Brighton ease to victory at home to Rotherham

Albion celebrate Anthony Knockaert's opening goal. Picture by Phil Westlake
Albion celebrate Anthony Knockaert's opening goal. Picture by Phil Westlake

Brighton cruised to a second successive home win in the Championship with a 3-0 victory at home to Rotherham this evening.

Albion bossed the first half and led 2-0 at half-time with goals from Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray. Tomer Hemed added the third from the penalty spot just before the hour as Brighton eased to all three points.

The hosts made a slow start, with Dale Stephens twice blazing over in the opening exchanges, before the visitors’ Stephen Kelly fired over from 15 yards after a free kick fell kindly for him on 21 minutes.

Just two minutes later Brighton went ahead. Gaetan Bong flicked the ball forward to Knockaert, who took a touch and shot low into the far corner from 20 yards despite Rotherham keeper Lee Camp getting a hand to the ball. It was the second home game in succession Knockaert had scored Albion’s opening goal after scoring first in the 3-0 win against Nottingham Forest on Friday.

Rotherham’s Will Vaulks sent a shot wide from 22 yards on 25 minutes, before Brighton doubled their lead within a minute. Lewis Dunk intercepted a pass and took the ball forward, before Liam Rosenior crossed for Murray to sweep home a volley from six yards.

Albion could have added a third before half-time but Tomer Hemed was denied by Camp when through on goal and Knockaert saw a close-range shot blocked after Hemed pulled the ball back.

Hemed had an effort ruled out for a foul early in the second half but he did get on the scoresheet after 57 minutes. Murray was pulled to the floor by Kelly and referee Simon Hooper had little hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Hemed sent Camp the wrong way from the spot to net his first goal of the season.

Albion keeper Niki Maenpaa - making his first league start for the club after joining last summer - was rarely called upon until he made two excellent saves midway through the half to deny Danny Ward and then Vaulks as it finished 3-0.

BRIGHTON: Maenpaa; Rosenior, Bruno, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert (LuaLua 68), Norwood, Stephens, Murphy; Hemed, Murray (Baldock 68). Subs: Ankergren, White, Kayal, Sidwell, LuaLua, Skalak, Baldock.

ROTHERHAM: Camp; Fisher, Kelly, Wilson, Mattock; Vaulks, Smallwood, Ball; Forde (Allan 45), Ward, Taylor. Subs: Price, Wood, Thorpe, Yates, Warren.

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