Brighton 0-0 Cardiff. Match report
Report of match 21st August 2012
Reporter Sporting Life
Goalkeepers Tomasz Kuszczak and David Marshall ensured an entertaining game ended goalless with a series of top-class saves as Brighton registered their first point in the npower Championship this season.
Brighton goalkeeper Kuszczak, a free summer signing from Manchester United, and opposite number Marshall were both in imperious form as their respective sides created a hatful of chances in either half.
The pick of Kuszczak's efforts was a double save in the 77th minute to deny Cardiff substitutes Joe Mason and Etien Velikonja, while Marshall kept out goalbound efforts from Brighton pair Craig Mackail-Smith and Saltor Bruno among others.
Both managers named unchanged sides at the Amex Stadium, Gus Poyet fielding the same Brighton XI that started in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Hull and Malky Mackay keeping faith with those that had earned a 1-0 win over Huddersfield last Friday.
Bluebirds defender Ben Turner saw his goalbound header from Peter Whittingham's seventh-minute corner blocked by Brighton striker Mackail-Smith, while returning hero Craig Bellamy crashed a 30-yard shot straight into the hands of home goalkeeper Kuszczak.
Brighton took a little longer to get going, but Marshall was forced to hold Ashley Barnes' angled drive in the 12th minute before the visitors threatened again.
Cardiff defender Andrew Taylor swung over a decent cross, but Bellamy's strike partner Heidar Helguson steered the ball tamely over the bar.
Mackail-Smith went close to giving the Seagulls the lead in the 22nd minute. His first shot was deflected for a corner and when the ball was played back in the Brighton forward was quickest to react, only to see Marshall parry the ball to safety at full stretch.
Marshall then kept out Craig Noone's angled effort from inside the penalty area before the action shifted to the other end, where Whittingham's excellent free-kick from 25 yards - after he was fouled by Brighton defender Gary Dicker - brought the best out of Kuszczak.
Cardiff midfielder Jordon Mutch was forced out through injury at half-time and replaced by Mason, but it had little effect on the visitors, who threatened first after the break through Whittingham's curling effort that flew just wide.
At the other end Brighton went closer to breaking the deadlock, first through winger Andrew Crofts - whose shot was blocked by Turner - and then Spanish defender Bruno, whose effort from the subsequent corner was superbly saved by Marshall.
Brighton boss Poyet sent on Kazenga LuaLua for Barnes in the 63rd minute and, after midfield team-mate Craig Noone had fired a shot straight at Marshall, opposite number Mackay responded by withdrawing Bellamy and sending on Craig Conway.
Conway's midfield partner Don Cowie let fly from 30 yards, but was thwarted by Kuszczak as both sides went in search of the winner.
Kuszczak came to Brighton's rescue again with a fine double save to deny Mason and substitute striker Velikonja, who had replaced Helguson moments earlier, in quick succession with 15 minutes left.
The goalmouth action dried up in the closing stages as both sides settled for a point at the end of a thoroughly entertaining goalless draw.
|Competition: npower Championship Date: Tuesday, 21st August 2012 Kick off: 19:45 Venue: Falmer Stadium|
|Brighton & HA
||0 - 0||Cardiff City
|18||Gary Dicker (Harley 82)|
|11||Craig Noone (Vicente 82)|
|9||Ashley Barnes (LuaLua 63)|
|17||Ryan Harley (Dicker 82)|
|15||Rodriguez Vicente (Noone 82)|
|25||Kazenga LuaLua (Barnes 63)|
|18||Jordon Mutch (Mason 46)|
|22||Heidar Helguson (Velikonja 77)|
|39||Craig Bellamy (Conway 73)|
|20||Joe Mason (Mutch 46)|
|11||Craig Conway (Bellamy 73)|
|9||Etien Velikonja (Helguson 77)|
|Brighton & HA cards shown|
|Cardiff City cards shown|
|17 mins||Jordon Mutch||Unsporting behaviour|