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Sky Bet Championship

Ashton Gate (ATT 13,911) 10th September 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Whitestone

Bristol C Bristol City vs Brighton and Hove Albion Brighton

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Brighton 1

A Barnes (80)

Barnes keeps Seagulls flying

Last Updated: 10/09/11 5:16pm

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Barnes: Late winner

Barnes: Late winner

A late goal from Ashley Barnes kept Brighton on top of the Championship as the Seagulls beat Bristol City 1-0 at Ashton Gate.

Gus Poyet's side had been frustrated for 80 minutes by Bristol City's former England goalkeeper David James and looked like drawing a blank for the first time this season.

The 41-year-old had pulled off a stunning double save to deny Craig Mackail-Smith in the second half.

But unbeaten Brighton kept plugging away and were finally rewarded when Barnes tucked in his fifth goal of the campaign to secure a fifth win in six games.

The Seagulls started sluggishly, though, and City's Marvin Elliott had the first chance of the match when he headed Neil Kilkenny's corner straight at Casper Ankergren.

Kilkenny got a sight of goal moments later but his ambitious long-range shot flew wide.

Brighton eventually got into their stride and Ryan Harley hit a free-kick into the wall, Barnes fired over and Mackail-Smith's shot was deflected for a corner.

However, they did not trouble James until the 34th minute when Mackail-Smith's drive was comfortably dealt with.

Their best move of the first half, involving Harley and Barnes, ended with Craig Noone blazing over the top.

And at the other end Jamal Campbell-Ryce stung Ankergren's palms with a long-range effort before the interval.

Campbell-Ryce was a lively presence just after the break as well with a shot which fizzed over the crossbar and another effort well kept out by Ankergren.

But Brighton were denied by a superb double save from James just before the hour-mark.

Noone's shot was parried by the veteran keeper and the ball fell to Mackail-Smith a couple of yards out, but James spread himself to block the Scotland striker's effort.

Noone had another opportunity moments later but again his shot was too high, and substitute Kazenga LuaLua fired wide from long range.

James tipped an effort from Gary Dicker over the top but he was finally beaten 10 minutes from time when his defence failed to deal with a corner.

Inigo Calderon headed the ball back into a crowded goalmouth, James saved Mackail-Smith's initial shot but this time was helpless to prevent Barnes smashing the rebound high into the net.

The Seagulls could have had a second when LuaLua swung in a dangerous cross but Mackail-Smith's glancing header flew wide.

But they were indebted to Ankergren in the dying moments when he denied Brett Pitman an equaliser.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23