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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 Ipswich Town 23 44
2 Bournemouth 22 42
3 Brentford 23 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Cardiff City 23 31
11 Charlton Athletic 23 31
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13