Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Wed 18 Nov 09 at 22:32 PM


Wanderers bowed out of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening as Brighton & Hove Albion recorded a 2-0 victory at the Withdean Stadium to set up a second round clash with Rushden & Diamonds.

After the excitement of the 4-4 draw between the two sides in the original tie eleven days ago, tonight's clash on the south coast perhaps failed to live up to expectation as the Seagulls rewarded new manager Gus Poyet with a win in a low-key affair.

Andrew Crofts latched on to an Elliott Bennett cross and beat captain for the night Craig Woodman before firing past Scott Shearer, and the excellent Bennett doubled the lead in the second half with a drive from 25 yards.

Woodman and Shearer were two of five changes made by manager Gary Waddock, with Matt Phillips, John Mousinho and Stuart Green all returning to the side, whilst Jamie Young, Lewis Hunt, Michael Duberry, Matt Bloomfield and John Akinde all standing down.

Looking to impress new boss Gus Poyet in his first home game in charge of the Seagulls, Brighton began the brighter of the two sides and created a string of chances early on.

Both Andrew Crofts and centre-back Tommy Elphick went close from headers before Liam Dickinson had his shot blocked by the impressive Chris Westwood.

As the home side continued to control the early proceedings John Mousinho, who replaced the ill Lewis Hunt at right-back, was forced into a goal-line clearance, whilst at the other end Matt Harrold headed over Michel Kuipers' goal after good work from Matt Phillips down the left.

The lively Elliott Bennett was then put through down the right-hand side after a beautifully waited pass from Crofts, but instead of opting to shoot he pulled the ball back towards Dickinson, allowing Luke Oliver to get back and clear behind for a corner.

Just after the half hour mark Scott Davies registered the Wanderers' first shot on target when he forced Michel Kuipers into a smart save from 25 yards before Harrold fired into the side-netting from the rebound.

In fairness that proved to be a rare venture into Seagulls territory for the Blues and soon after Brighton took the lead when Bennett's cross to the back post was smashed home by skipper Crofts on 36 minutes.

The second half started as the first ended with Poyet's men in the ascendancy and only another goal-line clearance, this time from stand-in captain Craig Woodman, denied Liam Dickinson and his delicate lob nestling in the bottom corner.

Gary Waddock replaced Stuart Green with Jon-Paul Pittman as the Blues went in search of the equaliser, but instead of finding themselves on level terms the Wanderers went 2-0 behind on 61 minutes when Bennett's well-placed drive found Scott Shearer's bottom right corner from 25 yards.

However, Bennett's goal didn't seem to deter the Chairboys and both Kevin Betsy and Woodman went close within a two-minute spell. Firstly, Betsy forced Kuipers' replacement Graeme Smith into a decent save low to his right before Woodman curled a free-kick narrowly over Brighton's crossbar.

Adam El-Abd nearly offered the Blues a lifeline with 10 minutes remaining when his clearance screwed just wide of his own goal before Tommy Doherty went within inches of reducing the arrears from a stinging 30-yard drive.

Substitute Stuart Beavon then fired straight down Smith's throat as the Blues continue to push forward, however, with two minutes left Craig Davies missed a glorious opportunity to put the game well and truly to bed when his touch took him too far round the advancing Shearer.

    Latest Match Reports