Harley gives Poyet easy ride to the top

Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Peterborough United 0
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The Independent Online

Gustavo Poyet, the Brighton manager, described his team's start to the season as "a dream" after they had won their opening three matches, and there are few signs that they are going to wake up. Last season's League One champions eased to the top of the npower Championship yesterday, beating a team that had scored seven in their previous League match. A few hours earlier, Brighton had learned that they will welcome Liverpool in the third round of the Carling Cup. On this form they will relish a visit from Kenny Dalglish and Co.

"We need to be careful and not get carried away, but there's no happier manager in England than me," Poyet said. "I always said when I came here and we were in the bottom four – and all last season – that we are where we deserve to be. We have worked for this. We are enjoying and learning."

Peterborough, usually prolific scorers, could have done with a few of their goals surplus against Ipswich eight days ago, but they were unable to make the most of their chances, and made life even more difficult for themselves by gifting Brighton the opening goal after 10 minutes. Paul Jones, the goalkeeper, hurried a clearance under pressure from Ashley Barnes and Craig Noone fastened on to the ball before shooting low past Jones's left hand.

Peterborough played their way into the match but were hampered by the loss of George Boyd with a knee injury.

Brighton continued to pass at speed and look more dangerous in possession, and doubled their lead after 64 minutes. Barnes was fouled 30 yards out and Ryan Harley, on his League debut after being signed from Swansea City to be the team's dead-ball specialist, swerved the free-kick over the defensive wall into the top corner. "I needed a specific player with certain qualities," Poyet said. "We got the one we were looking for."

In true family style, Darren Ferguson, the Peterborough manager, did not speak afterwards – he was off on holiday – but his assistant Kevin Russell said: "For long periods there wasn't much difference between the teams, but we didn't have a cutting edge."

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-1-2-3): Ankergren; Calderon, Greer, Dunk, Painter; Bridcutt; Harley (Sparrow 71), Dicker; Barnes, Mackail-Smith (LuaLua 90), Noone (Navarro 71).

Peterborough United (4-3-1-2): Jones; Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock; Frecklington, McCann, Rowe; Boyd (Tunnicliffe 34); Taylor (Ball 60), Tomlin.

Referee Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Man of the match Noone (Brighton).

Match rating 8/10.

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