PLAYER RATINGS/MATCH STATS: Brighton 2 Wanderers 1

Craig Davies was again in impressive form for Wanderers

Craig Davies was again in impressive form for Wanderers

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

WANDERERS (4-4-2 - diamond) ADAM BOGDAN...6 Made one superb save from Mackail-Smith before his untimely exit. Looked like a bad cut above his eye.

HAYDEN WHITE...6 Started confidently and provided width but the task grew a little too much for the youngster in the second half.

MATT MILLS...6 Will be disappointed not to have shut out Teixeria for the second goal when he cut in from the left wing but took his header well.

DAVID WHEATER...5 Struggled to keep track of Mackail-Smith and should have scored with an early header.

TIM REAM...5 Again, left exposed as a makeshift left-back but culpable for some poor defending in the build up to the first goal.

JAY SPEARING...6 Still not firing on all cylinders. The skipper was as wasteful on the ball as anyone else in the second half.

MEDO KAMARA...5 Failed to stamp any real authority into midfield in his return to the side. Disappointing on the ball.

CHUNG-YONG LEE...6 Faded after a bright opening and offered very little protection from the referee.

NEIL DANNS...5 Rather subdued performance from one of Freedman’s more consistent lieutenants. Substituted.

JOE MASON...6 Ran down too many blind alleys in and around the Brighton box. Couldn’t get himself into the game.

CRAIG DAVIES...7 Showed hustle and bustle around the opposition penalty area and plenty of running to give his side some options.

Subs: Lonergan 41 (for Bogdan) – Made two fine saves but also showed weakness on crosses 6 Feeney 71 (for Danns) – Made little impact after his arrival 5 Trotter 71 (for Medo) – Gave the ball away too often at the end 5 Not used: Dervite, Pratley, Beckford, Threlkeld.

STAR MAN – Craig Davies Worked hard to get his side space in the first half. Should have scored in the second half when, again, he created a chance for himself on the edge of the box. A rare ray of sunshine in a dark spell for the Whites.

BRIGHTON (4-3-3) DAVID STOCKDALE...6 INIGO CALDERON...8 GORDON GREER...6 LEWIS DUNK...6 JOE BENNETT...7 BRUNO SALTOR...7 JAKE FORSTER-CASKEY...7 DANNY HOLLA...6 JOAO TEIXEIRA...7 ANDY CROFTS...6 CRAIG MACKAIL-SMITH...9 Subs: Lua Lua 67 (for Calderon) 6, Chicksen 74 (for Bennett), Ince 84 (for Teixeira).

Not used: Ankergren, Hughes, McCourt, O'Grady.

THEIR STAR MAN: Craig Mackail-Smith Movement, pace and, on a different day, might have had a hatful of goals. Brighton clearly missed him last season and he has returned just as potent after a long term injury.

MATCH STATS POSSESSION Brighton – 58 Wanderers - 42 SHOTS ON TARGET Brighton – 11 Wanderers - 1 SHOTS OFF TARGET Brighton – 15 Wanderers - 8 CORNERS Brighton – 3 Wanderers - 4 FOULS AGAINST Brighton – 11 Wanderers - 7 OFFSIDES Brighton – 2 Wanderers - 1 Booked: Brighton – Bruno 86 (foul on Chung-Yong), Holla 67 (foul on Medo) Wanderers – Chung-Yong 86 (ungentlemanly conduct), Sent off: None Attendance: 24,435 Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire) 7 Let a few too many late tackles go in the early stages, most of which were aimed at Chung-Yong Lee. Got a couple of Brighton penalty appeals spot on – so they seem like minor complaints.

Goals: Brighton – Mackail-Smith 37, Teixeira 67 Wanderers – Mills 25 Entertainment – 6/10 Hard to watch for Wanderers fans as another side took control of possession and created a multitude of chances. Brighton did play some good football off lively striker Craig Mackail-Smith.

Atmosphere – 6/10 It rarely rocked at the Amex Stadium despite a large crowd. Brighton looked comfortable in the second half so they rarely needed their crowd to turn up the volume.

Match point – Wanderers lose Adam Bogdan during the equalising goal and instantly the nerves set in. The blame doesn’t lie at the man who replaced him, Andy Lonergan, more the mentality of the squad around him.

Magic moment – Adam Bogdan’s save from Craig Mackail-Smith in the first half was superb, as was a double save from point blank range by Lonergan just before the equalising goal.

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