Championship
BirminghamBirmingham City1BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion2
Lewis Dunk
Lewis Dunk's winning goal gave Brighton a fifth win in eight games

Brighton kept the pressure on their Championship automatic promotion rivals with victory at Birmingham, whose hopes of a play-off place all but ended.

Birmingham led when on-loan Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty slotted in a debut goal, but a glancing Connor Goldson header drew Brighton level.

In-form defender Lewis Dunk then rose highest at a corner to nod Brighton ahead shortly after the break.

Brighton were rarely troubled late on and remain one point off the top two.

Birmingham remain ninth but are now 11 points behind the top six, after wins for Sheffield Wednesday and Derby.

Gary Rowett's side have won just twice in 10 matches, while Brighton extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

Both Seagulls goals came from Jiri Skalak set-piece deliveries, with both Goldson and Dunk out-jumping their markers to convert fine crosses.

Birmingham struggled to create significant chances in the second half as Brighton held on relatively comfortably, and substitute James Wilson should have added a third in the closing stages.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett:

"I've warned the players if they think they can take their foot off the gas then they'll be coming in on Sundays and their days off.

"I think I'd look a bit stupid if I said we could still get into the play-offs now, the gap's 11 points.

"I was really pleased with Kyle Lafferty, when I took him off a fan was screaming he was our only chance of a goal, but he hasn't played a lot of football and needs to be fitter."

Brighton assistant manager Colin Calderwood:

"If you really want to go for it you have to chase the three points and get them. Winning tonight helps us but it won't take us up.

"We weren't aware of Middlesbrough being 2-0 up at half-time, but whether Middlesbrough win or lose, if we win every game we'll have a chance. Well, we won't have a chance, we'll be up.

"Everyone has experienced highs and lows on the final day and we hope to be involved in some of the action towards the end."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 31CaddisBooked at 82mins
  • 28Morrison
  • 23Spector
  • 3Grounds
  • 19MaghomaSubstituted forFabbriniat 78'minutes
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 8Gleeson
  • 9Donaldson
  • 20ToralSubstituted forCotterillat 86'minutes
  • 25LaffertySubstituted forDavisat 71'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Legzdins
  • 7Fabbrini
  • 11Cotterill
  • 15Vaughan
  • 26Davis
  • 30Buckley
  • 32Shotton

Brighton

  • 13Stockdale
  • 2Bruno
  • 17Goldson
  • 5Dunk
  • 23Rosenior
  • 38Skalak
  • 6Stephens
  • 7Kayal
  • 30Lua LuaSubstituted forMurphyat 69'minutes
  • 36Sidwell
  • 10HemedSubstituted forWilsonat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mäenpää
  • 3Greer
  • 12Bong
  • 15Murphy
  • 21Wilson
  • 27Knockaert
  • 29Towell
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
16,143

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home9
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Birmingham City 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Birmingham City 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by James Wilson (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  4. Post update

    Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. James Wilson (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Liam Rosenior.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Liam Rosenior.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Birmingham City. Michael Morrison tries a through ball, but Clayton Donaldson is caught offside.

  8. Booking

    David Davis (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

  11. Post update

    Jiri Skalak (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

  13. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jonathan Spector.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jamie Murphy (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Rosenior.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. David Cotterill replaces Jon-Miquel Toral.

  16. Post update

    Jiri Skalak (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Maikel Kieftenbeld (Birmingham City).

  18. Booking

    Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Diego Fabbrini replaces Jacques Maghoma.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. James Wilson replaces Tomer Hemed.

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