Albion 1-0 Hull - Seagulls maul Tigers
Patrick Gleeson reports on Brighton and Hove Albion FC’s latest success.
A late Vicente free kick was enough for Albion to snatch the victory and climb to within two points of the play-offs.
The substitute’s stinging set piece whistled underneath Hull goalkeeper David Stockdale and sent the visitors on their way with nothing to show for their efforts.
It was Steve Bruce’s men who started the brightest, and had Albion scrambling within just 60 seconds. Jay Simpson looked to be in the perfect position to put the Tigers in the lead, but his shot was well over.
After a skewed Robert Koren strike and a wayward effort from Stephen Quinn, Albion took control of the game.
Stockdale was called into action when he acrobatically pushed away David Lopez’s superbly struck half-volley, and then again when Andrea Orlandi’s whipped free kick needed tipping over the bar.
Robbie Brady then tried his luck from distance but his shot flew wildly over the bar.
The Tigers came out fighting in the second half and a drilled Robert Koren free kick almost gave City the lead, before flashing past Tomasz Kuszczak’s post.
An awkward, looping cross from Stephen Quinn then looked to be dipping under the Albion crossbar, but the Pole managed to force it away from goal. When the ball eventually got launched back into the box, Robert Koren could only manage to shank the ball over from a matter of yards .
Albion were under the cosh and Hull nearly took advantage of their sustained period of pressure. Brady picked out David Meyler at the back post but the midfielder could only volley the ball behind for a goal kick.
Substitute Vicente then played a defence-splitting pass for Wayne Bridge to run on to, but when he pulled the ball back to the penalty spot for Orlandi, the Spaniard could only blast over.
Hull’s Brady again fired a shot from distance, but this time Kuszczak was called upon to make an outstanding save to keep the Irishman at bay. The Albion keeper was again the hero when he denied Ahmed Elmohamady’s close-range volley with a low, instinctive save.
The chance to steal all three points came when referee Stuart Attwell awarded Albion with a free kick after Corry Evans hauled down Orlandi on the edge of the box. Vicente’s crisp strike was too powerful for Stockdale to handle and the ball nestled in the Yorkshire side’s net, much to the despair of the travelling support.
Attention now turns to the Seagulls’ home tie with Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday evening.