the second half while Goodison failed with an effort at the other end following a free kick from Robinson.

A flicked shot from Akins was easily gathered by Ankergren on 50 minutes and at the opposite end Bennett's effort went harmlessly over the bar.

Brighton boss Gus Poyet made a double change with over half an hour remaining, bringing Liam Bridcutt and Craig Noone on in place of Sparrow and Radostin Kisishev.

And soon after the home team were awarded a penalty when Chris Wood's pass inside the area struck the arm of Goodison at close range. It was Wood who stepped up to take the spot kick and he sent Warner the wrong way to put Brighton in the lead.

It was almost 1-1 a minute later, with Akins stealing the ball from a defender before forcing a save out of Ankergren. The loose ball was almost capitalised on by Showunmi but Ankergren was quickly up to claim.

Warner saved Murray's close range header on 70 minutes, moments before Adam McGurk replaced Bakayogo.

However, the striker had barely been on the pitch 30 seconds when Brighton doubled their lead, with Murray superbly finding the net with a shot on the turn.

McGurk fired over on 82 minutes and brought a save out of Ankergren in injury time, while Taylor came on for Akins, a change that allowed Goodison to move into attack to add height and power for the final few minutes.

But it made little difference to Rovers who were left to make the long journey home empty handed.

Brighton: Ankergren, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Painter, Bennett, Dicker, Kishishev (Noone 59), Sparrow (Bridcutt 59), Wood (Barnes 77), Murray. Substitutes not used: Brezovan, Elphick, Taricco, Sandaza.

Tranmere: Warner, Kay, Goodison, McChrystal, Cresswell, Akins (Taylor 81), Weir, Welsh, Bakayogo (McGurk 71), Robinson, Showunmi. Substitutes not used: Collister, Cathalina, Wood, Blanchard, Labadie.

Referee: Steve Rushton

Yellow cards: Greer (41), Showunmi (45+1), Weir (70), Barnes (80), Cresswell (80)

Away attendance: 126

Follow Tranmere on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tranmererovers.

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