It’s a good time to be an Albion supporter: top of the league, not a single goal conceded, new signings delivering, next round of the league cup and the strike affecting Southern Rail services being called off.
On Tuesday night the Seagulls cruised to the summit of the Championship with a three-goal thumping of Rotherham United.
Things started perfectly for the Albion as courtesy of Knockeart’s low strike and Glenn Murray’s tap in the boys in blue and white found themselves two up in just twenty-five minutes.
Hemed had looked to have further extended Albion’s lead shortly after the break but his strike was quickly chalked off after it was found Knockaert had handled the ball in the build up.
Hemed, however, was not to be denied as he cooly slotted home a penalty just before the hour mark after Glenn Murray had been fouled by Rotherham defender Stephen Kelly.
The comfortable win moved Hughton’s side up five places to top spot after victory by the same scoreline against Nottingham Forest last Friday night and a draw at Derby on the opening day of the season.
Rotherham had a number of chances themselves but were frustrated by the excellent Niki Mäenpää, a debutant in the Albion goal.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton:
“We had to wait for our moments. But there were two moments of quality for the first two goals. Bruno has not played too many games at centre-back but I knew he could play there. He`s been good for [Lewis] Dunk as well and the clean sheet is as pleasing as the goals.
“It was a really important win today. You have got to do well at home as it will be tougher away from home.”
Albion who travel to lowly Reading on Saturday will be looking to extend their stay at the summit ahead of their second round League Cup tie on the road to Oxford United. Tougher tests lay ahead for the Albion as the following Saturday they travel north to face pre-season favourites Newcastle United before another test after the international break at home to promotion hopefuls Brentwood.
It has been a fantastic start to the season for Hughton’s side keeping four clean sheets from four as well as hitting three or more goals in three of their four season openers. Hughton will be particularly impressed with the seamless transition of new boys Oliver Norwood and Glenn Murray (enjoying his second spell with the club) into the starting eleven.
The additions of Norwood and Murray seem to have added more cutting edge to the Seagulls attack, whose real problem last season was finding big goals in the important games. The tests in the coming month against Newcastle and Brentford will give us a clearer idea of how far Hughton’s side have come in terms of delivering on the big stages.
It has been a near enough perfect start for Hughton’s side with Seagulls supporters hopeful this may at last be the year Albion banish their promotion demons and gain a place amongst England’s elite in next year’s Premier League.