Matthew Kilgallon’s first-half own goal gave Brighton & Hove Albion a first away victory since January.
- Albion win 1-0 at Blackburn
- Matthew Kilgallon's own goal gives Albion victory
- First away win since January
- Seagulls ten points above drop zone
The defender inadvertently guided Chris O’Grady’s 26th minute cross into his own net to give Albion a 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers, leaving the Seagulls ten points above the drop zone with seven games to play.
O’Grady, Emmanuel Ledesma, Rohan Ince and Joao Teixeira were recalled to the starting line-up, with Greg Halford continuing at centre-half alongside Gordon Greer as Lewis Dunk served the final game his two-match suspension.
Sixteen-goal Jordan Rhodes led the line for Blackburn with joint top scorer Rudy Gestede on the bench, while Albion were seeking to find their goalscoring touch on the road, having netted only once in their previous six away fixtures.
A low-key start saw neither side threaten until O’Grady cracked the post from the edge of the box on ten minutes before Teixeira tried his luck from distance, dragging wide.
It had been an encouraging start from Chris Hughton’s men on another unfavourable surface and the Seagulls deservedly took the lead, albeit through an immense slice of fortune, as O’Grady’s whipped right-wing cross was diverted into his own net by a diving header from Kilgallon.
Rhodes did bundle the ball into Albion’s net shortly after, but fouled David Stockdale in the process, in a rare moment of concern for the Brighton defence.
Albion came close to taking a two-goal lead after Dale Stephens released Teixeira, however the Portuguese midfielder's instinctive strike was excellently stopped by a strong hand from Rovers keeper Jason Steele.
Blackburn immediately broke but this time it was Stockdale’s turn to draw the plaudits as he did brilliantly to tip Ben Marshall’s effort around the post.
The second half started in a similar pattern to the first, with Stephens trying a spectacular volley to extend the lead before the hosts introduced Gestede on 54 minutes.
The addition of the forward spurred Rovers on, but it was Gestede’s strike partner Rhodes who almost brought parity to the game with a header that was terrifically pushed onto the post by a full-stretch Stockdale, with Greer on hand to hack away any second chances.
Rhodes then had a tame effort easily collected by Stockdale while the Albion keeper had to be at his sharpest to palm away Markus Olsson’s stinging drive late on.
Rovers continued to throw balls into the Brighton box but the Seagulls defended valiantly to claim a superb three points and edge closer to Championship safety.