Late Error Costs City
Yet again,City's failure to defend set pieces cost them dearly as a late goal robbed City of a win.
Whilst Brighton as a city, revels in it's ability to attract the pink pound,some of its citizens especially those in the Withdean area,clearly have delusions of grandeur.
Granted that Withdean is a nice area,it is no better than areas of our beloved City and the restrictions regarding match arrangements placed on Brighton & Hove Albion FC at the behest of the local residents are prohibitive to say the least.
Thankfully with a disabled parking badge,we managed to get a decent parking space and I found myself escorted to the front of the terrace by a helpful steward and allowed to sit by the running track in front of the City fans.
The ground itself is an athletics stadiium with a football pitch in the middle and on a par with some of the grounds we have visited over the years in Germany. Apart from the Main Stand,the rest of the accommodation is temporary seating which rocks when any one stands up.
With Peter Reid having recovered from his illness,Gary McSheffrey was back in the team and the much slated 4-5-1 formation dropped in favour of 4-4-2.
With the weather turning to bright sunshine, the home side were the first to show with Davenport having to clear with less than twenty seconds gone.
Graham Barrett who was abused merciously by sections of the home support,crossed for Bjarni Gudjonsson in the second minute and the Icelander's shot was deflected for a corner.
Brighton attacked five minutes later when Shearer dived to save Maheto Molango header.
Molanga went down in the tenth minute trying to win a penalty under a challenge from Carey but referee Phil Joslin was having none of it.
Gary McSheffrey tried to get City going and cut in from the right but went down under a challenge from Seagulls keeper Michael Kuipers and a corner which the industrious Michael Doyle headed wide.
Brighton in a kit that drew an "Are You Bedworth in disguise" had lost their first two matches and were packing their defence to cut down the City attacks but allowed Barrett to win a corner and Michael Doyle to send a diving header wide from a Staunton cross.
In the 20th minute,a mistake by Richard Shaw allowed Molango to force Shearer into a save.
Four minutes later and after two good Doyle shots,Adam Hinselwood was booked for a bad tackle on Doyle.
As the game entered the half hour mark,McSheffrey attacked down the right and won a corner which Davenport nodded down before Johnson was pulled up for a foul.
The City centre half who has been called up for England U21's was booked in the 38th minute for presumably mouthing off.
Brighton were first to attack in the second half when former Wimbledon winger crossed for Molango to fire wide.
With some of the 716 City fans playing volleyball as the match went on,Gudjonsson infuriated those not involved with a very poor shot.
Calls for Andy Whing went unheeded by the City bench as Carey twice gave away possession,but on the hour mark and it was Patrick Suffo who replaced McSheffrey.
Molanga became the third player booked following a tussle with Davenport in the 61st minute.
Now my pre-game prediction of 0-0 looked a good bet as both sides were poor and seemingly happy with a point but in the 68th minute,it all changed when the ball was knocked back to Stephen Hughes in space and he hit a low drive from the edge of the area which flew into the net and delight the Sky Blue followers who included Geoffrey Robinson and Richard Keys.
Hughes went close three minutes later when Kuipers made a terrific save.
Another followed from Gudjonsson before he went off in the 83rd minute to be replaced by Andy Morrell.
Things were looking good. Ok,City again were not playing well but at least they were winning,when it all went sadly wrong.
Patrick Suffo for some reason raced at a Brighton midfielder and lunged at him from behind. A free kick was awarded some thirty yards out. Adam Virgo took the kick which went along the ground, Shearer dived to his right but the ball crept under him and into the net.
It was a bitter blow and Peter Reid was met with a chorus of boos and a chant of "Reidy Sort It Out" as the players left clearly disappointed with the result.
Ht BHA 0-0 CCFC FT BHA 1-1 CCFC Att 6368
Goals Stephen Hughes (68),Adam VIrgo (88)
Man Of The Match - Davenport followed by Michael Doyle.
Mare - Gudjonsson
Shearer,Carey,Staunton,Shaw,Davenport,Hughes,Barrett,Doyle,Johnson,Gudjonsson (Morrell 83),McSheffrey (Suffo 60). SNU whing,Marriott,Sherwood.