Derby hold a slender advantage after the first leg of their play-off semi-final with Brighton.

Jesse Lingard fired past Lee Grant from inside the box to put Brighton ahead after his first attempt was blocked.

Chris Martin levelled from the spot after Matthew Upson fouled Craig Forsyth.

Derby went in front just before half-time when Martin's strike hit the crossbar and bounced in off the back of Brighton keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

Brighton came close to an equaliser but Grant tipped Leonardo Ulloa's shot on to the bar.

It means Derby head into Sunday's second leg needing only to avoid defeat to make the Championship play-off final at Wembley on 24 May.

Steve McClaren's side had already beaten Brighton twice this season and finished third in the Championship, 13 points ahead of their opponents who squeezed into the play-offs courtesy of Ulloa's last-minute winner at Nottingham Forest on the final day of the season.

Despite Derby's tag as favourites heading into the game it was the Seagulls who struck first after a lively start at the Amex.

Advantage Derby

  • Thursday's victory means Derby have won all three meetings with Brighton this season.
  • Chris Martin scored twice as the Rams came from a goal down to win 2-1 at the Amex Stadium on 10 August.
  • Patrick Bamford's 76th-minute goal gave Derby a 1-0 home win on 18 January.

After having two early penalty appeals turned down, Brighton took a 19th-minute lead and it was Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, who broke the deadlock with a smart finish.

Inigo Calderon, on the right, found space after a delightful back-heel from Will Buckley and his pass to Lingard was blasted home at the second attempt.

Brighton's lead lasted just 11 minutes, with the home crowd stunned into silence after Derby levelled from the spot.

Derby, who had looked dangerous on the break throughout, broke from their own half and the ball eventually found its way to Forsyth who was scythed down by Brighton central defender Upson.

Martin coolly slotted his penalty home - sending Kuszczak the wrong way for his 21st goal of the season - but there was worse to come for the hosts on the stroke of half-time.

After chances for both sides it was McClaren's side who went into the break in front with Martin's strike from the edge of the box striking the crossbar and hitting the back of Kuszczak before bouncing in.

It was a cruel goal to concede and harsh on Brighton who searched in vain for an equaliser.

Derby continued to look dangerous on the break after half-time but it was Brighton who came closest to scoring next.

A ball into the box eventually found itself to Ulloa who managed to get off a shot in the box but Grant superbly tipped the effort onto the bar.

Brighton dominated the closing stages and twice came close to levelling.

First Lingard saw his effort from the edge of the box saved by Grant who followed that up with another fingertip save from Stephen Ward who unleashed a fierce 20-yard drive.

Brighton pressed for an equaliser but it never came and Oscar Garcia's side will now have to beat Derby for the first time this season if they are to have any chance of advancing to Wembley to set up a fixture against either QPR or Wigan who play on Friday.

Brighton head coach Oscar Garcia:

"It was a totally unfair result. We were better than them in all areas. I am really proud of our performance.

"If the ref had given us an early penalty it would have been a better start. And in the second half we should have had a penalty but we need to improve in front of goal.

"We knew they had a good counter-attack but it is difficult to play against the third-best team in the league, and they are a very good side.

"I am really happy with the performance and we did everything but score. We have to believe because we have to go there and get a result. If we don't we will still come away with our heads held high."

Derby manager Steve McClaren:

"It had everything. You saw every side of Derby County tonight. They started well but we showed great character, got ahead and could have scored a couple more.

"We allowed them to put too much pressure on us in the second half and we are indebted to our defending and our goalkeeper. You've got to be hard to beat and we were in the second half.

"We can be better and we need to be better because this Brighton side can beat us away from home. The tie is still open and there is a long way to go. The next goal will be crucial."

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (6)

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • 29 Kuszczak
  • 14 Calderón Booked
  • 17 Ward
  • 04 Andrews Booked
  • 03 Greer
  • 20 Upson
  • 18 Forster-Caskey Booked
  • 11 Orlandi (March - 70' )
  • 19 Ulloa
  • 30 Buckley (Lua Lua - 45' )
  • 35 Lingard (Mackail-Smith - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Brezovan
  • 05 Dunk
  • 12 Mackail-Smith
  • 15 Chicksen
  • 25 Lua Lua
  • 27 March
  • 38 Ince

Derby County

  • 01 Grant
  • 33 Wisdom
  • 03 Forsyth Booked
  • 34 Thorne Booked
  • 06 Keogh
  • 25 Buxton
  • 08 Hendrick
  • 04 Bryson (Hughes - 92' )
  • 09 Martin
  • 10 Ward Booked (Sammon - 72' Booked )
  • 11 Russell (Dawkins - 66' )

Substitutes

  • 14 Eustace
  • 18 Sammon
  • 19 Hughes
  • 26 Legzdins
  • 27 Whitbread
  • 32 Dawkins
  • 35 Bamford
Ref: Roger East
Att: 27,118

Match Stats

Shots

14 6

On target

5 1

Corners

11 4

Fouls

20 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Derby County 2.

