Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • August 23, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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For the third time in a week, Bolton scored first but surrendered points - as they were beaten 2-1 by Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium.

Wanderers went ahead in the 25th minute, as Matt Mills headed Jay Spearing's free-kick beyond David Stockdale in the Brighton goal.

The hosts were behind for just 12 minutes, however, as Craig Mackail-Smith equalised eight minutes before the break, with a goal which left Adam Bogdan with a cut to his eye and needing to be replaced by Andy Lonergan. Brighton completed the turnaround on 64 minutes, as Joao Carlos Teixeira slotted home from close range.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side that lost at home to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, as Hayden White, Medo Kamara and Neil Danns took the places of Kevin McNaughton, Liam Feeney and Liam Trotter.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, with Bruno Saltor smashing an effort wide of Adam Bogdan's post with less than three minutes on the clock.

Bogdan was alert to deny Jake Forster-Caskey moments later, while a long-ball into the Bolton box from Inigo Calderon was just too far in front of Mackail-Smith as the Wanderers goalkeeper made another routine stop.

Bolton's first chance arrived on the 17 minute mark and it was one that should have resulted in a goal. Craig Davies raced beyond the Seagulls defence and, after reaching the byline, he pulled the ball back to Lee Chung-Yong, who fired over the crossbar from 12 yards.

Brighton went straight back on the attack, with Andrew Crofts bringing a superb flying save out of Bogdan on 20 minutes, before an unmarked David Wheater headed a Spearing corner wide of goal at the other end at the midway point of the half.

Then, with 25 minutes played, Wanderers were ahead, with yet another set-piece goal. Spearing's free-kick caused havoc inside the Brighton box and Mills took full advantage, sending a looping header over David Stockdale and into the net.

Brighton were suddenly looking vulnerable at the back and had Stockdale to thank 60 seconds later, as Davies almost capitalised on a poor pass back to the former Fulham goalkeeper.

The hosts saw appeals for a penalty turned down when Mackail-Smith went to ground on the half-hour, moments before a counter-attack from Bolton ended with Kamara firing inches wide of the target.

Mackail-Smith smashed the crossbar at the other end, with replays showing Bogdan managed to get fingertips to the ball, but Brighton were level eight minutes before the break as a neat move ended with Mackail-Smith slotting beyond the Bolton goalkeeper from close range.

That goal came at a cost for Wanderers, with Bogdan's afternoon coming to an end after he appeared to collide with White as he attempted to keep the ball out. The Hungary international left the field with a cut to his eye and was replaced by Andy Lonergan.

Lonergan's first action was to push Mackail-Smith's strike behind for a corner and a rush of blood from the resulting cross almost resulted in a goal, but Spearing was alert to the danger by clearing Lewis Dunk's goalbound header off the line to ensure the sides went in level at the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Spearing and Chung-Yong both causing danger in the Brighton box.

Davies should have put Bolton back in front five minutes after the restart, as he and Joe Mason both gambled for the ball. The former Brighton forward made a good connection, but could only succeed in slicing his shot wide of the target.

Danns held off a number of defenders before shooting wide moments later, while Mackail-Smith's speculative overhead kick failed to trouble Lonergan on the hour mark.

Despite being second best in the opening stages of the second half, Brighton took the lead on 64 minutes as Teixeira pounced on more slack defending from Wanderers before slotting past a wrong-footed Lonergan from eight yards.

Teixeira and Crofts both came close to adding a third as the game approached the final 20 minutes, before the Seagulls began to slow the game down by retaining possession.

Kazanga LuaLua was denied a clear run on goal by a superbly timed challenge from White, with eight minutes to go, before a header from Gordon Greer sailed over the top of the crossbar.

Spearing and Mackail-Smith both failed to test opposition goalkeepers at either end, as time began to run out for Wanderers, who, despite their best attempts in stoppage time, failed to break down a defence which had restricted them to just one shot on target all afternoon.

Defeat means Bolton have lost eight points from winning positions in just four games this season - more than a third of last season's total of 22. They return to action with a League Cup trip to Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday nght, before returning to Championship action at Leeds United next Saturday.

Brighton & Hove Albion: Stockdale, Calderon (LuaLua 67), Greer, Dunk, Bennett (Chicksen 74), Bruno, Crofts, Holla, Forster-Caskey, Teixeira (Ince 84), Mackail-Smith
Subs Not Used: McCourt, Hughes, O'Grady, Chicksen, Ankergren
Booked: Holla, Bruno
Goals: Mackail-Smith 37, Teixeira 64

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan (Lonergan 41), White, Mills, Wheater, Ream, Spearing, Chung-Yong, Kamara (Feeney 71), Danns (Trotter 71), C Davies, Mason
Subs Not Used: Beckford, Dervite, Pratley, Threlkeld
Booked: Chung-Yong
Goals: Mills 25

Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 24,435

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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