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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:09 3rd December 2016
By  James Hilsum

Steve Sidwell

REPORT: CARDIFF 0 ALBION 0

  • Albion extend their unbeaten league run to 13 games
  • Glenn Murray has a goal disallowed in the second half
  • Brighton remain second, five points clear of third-placed Reading
  • Gaetan Bong is sent off late on for the Seagulls
     

Ten-man Brighton & Hove Albion left South Wales with a share of the spoils following a 0-0 draw with Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The result meant Albion missed the chance to go top of the Sky Bet Championship table, but still managed to close the gap on league leaders Newcastle United to one point following their defeat to Nottingham Forest yesterday.

The Seagulls also ended the match with ten men, after Gaetan Bong was sent off for a late challenge in stoppage time.

Chris Hughton made one change to the side that beat Fulham last week, as Jiri Skalak replaced Anthony Knockaert in the starting line-up.

Aron Gunnarsson had the first shot on target for Cardiff; the Icelandic international making a driving run towards the box before seeing his curling shot from distance saved by David Stockdale.

Just moments later, Peter Whittingham fired in a shot from the edge of the box that sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Albion almost made the breakthrough when Sam Baldock made a quick interception on the edge of the area, but his cross across the box went just behind Glenn Murray.

The rest of the half turned into a rather cagey and turgid affair with few chances for either side.

Jamie Murphy tried to force the issue when he cut inside from the left flank but his right-footed strike from the edge of the area was blocked by Sol Bamba inside the box.

Shane Duffy then made a superb run towards the edge of the area and won a free-kick in the process. Skalak stepped up to take the set-piece which hit the wall, before his follow-up shot went wide.

The Bluebirds made a bright start to the second half and came within inches of breaking the deadlock when Bamba’s downward header from a Joe Ralls cross dropped just past the right-hand post.

Ralls also had a chance himself, but his right-footed volley from 18 yards swerved wide of the post.

Skalak continued to show endeavour to engineer a breakthrough, as his cross from the right found Baldock, but Albion’s number nine couldn’t make a decent enough connection with the ball.

Junior Hoilett was one of the liveliest players for the hosts, and his cross found Whittingham in a central position, but the midfielder’s left-footed strike went high and wide of the target.

Hughton freshened up the right flank by replacing Skalak with Knockaert in the 71st minute, in a bid to break down the stubborn Cardiff defence.

The Frenchman sought to make an immediate impact, but his speculative volley from distance went well wide of the target following some good link-up play with Bruno.

The Seagulls won another free-kick on the edge of the area, as Steve Sidwell teed up Dale Stephens, but his deflected shot was saved by the Bluebirds’ keeper Ben Amos.

Knockaert then delivered an out-swinging corner into the box which was headed down by Baldock for Murray, but his shot was deflected over the bar.

The Seagulls frontman did put the ball in the back of the net from the second corner, but the referee ruled out his close-range strike for a foul inside the box.

Brighton continued their strong end to the match when Knockaert played a through-ball towards Baldock, but Amos pushed away the striker’s shot at the near post.

Bong then received a second yellow card for his late challenge, resulting in Sebastien Pocognoli coming on at the expense of Baldock, as Albion claimed a hard-fought point.

    QUICK FACTS

    32,425 paving slabs were used to create the exterior concourse at the American Express Community Stadium.