Brighton vs Derby result: Ashley Cole's first ever FA Cup goal in vain as home side reach quarter-finals

Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Derby County: The Seagulls put their Premier League worries to one side by beating Frank Lampard's side

Ian Winrow
AMEX Stadium
Saturday 16 February 2019 15:28
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At the age of 38 and with a record seven winners medals to his name, Ashley Cole still managed to break new ground in the FA Cup with the former England left-back claiming his first goal in the competition. Cole’s 81st minute strike, however, wasn’t enough to prevent Brighton moving into the quarter-finals.

First half goals from Anthony Knockaert and Yves Bissouma ensured Chris Hughton’s side took full advantage of the break from their Premier League relegation fight. Dominant for long periods, the home side was forced to endure a nervous ending against a Derby side that improved as the game wore on. Cole’s goal triggered a late rally that left Brighton on the backfoot and releived to hear the final whistle.

With a ten day break until their next Premier League fixture, a midweek trip to Leicester City, Brighton were able to train their focus on this tie although Hughton still made eight changes to the side that lost here to Burnley seven days previously with leading scorer Glenn Murray absent from the matchday squad.

Frank Lampard, the Derby manager, opted for a more familiar line-up, making just three changes to the side that was held to a disappointing draw at Ipswich Town last week although it soon became clear that Hughton’s much changed side would prove too strong for the Championship challengers.

Bissouma would catch the eye as the games progressed but initially it was Knockaert who was the difference as the home side asserted their superiority.

Anthony Knockaert opened the scoring

The French winger has struggled to make an impact in the two seasons since he was named Championship player of the year during Brighton’s promotion winning campaign. This term he has started less than half Albion’s league games but took full advantage of the opportunity to press his claims to feature more prominently, switching flanks to cause problems all across the Derby backline.

A Knockaert free-kick 13 minutes into the game drew a save from Kelle Roos then, with chances proving hard to come by at either end, the winger was again denied by the Derby goalkeeper who dived full length to push away a curling shot from the edge of the area.

Derby have lost just once since the turn of the year but their failure to convert a number of draws into wins has left them on the fringe of play-off places. Against more senior opponents they struggled to offer a meaningful threat in the first half with a Martyn Waghorn shot on the turn the only time the visitors tested David Button before the break.

Jurgen Locadia of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrates after scoring

By then they had fallen behind to Brighton’s well worked opening goal that was created by BIssouma and finished emphatically by Knockaert. Bruno, the Albion right-back, started the move down the right in the 33rd minute, moving the ball on to Bissouma who worked his way to the byline after exchanging passes with Ali Jahanbahksh before pulling the ball back to Knockaert who placed the ball inside the post with an excellent first time shot.

Brighton fully deserved to be ahead and with Lampard’s side offering little by way of response, Locadia doubled the lead immediately before half-time. Once again Bissouma was the creator, nutmegging Duane Holmes on the edge of the Derby area before curling a left foot shot that beat Roos and struck the inside of the post, rebounding into the path of Locadia who finished into an empty net.

Lampard reacted by making a double substitution at half-time including the introduction of Cole in a bid to stem the persistent threat that come from the Brighton right. The initial signs were promising for the visitors with Harry Wilson’s shot headed to safety by Duffy.

Ashley Cole of Derby County celebrates after scoring

The tie, though would have been dead and buried but for Roos who maintained his impressive form of the first half with another save from Knockaert and then from Bernardo’s overhead kick.

Derby held on, however, and were given hope when Cole halved the deficit after reacting first to head home 12 yards when a loose ball looped up inside the Brighton area.

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