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Northampton vs Brighton
 1 - 0 
Date: 
Tue Jan 29 19:45:00 GMT 2008
Venue: 
Sixfields Stadium
Attendance: 
4657
Referee: 
D McDermidd

By Tim Dudding, at the Sixfields Stadium

Albion slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Northampton Town after a superb performance between the sticks from Cobblers keeper Mark Bunn.

The home side's man-of-the-match made a handful of excellent saves to deny the Seagulls, ensuring Mark Hughes first-half header was enough to give Northampton victory.

Nathan Elder was making only his second ever league start for the Seagulls, and the bustling striker took just seven minutes to force a save from Bunn, his powerful header from a sweeping Dean Cox cross tipped around the post by the Cobblers keeper.

Bunn was called into action again the 25th minute, acrobatically turning a bullet header from David Martot over the crossbar.

Adam El-Abd met the resulting corner from Cox with a stooping header, which in turn was helped on by Forster, only to see his shot canon off the underside of the bar and away - referee Danny Mcdermaid deciding the ball had not crossed the line.

It was all Albion, and in the 36th minute Elder had the goal at his mercy; Forster outstripped Mark Little and delivered a tantalising ball across the face of goal, but Elder just couldn't apply the necessary touch to put the Seagulls ahead.

The game was wide open and playing out more like a cup tie than a league fixture, but nevertheless, Michel Kuipers was hardly troubled. When he was beaten, by Brett Johnson's low shot in the 36th minute, Matt Richards was at hand to clear off the line.

But having denied Albion a possible goal earlier on, referee McDermaid then gave the home side a dubious looking free kick on the edge of the Albion area, after Tommy Elphick tangled with Joe Burnell.

Danny Jackman whipped in the cross, and Mark Hughes rose at the far post to head past Kuipers and send Northampton into the break in the lead.

The second period was a closer affair, and as a result didn't quite match the first for entertainment value.

Northampton had the better chances to increase their lead, Poul Hubertz heading Jackman's cross over from 10 yards. Hughes then headed into the ground and over the bar from a Jackman corner.

Dean Wilkins introduced new signing Glenn Murray and Jake Robinson, and with fresh impetus Albion forced a free-kick on the left, just outside the area. Cox clipped in the cross, but Forster's glancing header was ruled out for offside.

With eight minutes remaining, Albion were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Murray was fouled. Cox smashed the ball hard and low, which Bunn could only parry, but the Northampton defenders were quicker to the rebound and the danger was cleared.

Moments later Richards's attempted long ball was charged down on the half-way line by Ian Henderson, but the Albion full-back recovered with a brilliant tackle on the edge of his own area with the Cobblers substitute clear through on goal.

Albion however, were out of ideas, and the home side held on for the three points.

Northampton: (3-5-2) Bunn; Little, Hughes, Johnson; Crowe, Hayes, Burnell (Henderson 78), Coke (Holt 58), Jackman; Gilligan, Hubertz. Subs not used: Akinfenwa, Dunn, Dolman.

Albion: Kuipers; Whing, El-Abd, Elphick, Richards; Martot (Robinson 64), Reid (Fraser 51), Thomson, Cox; Forster, Elder (Murray 61). Subs not used: Mayo, Butters.

Referee: Danny McDermaid

Yellow Cards: Gilligan (Northampton); Martot, Kuipers, El-Abd (Albion)

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David Martot
Albion slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Northampton Town tonight...
 Match Information
 
  Northampton Brighton
Goals : 1 0
Possession : 50% 50%
Shots On Target : 4 4
Shots Off Target : 5 5
Corners : 4 6
Fouls : 14 16
Most Fouls : Gilligan (6) El-Abd (6)
Yellow Cards : 1 3
Red Cards : 0 0
 
Scorers :
Hughes 44
 
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