- The Seagulls extend their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship
- Anthony Knockaert opens the scoring just before half-time
- The Frenchman secures victory with his 15th goal of the campaign
- Albion record their 21st clean sheet in the league this season
Brighton & Hove Albion extended their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after securing a professional but well-deserved 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux this evening.
Anthony Knockaert scored towards the end of both halves to secure three points for the Seagulls, finding the bottom corner on both occasions, as Albion moved one step closer towards the Premier League.
It was the hosts who created the first opportunity of the game after a quiet start, but Andreas Weimann blazed his effort wide of the target from just inside the penalty area.
Tomer Hemed then came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock for Albion, but his effort came back off the crossbar after he had latched on to Knockaert’s perfectly-weighted through-ball.
Hemed turned provider for his strike partner Glenn Murray soon after, but Albion’s top goalscorer sliced his half-volley wide from 20 yards.
Wolves striker Ivan Cavaleiro then picked up the ball and found space to shoot from just outside the box, however Lewis Dunk was well positioned to intervene with a superb block in front of goal.
Knockaert swung an inviting free-kick into the penalty area for the Seagulls, and after Hemed did well to glance his header on target, Wolves goalkeeper Andy Lonergan tipped over at full stretch.
Solly March was next to try his luck after receiving a short corner from Knockaert, but the winger’s low-driven effort from 20 yards could only find the side netting.
But the Seagulls found a breakthrough on the stroke of half-time and it was Knockaert, the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season, who latched onto David Stockdale’s long ball forward, cut inside and fired low into the bottom corner.
Hemed had a chance to double Albion’s lead in first-half stoppage-time, but the forward’s left-footed strike flew over the crossbar after he had taken advantage of Danny Batth’s short clearance.
Few chances were created inside the opening exchanges of the second-half, as Albion protected their narrow lead and showed patience in their attempts to add to the scoreline.
Stockdale was called into action on the hour mark, as Conor Coady found space at the back post and directed his header on target, but Albion’s shot-stopper reacted well to parry the full-back’s firm effort.
Ben Marshall drove into Albion’s penalty area and unleashed a powerful right-footed effort, but once again Stockdale was on hand to push the midfielder’s attempt away from danger.
With Wolves pushing their players further up the pitch in search of an equalising goal, Albion broke away and doubled their advantage in the 82nd minute, as Knockaert benefitted from Murray’s persistence, before slotting the ball home from close range.
Hughton’s team had chances to break away and extend their lead further, but the scoreline remained 2-0 as the Seagulls move closer to promotion.