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Match Report


Posted Mon 28 Dec 09 at 17:46 PM


Wanderers ended 2009 with a crushing 5-2 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Brighton & Hove Albion, in a performance labelled as "simply unacceptable" by manager Gary Waddock.

Jon-Paul Pittman's close range finish and John Mousinho's tap-in, sandwiched between Glenn Murray's impressive overhead kick, gave the Blues a 2-1 half-time lead, but the Seagulls ran riot in the second period to seal the win.

Nicky Forster levelled the scores with a clinical finish before Murray seized upon defensive frailties to find the net on three more occasions, leaving Waddock and his side contemplating a miserable Christmas period.

Wanderers will look to lift themselves for the visit of Paul Lambert's Norwich City on Saturday 2nd January .

When John Mousinho struck the base of the post inside three minutes after a purposeful surge forward from midfield, there was hope that the Blues would bounce back from the disappointment of the 4-0 defeat at Yeovil just two days prior.

And indeed Jon-Paul Pittman's opener on 27 minutes lifted the mood around Adams Park, as the striker showed a predatory instinct inside the six-yard box after keeper Peter Brezovan had deflected the ball into his path following a mini-frenzy inside the area. After good work by Stuart Beavon - back in the side in place of Matt Phillips - Kevin Betsy's low drive cannoned towards goal and led to Pittman's finish.

But Brighton never looked out of the game, and after Craig Woodman had done expertly well to deny Elliott Bennett a run at goal, Glenn Murray forced a smart save on the goal-line from Scott Shearer with a downward header from the resulting corner.

An equaliser looked on the cards, and it arrived in style when Bennett's cross was deflected into the path of Murray, who produced a moment of class to send his overhead kick into the bottom corner to make it 1-1 on 36 minutes.

However, Wanderers re-took the lead four minutes later courtesy of a howler from Brezovan. It looked to be a routine catch for the keeper when Tommy Doherty's free-kick was deflected into the air, but he dropped it at the feet of John Mousinho inside the six-yard box and the midfielder made no mistake in tucking the ball home.

An injury to Lewis Hunt just before the break prompted a reshuffle, with Phillips coming on in midfield and Mousinho moving to right-back, and the Blues could have doubled their lead when Pittman fired into the side netting after good work from Betsy.

But that marked the end of the Wanderers' resistance, and Nicky Forster's clinical finish from Gary Dicker's low cross on 49 minutes kicked off the Blues' capitulation.

Forster should have scored again when Murray's low cross found him unmarked at the back post, but the ex-Reading frontman mis-timed his run and fired harmlessly wide.

Nevertheless, he was involved in Brighton's third when he capitalised on Chris Westwood's hesitation to send a pinpoint cross to Murray, who beat Oliver in the air to head home on 56 minutes.

Elliott Bennett's free-kick went narrowly wide and Murray's header sailed past the near post as Brighton pressed for a fourth, and it eventually arrived when Craig Woodman's attempt at a backheel inside the area fell straight to Murray, who made no mistake in smashing the ball home.

Four became five on 80 minutes when Scott Shearer completely missed Dean Cox's cross and Murray nodded his fourth of the game into the back of the net, and only a smart save from Shearer in the dying moments from Dicker prevented a heavier scoreline.

The full-time whistle was met by cheers of delight from the impressive Albion following but for the Wanderers, any Christmas cheer has long gone with the need for points growing more desperate by the day.

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