“Wow, what happened there, eh?” was the sentence that resounded around Falmer Station following possibly the most bonkers game the AMEX has ever seen.
Terrible defending, genius forward play and a brace from Inigo Calderon sums the game up well. Oh yeah, and there was the small matter of seven goals and a saved penalty. Yep, as I said bonkers. Exactly how football should be played in my eyes, two teams both going for the jugular wholeheartedly, with the strongest fighting hard to withstand an admirable challenge. In an age where footballing identity and entertainment have taken a backseat to a pragmatic, result-driven format that now exists at nearly every level of the game, results such as Saturday’s taste even more sweeter.
Brighton started the strongest of the sides and took the lead in the 8th minute courtesy of Joao Teixeira. The elusive and tricky attacker cut in on to his right foot and squeezed a shot under Blues keeper Darren Randolph at the near post. Birmingham soon replied as Donaldson did well to turn in a shot fizzed in from range by Gleeson. Brighton continued to dominate the half, but couldn’t find a way in on goal. Despite this, Birmingham had a glorious chance to go in front at the half’s death as the Blues were awarded a penalty. David Stockdale came to Albion’s recue however, saving Caddis’s low shot at full stretch.
Coming out strongly again, Brighton snatched the lead as Calderon turned Baldock’s accurate cross in to a goal. Baldock soon played a role in Brighton’s next goal as his shot was parried in to the path of Teixeira, allowing the Portuguese to net his second of the game. Birmingham naturally responded in an attempt to claw their way back in to the match, Grounds fired a good chance over and soon the Blues had pulled a goal back. Poor play from Brighton resulted in Thomas having the ball in the box, somehow he turned three men and his shot was rifled in to the bottom corner. It was clear Albion would need to score again to withstand Birmingham’s ferocious pressure, and this they did. Dunk flicked on and Calderon was on hand to finish from close range and see the game out. Substitute Novak pulled another goal back with a neat low finish but Brighton, overlooked by what was at this point a nervous home crowd, defended well at the end to secure a win.