Brighton 3-0 Blackburn Rovers

Striker Ashley Barnes scored his first league goals of the season with a brace as Brighton clinched their first home win since mid-September with victory over Blackburn.

Barnes scored his and Brighton's first from the penalty spot after Craig Conway was fouled.

Jake Forster-Caskey added a second with a header before Barnes made the win safe with a close-range finish late on.

The win moved Brighton up to 10th, while Blackburn are 13th.

Brighton, winless in their previous three games at the Amex, had a scare early on when Irish midfielder Alan Judge drove wide from the edge of the area following a good ball in from skipper Scott Dann.

Blackburn midfielder Tom Cairney later had a shot charged down before Rovers defender Jason Lowe saw a deflected shot go just wide.

The Seagulls struggled to make much of an impact until on-loan Cardiff winger Craig Conway forced former Derby keeper Jake Kean to parry his fierce shot breaking in from the right in the 20th minute.

Rovers defenders Cairney and Todd Kane both needed treatment following a collision inside their own penalty box when Stephen Ward attempted to get around the back of the visitors rearguard.

Striker Barnes wasted a glorious opportunity to put the Seagulls ahead on 33 minutes when he blazed wastefully over after breaking clean through following a mistake by Lowe.

But Barnes kept his cool only two minutes later to put his side ahead with his first league goal of the season from the penalty spot.

Barnes gave keeper Kean no chance with a sweetly struck spot kick after substitute Etuhu brought down Conway.

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Post-match: Brighton head coach Garcia

Spanish midfielder David Lopez put a free kick from just outside the area over for Brighton but it was Rovers who finished the half on top with both Jordan Rhodes and Dann going close.

Rhodes should have hit the target when heading wide at the far post from a Joshua King cross, and then Seagulls keeper Tomasz Kuszczak expertly tipped over Dann's goal-bound header after Cairney's free kick.

Kuszczak did well again moments after the break by pushing a low drive from King round the post.

But Brighton were not having it all their own way and both King and Cairney had shots saved by the alert Kuszczak.

Young midfielder Forster-Caskey eased the Seagulls nerves, however, by doubling their advantage on 56 minutes by heading in a Conway cross.

Blackburn continued to seek a way back into the game and substitute David Dunn shot narrowly wide before a firm header from Tommy Spurr came back off the crossbar.

Barnes struck again to settle the outcome from close range 12 minutes from time from close range after Kean could only parry a goal-bound effort from Andrew Crofts.

Brighton manager Oscar Garcia said:

"Ashley Barnes wanted to take responsibility by taking the penalty which put us ahead, and that shows he has a strong personality.

"Sometimes fans's opinions can be divided, but with strikers supporters can think only in terms of goals.

"I let the players decide on who takes a penalty and Ashley wanted to score for his confidence. He is a player who helps others to score with his movement."

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer said:

"We are very disappointed to leave without anything, but we found their keeper inspired. He was the man of the match.

"Unfortunately, we gave three goals away and must cut out individual errors. They are very costly at this level.

"Had Jordan [Rhodes] scored just before half time it might have been a different game."

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Burnley1510411734
2Leicester151023932
3QPR15951932
4Blackpool15762527
5Nottm Forest15753726
6Reading15663524
7Watford15654723
8Leeds15726423
9Derby15645622
10Brighton15564421
11Ipswich15555320
12Wigan13544419
13Blackburn15546119
14Bournemouth15537-918
15Huddersfield15456017
16Middlesbrough15375116
17Bolton15375-516
18Birmingham15429-514
19Charlton14356-614
20Millwall15357-1314
21Doncaster14347-1113
22Sheff Wed14185-611
23Barnsley15258-1511
24Yeovil14239-129
View full Championship table

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