Brighton's corner woes continue in defeat at West Brom

Solly March battles away with Ahmed Hegazi. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Solly March battles away with Ahmed Hegazi. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

West Brom ended a club record 20-game winless league run with a 2-0 victory at home to Brighton this afternoon.

The Seagulls' set-piece woes continued as both Baggies goals came from corners, Jonny Evans heading home the opener after just four minutes and Craig Dawson got the second ten minutes into the second half.

Craig Dawson heads home West Brom's second. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Craig Dawson heads home West Brom's second. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton made eight changes from their 2-1 FA Cup victory against Crystal Palace, with only Gaetan Bong, Dale Stephens and Jose Izquierdo keeping their place in the starting 11.

The Baggies made only three changes from their 2-0 cup success at League Two Exeter as Evans, Matt Phillips and Dawson came in for Allan Nyom, Gareth McAuley and James McClean.

That win had ended a 21-game winless run in all competitions for West Brom but they still went into today's match without a Premier League win since August.

Seagulls winger Jose Izquierdo sent a curling effort just wide of the far post inside 90 seconds but the hosts were ahead by the fourth minute as Brighton conceded from a corner again. Matt Phillips' flag-kick was flicked on by Jay Rodriguez and Evans was unmarked to head home at the back post.

West Brom could have been 2-0 up before ten minutes was up as Dawson was left unmarked from another Phillips' corner but headed well wide from 12 yards.

The game then became a cagey battle - Shane Duffy headed clear as Rodriguez looked to get on the end of Phillips' cross on 25 minutes, while Glenn Murray volleyed over from 18 yards at the other end three minutes later.

The hosts had penalty appeals waved away when Murray blocked Phillips' shot but Brighton began to enjoy more of the ball as the half wore on and Dunk had a shot deflected over following a goalmouth scramble on 37 minutes, before Davy Propper's teasing cross-shot was saved by Foster.

The Baggies went close to a second on 41 minutes when Dawson got in down the right too easily but Mathew Ryan was quick off his line to block the shot, with the ball then rebounding against Dawson and out for a goal kick.

Gross blazed over from 20 yards at the other end before the break as West Brom went into the break one goal to the good.

Brighton sent on Solly March for Izquierdo at half-time but the hosts threatened first in the second period as Lewis Dunk blocked Rodriguez's close-range effort and then the Baggies striker dragged a shot wide from 20 yards.

Brighton's Achilles heel of defending corners again came back to haunt them as West Brom doubled their lead on 55 minutes. Dawson met Chris Brunt's set-piece and his downward header bounced up off the pitch and past Ryan and Anthony Knockaert on the line.

Bong and Rodriguez clashed shortly afterwards, before Brighton missed a gilt-edged opportunity to get back in the game. Substitute Sam Baldock got in behind the Baggies defence, his cross was a fraction behind Murray who played the ball across goal to Knockaert but he blazed over from ten yards.

West Brom striker Salomon Rondon fired a shot low into the side netting moments later but the hosts comfortably saw out the remainder of the game to end their long winless run.

WEST BROM: Foster; Dawson (Nyom 81), Hegazi, Evans (McAuley 84), Gibbs; Phillips, Krychowiak, Barry, Brunt; Rodriguez (Livermore 79), Rondon. Subs: Robson-Kanu, Yacob, Myhill, McClean.

BRIGHTON: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper (Kayal 76), Izquierdo (March 45); Gross (Baldock 66); Murray. Subs: Hemed, Goldson, Schelotto, Krul.