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El-Abd’s Albion fail to increase gap at the top of the Championship
Adam El-Abd’s Brighton can be grateful that the rest of today’s Championship results have gone their way as they failed to increase their unbeaten streak, losing 1-0 to visitors Birmingham City.
The Albion came into the late kick-off game still top of the league on goal difference and had the opportunity of going 3 points clear of Cardiff City.
However, El-Abd’s Albion left the AMEX ruing over missed chances as Birmingham’s Chris Burke scored the only goal in the 27th minute of the game.
Stephen Dobbie made his full debut for the Albion for the injured Craig Mackail-Smith but seemed to lack the final touch needed in front of goal.
The former Swansea player had the first opportunity of the match which saw his half-volley dip just wide of England international Jack Butland’s left post.
A few minutes later, Chris Burke scored a 25-yard wonder strike to boost the spirits of the Birmingham camp, following an appalling performance at home to Barnsley last weekend, losing 5-0 to the Yorkshire team.
El-Abd quickly had the opportunity to equalize for the Seagulls with their first effort on target, but failed to score his second goal in two games as his soft header was pounced on by Birmingham keeper Butland.
Dobbie then created a goal-scoring opportunity for Dean Hammond but sadly for the Seagulls, the Southampton loanee couldn’t finish from the cross.
Despite their best efforts in an Albion-dominated game, the absence of top scorer, Craig Mackail-Smith, was felt as the El-Abd’s men failed to find the net after only 8 attempts (3 of which on target).
Pharaohs very own Adam El-Abd came off for David Lopez just after the hour mark in a tactical substitution to aide the Seagulls’ attack, but the offensive sub failed to provide any real substance.
Manager Gus Poyet felt the teams decisions costed the game whilst the fans felt the officials decisions influenced the outcome.
The Uruguayan said to Brighton’s official website: “We waited too long to start playing a high tempo and we couldn’t find the pass, cross or action to change the game. If we scored one goal in the second half there was only one way it would go. We couldn’t find that moment.”
Poyet, did however, seem to have encouraging words to his players ahead of Tuesday’s home fixture against Ipswich Town.
“If we recover well we will be okay, but it’s about us. We need to regroup, train well then go into the game positive and perform.”
One thing is for sure that the Albion team are relieved that their luck went their way tonight but they know they cannot rely on it all the time.
Tom Philips is a Brighton blogger and season-ticket holder covering Adam El-Abd and the rest of the Seagulls for KingFut.com. You can follow Tom on Twitter (@Tom_Philzo).