90:00 +4:50 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Derby County 2.

90:00 +4:19

Foul by Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton and Hove Albion).

90:00 +4:19

Jake Buxton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:02

Attempt blocked. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Keith Andrews.

90:00 +1:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Will Hughes replaces Craig Bryson.

90:00 +0:45 Booking

Booking George Thorne (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +0:28

Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:28

Foul by George Thorne (Derby County).

89:53

Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:53

Foul by Conor Sammon (Derby County).

84:19

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Íñigo Calderón.

83:30 Booking

Booking Craig Forsyth (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

82:52

Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

82:52

Foul by Craig Forsyth (Derby County).

82:20

Foul by Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion).

82:20

Simon Dawkins (Derby County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

81:35 Booking

Booking Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

81:27

Foul by Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

81:27

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

81:12

Attempt blocked. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Solly March with a cross.

81:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Craig Mackail-Smith replaces Jesse Lingard.

80:27

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Lee Grant.

80:25

Attempt saved. Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Kazenga Lua Lua.

80:17

Attempt saved. Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matthew Upson.

78:43

Attempt missed. Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.

77:21

Offside, Derby County. Craig Forsyth tries a through ball, but Craig Bryson is caught offside.

76:06 Booking

Booking Conor Sammon (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

76:01

Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

76:01

Foul by Conor Sammon (Derby County).

71:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Conor Sammon replaces Jamie Ward.

71:02

Foul by Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion).

71:02

George Thorne (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Solly March replaces Andrea Orlandi.

67:18

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).

67:18

Jake Buxton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:04

Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:04

Foul by Simon Dawkins (Derby County).

65:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Simon Dawkins replaces Johnny Russell.

64:31

Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:31

Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).

62:52

Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).

62:52

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:32

Attempt blocked. Craig Bryson (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Ward.

60:51

Foul by Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

60:51

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:41

Attempt blocked. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrea Orlandi.

60:25

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

60:20

Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrea Orlandi with a cross.

59:37

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

59:03

Foul by Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion).

59:03

Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:40

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Íñigo Calderón.

55:05

Attempt missed. Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.

54:42

Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:42

Foul by Jeff Hendrick (Derby County).

53:32

Attempt missed. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.

51:48 Booking

Booking Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

51:45

Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).

51:45

Jamie Ward (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:11

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by George Thorne.

49:47

Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:47

Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).

47:27

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Íñigo Calderón.

46:33

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Keith Andrews.

46:03

Foul by Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion).

46:03

Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00

Second Half begins Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Derby County 2.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Kazenga Lua Lua replaces William Buckley because of an injury.

45:00 +3:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Derby County 2.

45:00 +1:38 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Tomasz Kuszczak, Brighton and Hove Albion. Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Derby County 2.

45:00 +1:37

Chris Martin (Derby County) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Johnny Russell.

45:00 +1:35

Attempt missed. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Martin.

44:33

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).

44:33

Jake Buxton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:44

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Andre Wisdom.

39:59

Attempt missed. Craig Bryson (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

35:37 Booking

Booking Jamie Ward (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

35:24

William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:24

Foul by Jamie Ward (Derby County).

34:54

Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

33:03

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

32:18

Delay in match William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.

29:53

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jake Buxton.

29:32

William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:32

Foul by Craig Bryson (Derby County).

28:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Derby County 1. Chris Martin (Derby County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

27:43

Penalty conceded by Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) after a foul in the penalty area.

27:43

Penalty Derby County. Craig Forsyth draws a foul in the penalty area.

27:20

Attempt missed. Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Íñigo Calderón.

27:13

Attempt blocked. Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.

26:14

Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:14

Foul by Jeff Hendrick (Derby County).

25:34

Attempt blocked. Jamie Ward (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Johnny Russell.

24:56

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Craig Forsyth.

21:53

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).

21:53

Jake Buxton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:53

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion).

18:53

Jamie Ward (Derby County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

17:38 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Derby County 0. Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

17:37

Attempt blocked. Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by William Buckley.

17:18

William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

17:18

Foul by Craig Bryson (Derby County).

15:31

Foul by Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

15:31

Jamie Ward (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:48

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by George Thorne.

14:15

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Johnny Russell.

11:01

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

8:53

Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:53

Foul by Jamie Ward (Derby County).

7:35 Booking

Booking Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

7:33

Craig Forsyth (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

7:33

Foul by Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion).

7:09

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion).

7:09

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:49

Foul by Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion).

6:49

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:20

Foul by Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion).

4:20

Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:10

Foul by William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion).

2:10

Craig Forsyth (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:27

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Craig Forsyth.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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