Baldock nets only goal as Albion beat Wolves

Sam Baldock scored the only goal of the game as Albion moved up to third in the Championship with victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers this evening.

Sam Baldock celebrates putting Albion 1-0 ahead with Gaetan Bong. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Sam Baldock celebrates putting Albion 1-0 ahead with Gaetan Bong. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

The win increased Albion’s unbeaten run to seven league games as they collected their eighth clean sheet of the season.

Brighton made a bright start and Anthony Knockaert headed Jiri Skalak’s cross over from eight yards, before the French winger had an inswinging free kick tipped over by Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme.

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The hosts took the lead on 14 minutes when Skalak fed Gaetan Bong down the left and his cross was headed home by Baldock off the underside of the bar. It was the in-form striker’s fifth goal of the season as he scored for the third successive match for the first time since April, 2014.

Sam Baldock heads Albion into the lead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Wolves looked lively in spells and Steve Sidwell had to block a goalbound Dave Edwards shot after a free kick was only half-cleared on 18 minutes.

Skalak sent a free kick inches wide of the top corner on 21 minutes and Knockaert’s fizzing cross was sent just past the post by visiting defender Kortney Hause.

At the other end, the closest Wolves went to equalising in the first half was when Helda Costa’s fierce strike was superbly tipped over by David Stockdale.

Wanderers boss Walter Zenga made a double substitution at half-time and the visitors almost levelled within a minute of the second half. Substitute Ivan Cavaleiro picked out fellow sub Jon Dadi Bodvarsson but he failed to keep his shot down from 14 yards.

Albion striker Glenn Murray glanced a Skalak corner across goal on 55 minutes, before Knockaert fired a low drive straight at Ikeme moments later.

Clear chances were then few and far between until Knockaert played a quick one-two from a short corner with Skalak and saw his shot saved by Ikeme at his near post on 84 minutes.

No visiting player was able to get on the end of Costa’s teasing free kick three minutes from time, before Stockdale dived to his right to keep out shots from Romain Saiss and Costa in injury-time as Albion survived late pressure to hold on for all three points.

BRIGHTON: Stockdale; Bruno (Goldson 79), Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert (Pocognoli 90), Norwood, Sidwell, Skalak; Murray, Baldock (Stephens 82). Subs: Maenpaa, Murphy, Manu, Ince.

WOLVES: Ikeme, Doherty, Edwards, Batth, Dicko (Teixeira 68), Coady (Bodvarrson 45), Costa, Iorfa, Oniangue (Cavaleiro 45), Saiss, Hause. Subs: Lonergan, Stearman, Saville, Wallace.

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