Mixed emotions about Brighton’s draw with Blackburn

Brighton v Blackburn. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
Brighton v Blackburn. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
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I have mixed emotions after Saturday’s game. A point against a Blackburn side with a very impressive away record is nothing shameful.

However, I really thought that Brighton’s win against Wigan in the midweek would act as a springboard for the season. I had the impression that a win against the Latics would be a turning point, and that the Seagulls would now begin to play with confidence and belief. And although Brighton played some neat stuff at times, Blackburn often had them at arm’s length, dealing with Brighton’s attacks relatively easily.

That’s said Brighton weren’t bad at the back themselves, defending well when you exclude a very good Blackburn goal. But, as always it seems, it was Brighton’s attacking play that let them down on the day. Lua Lua’s decision making remains increasingly erratic and frustrating while Baldock is still offering little in terms of an outlet up front. Elliott Bennett wasn’t bad but you can still see he is not 100% fit and it is unfair that the team is looking at him for our main threat in the final third.

The first half of the game was relatively slow to begin with, it seemed like both sides were trying to asses each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Indeed it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that one of the teams had a serious chance. Elliott Bennett drove towards the edge of the Blackburn area and played Baldock through with aplomb, but the striker’s shot was tame and strait at Steele between the Rover’s sticks.

However in the 42nd minute Brighton took the lead. Blackburn failed to clear a Jake Forster-Caskey corner allowing the ball to bounce strait to Gary Gardner who swept the ball in to the corner to give Brighton the advantage over Blackburn. It was Gardner’s second goal in as many games and his satisfaction was clear in his celebration.

The remainder of the half played out slowly, and not far after in the interval Blackburn equalised. A very good cross from Markus Olsson on the left found Rudy Gestede in the area who rose to slam a header home past Christian Walton, it was a quality goal. Gestede should have won the game late on with a free header and Joe Bennett came closest for Brighton from range. But the game drew to a close with the scores level, not bad from Brighton, but not particularly great either.