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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:28 26th March 2011

Report: Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Town 1

Town went down to a disappointing 2-1 defeat away to league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion in spite of controlling the match for large periods.

It was nearly the dream start for the visitors as Kevin Amankwaah's cross was nodded into the path of Matt Ritchie by Mike Grella, but the winger hit his first time volley wide when in space in the area.

Town had settled nicely into the game and were in control of possession, but their good work was undone by a moment of magic from Craig Noone.

The former Plymouth Argyle winger picked up the ball on the left and beat four players before bursting into the box and being felled by Andy Frampton, and Albion frontman Gary Dicker did the rest from the spot, sending David Lucas the wrong way.

To their credit, Town reacted well to going behind and continued to control possession before deservedly levelling the scores after 24 minutes through David Prutton.

The former Leeds United man found himself in space 25 yards from goal, and let fly with shot which swerved awkwardly, and Casper Ankergren could only slap it into the roof of the net.

Paul Hart's side were still on top but could have found themselves behind for a second time on 31 minutes as Francisco Sandaza nodded a long ball into the path of Matt Sparrow on the edge of the box, but the midfielder dragged his first-time volley wide when he might have done better.

Gary Dicker opens the scoring from the spot

Town could have gone in front moments later as Calvin Andrew pounced on some hesitancy from Gordon Greer on the edge of the box, but his left-footed shot passed well wide of the far post.

Clear cut chances were at premium for both sides from then on, but Hart will take much heart from the first 45 minutes of action at The Withdean.

Town emerged unchanged for the second period and went straight on the front foot, forcing an early corner thanks to more hard work from Andrew - although the set-piece failed to trouble Ankergren.

The Robins' positive display continued with Andrew again at the centre of things. A low cross from the loanee found its way out to Caddis on the right and his ball inside found Amankwaah whose low shot flew over from the edge of the box.

Just before the hour mark the home side were awarded a penalty following a foul by Amankwaah on Murray. The spot-kick was once again taken by Dicker straight down the middle but Lucas saved and Town survived.

Town contest the second penalty award

Moments later and Swindon could have taken the lead. A fine ball into the box from Prutton fell at the feet of Grella whose powerful drive cannoned off the crossbar and away to safety.

On 64 minutes the home side regained the lead thanks to a fine finish from Glenn Murray. A neat ball through from Sandaza was taken on by Murray who escaped the challenge of Sheehan before dispatching the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

The home side then rung the changes with Elliott Bennett and Radostin Kishishev both coming into the action in place of Matt Sparrow and Craig Noone.

Alan Sheehan cannot prevent the winner from Glenn Murray

Despite plenty of possession and patience, the Robins had to wait until the 82nd minute before really testing Ankergren, with a Grella snapshot from the edge of the box not held by the former Leeds stopper.

Hart introduced Alassane N'Diaye for the final few minutes of the game for his first appearance in a Town shirt but there was little time for the Crystal Palace loanee to make an impression before the referee called time on another away defeat for the Robins.

    Data provided by Press Association