Brighton 2 Hull City 1: Carole and Oatway end Brighton's barren spell

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The Independent Online

When you have only won three times in a season each victory is bound to be cherished, but Brighton have managed to pick two special games in which to record their last two victories.

Before last night their last triumph had been nine games ago against their fiercest rivals Crystal Palace and then came this result which cocked a snook at their former manager, Peter Taylor, now in charge at Hull City.

The victory, the first at Withdean Stadium since August, had the added bonus of lifting Albion two places clear of the relegation zone.

The best way to recover from losing 5-1 in your previous game is probably not to then concede a goal within five minutes of your next match. That is exactly what Brighton did, although by the end of the first half they had turned that deficit into an ultimately decisive 2-1 lead.

The Brighton manager, Mark McGhee, had made two changes from the team who lost 5-1 at Reading last Saturday, the main switch involving top scorer Leon Knight being dropped from the 16-man squad.

As if that defeat was not bad enough, within five minutes they had gone a goal behind when Andy Dawson's corner was met by Leon Cort, and from six yards out Stuart Elliott diverted the header home to give Hull the lead.

Yet Albion were not perturbed by that setback, and within nine minutes a goal of far greater quality brought them level.

Sebastien Carole had an impressive first half, especially so when, with his back to goal and from the corner of the area, he turned and curled his shot into the top corner of the Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill's net.

On the stroke of half-time Brighton took the lead when the midfielder Charlie Oatway calmly side-footed the ball past Myhill from Paul Reid's pass.

Taylor brought on Stuart Green and Billy Paynter for John Welsh and Barmby after the break as Hull looked to get themselves back into the game.

But it was the home side who appeared most likely to add to their lead and, in the 56th minute, Colin Kazim-Richards' drilled effort from 25 yards flew over the crossbar.

Dawson fired a shot over as the game entered the final few minutes but Brighton were not to be denied three priceless points.

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-4-2): Blayney; Reid, El-Abd, Butters, Mayo; Carole, Hammond, Oatway, Frutos (McCammon, 68, Robinson 89); Hart, Kazim-Richards. Substitutes not used: Chaigneau (gk), Nicolas, T Elphick.

Hull City (4-4-2): Myhill; France, Cort, Collins, Dawson; Price (Andrews, 78), Delaney, Welsh (Green, h-t), Barmby (Paynter, h-t); Elliott, Fagan. Substitutes not used: Duke (gk), Lynch.

Referee: K Stroud (Hampshire).

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