LuaLua keeps Brighton unbeaten

Date published: Thursday 22nd January 2015 5:52

LuaLua keeps Brighton unbeaten

Gary Bowyer’s men paid dearly for not scoring when on top early on and, after LuaLua broke the deadlock, Brighton went on to enjoy lengthy spells of possession on their way to securing a victory at the Amex Stadium.
Rovers, giving a debut to striker Tom Lawrence signed on loan from Leicester, made a lively start with French forward Fode Koita threatening in only the second minute.
Koita broke through to the edge of the area and his low goal-bound shot was parried away by former Fulham keeper David Stockdale.
The Seagulls, with only one goal from their last five games at the Amex Stadium, began tentatively.
Former Albion loanee Craig Conway saw a deflected shot go wide and the same player should have opened the scoring in the 18th minute when he burst into the box and forced Stockdale to make an important low save.
Albion boss Chris Hughton gave home debuts to winger Jamie Murphy, signed for a fee in the region of £1.5 million from Sheffield United, and German central defender Uwe Hunemeier.
Israeli international midfielder Beram Kayal, who gave Brighton the lead after only 17 seconds in their 1-1 midweek draw at Huddersfield, got free inside the Rovers area but Spanish keeper David Raya saved smartly at his feet.
Brighton central midfielder Dale Stephens, the subject of two rejected bids from Championship rivals Derby, was narrowly off target when he tried his luck just inside the area.
Keeper Stockdale was well positioned to hold a 20-yard drive from Conway as Rovers continued to have the better of the first half.
Blackburn’s defence was stretched, however, when the home side broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the break through former Newcastle winger LuaLua.
The DR Congo-born player, unmarked 15 yards out, coolly slotted his third goal of the season after Sam Baldock’s precise lay-off.
Brighton’s Israeli international striker Tomer Hemed threatened shortly after the break with a surging run but fired wastefully over before Ben Marshall went close at the other end with a swirling 35-yard shot which narrowly missed.
Albion keeper Stockdale came to his side’s rescue again by saving a goal-bound shot from former Blackburn striker Nathan Delfouneso with his legs.
Stockdale’s opposite number, Raya, then produced an excellent save to keep out a clever flick from Hemed.
The visitors continued to create decent chances and a header from Irish defender Shane Duffy was bundled off the line by Murphy.
Hemed went close again with a left-footed shot which flew narrowly over after being set up by Bruno’s powerful run down the right.
Rovers winger Conway had a left-footed shot held by Stockdale before LuaLua, who got through a lot of work, forced Raya to hold his dangerous cross.
Brighton had a let-off in the last minute when Duffy, unmarked six yards from goal, headed a Danny Guthrie cross wastefully over.

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