Doncaster Rovers suffer defeat on the south coast.
Saturday, 8th February 2014 at the Amex Stadium, Brighton
Sky Bet League Championship
Referee - Mr Gary Ward
Attendance - 27,009
Rovers made one change from last week, Dean Furman starting in place of the suspended Richie Wellens. Despite rain in the morning it was fine, with sunny intervals when the match started.
After sizing each other up in the first five minutes the home team were awarded a free kick on their right touchline, which was placed into the Rovers goalmouth and eventually cleared.
Brighton followed this with successive corners which came to nothing but continued to press. A cross from Ward on the home left in the 10th minute was headed wide at the far post.
A high cross from Tamas on the Rovers right had the keeper back pedalling but the ball was just past the far post.
The home team continued to have the better of the play, with Rovers only making an occasional foray into the Brighton last third.
Just past the half hour and a great low cross from the home left byline went across the face of goal but there was no blue and white shirt there to touch it in.
As the last ten minutes of the half came up, Rovers got more into the game, showing more attacking intent. In the 40th minute a good 50 yard run by Sharp took the ball deep into the Brighton half before it fizzled out.
Rovers then spent time to the interval in the home half of the pitch without troubling Kuszczak in the Brighton goal.
Half Time - Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Doncaster Rovers 0
Rovers made a substitution at the start of the second half, Paul Quinn coming on for Tamas, who had taken a knock on the ankle in the first half.
They started the second half brightly enough with Sharp heading wide from about 15 yards from a Coppinger cross.
The same combination produced the same result minutes later except this time Sharp had a free header from about 8 yards.
On the hour a flowing move by the Rovers from the halfway line finished with Coppinger firing from the edge of the penalty area but Kuszczak was in the right position to save.
The home crowd were becoming anxious as Rovers then forced a corner but nothing came from it. However, they found their voice in the 66th minute when the home team at last got going to win a corner.
Minutes later, spurred on by the crowd, a cross by Rodriguez on the home right was headed over the bar from close range by Ulloa at the far post. In the 71st minute, following a Rovers attack Brown touched the ball back to Duffy, who fired just wide of a post from 16 yards.
Straight to the other end and Rodriguez hit a fierce drive from the side of the six yard box but Johnstone was at the near post to beat it away.
In the 74th minute Ulloa put the ball in the Rovers net from a low cross from the left but the assistant had his flag up for offside.
The ball went into the Rovers goal again in the 75th minute and this time it counted after ULLOA headed in at the near post following a cross from the left by Ward.
Good work by Coppinger on the right led to him putting a low cross across the face of goal but neither Sharp or Brown could get to it.
Rovers fought back and unfortunately for Sharp, he took it literally and received a red card from the referee for kicking out in a challenge with Gordon Greer.
Down to ten men, Rovers threw everything into attack, with Cotterill leading the way but they just couldn't force the ball past the home defence.
Result - Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (Ulloa 75) Doncaster Rovers 0
Teams - Brighton & Hove Albion - Tomasz Kuszczak; Bruno Saltor, Gordon Greer (c), Dale Stephens, David Rodrigues, Andrea Orlandi, Stephen Ward, Leonardo Ulloa, Matthew Upson, Solly March, Rohan Ince
Subs used - Kazenga LuaLua for Orlandi 62 mins; David Lopez for March 80 mins; Jonathan Obika for Rodrigues 89 mins;
Subs not used - Lewis Dunk, Kemy Agustien, Inigo Calderon, , Peter Brezovan gk Cautions - Ulloa 80 mins;
Doncaster Rovers - Sam Johnstone; Gabriel Tamas, Bongani Khumalo, Abdoulaye Meite, James Husband; James Coppinger, Paul Keegan (c), Dean Furman, Mark Duffy; Billy Sharp, Chris Brown
Subs used - Paul Quinn for Tamas 46 mins; David Cotterill for Duffy 76 mins; ;
Subs not used - Luke McCullough, Marc De Val, Alex Peterson, Enda Stevens, Jon Maxted