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Sky Bet Championship

Amex Stadium (ATT 24,594) 25th August 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: R East

Brighton Brighton and Hove Albion vs Barnsley Barnsley

Brighton 5

A Barnes (4, 81)
W Bridge (14)
C Mackail-Smith (38, 50)

ft

Barnsley 1

C Davies (pen 35)

Five-star Brighton smash Tykes

Last Updated: 25/08/12 5:15pm

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Mackail-Smith: Bagged a brace

Mackail-Smith: Bagged a brace

Ashley Barnes and Craig Mackail-Smith both scored braces in a thrilling game as Brighton thrashed Barnsley 5-1 in the Championship.

The Seagulls had not found the net in their previous three matches this season, prompting manager Gus Poyet to step up his search for a new striker.

But his current frontline sent a message to the boss with Barnes opening and completing the scoring and Mackail-Smith grabbing his brace either side of half-time.

And on what was obviously the day to end goal droughts, Wayne Bridge scored his first league goal in nearly nine years as Brighton finally got their season up and running.

The 30-year-old defender, on loan with the Seagulls from Manchester City, struck a long-range effort as Poyet's side picked up their first win of the Championship campaign.

Former Brighton striker Craig Davies did pull one back from the penalty spot but the Tykes were well beaten and slipped to a second straight defeat.

The previously shot-shy hosts got off to the perfect start with a goal after only four minutes.

Barnsley goalkeeper David Gonzalez, who had a spell with the Seagulls last term, spilled Craig Noone's free-kick and Barnes was on hand to half-volley the ball into the net.

Eleven minutes later Bridge collected a pass from Liam Bridcutt and, as Barnsley back-tracked, the former England left-back crashed in a 25-yard drive which flew through a sea of bodies and low into the corner of the net.

It was Bridge's first league goal since he found the net for Chelsea against Portsmouth in December 2003.

Barnsley were thrown a lifeline after 34 minutes when Andrew Crofts brought down Jacob Mellis in the area and Davies converted the penalty, despite Tomasz Kuszczak getting a touch.

But three minutes later the hosts restored their two-goal cushion when Spanish full-back Bruno raided down the right.

His cross was missed by the unconvincing Gonzalez and Mackail-Smith was on hand to tap in at the far post.

Barnsley have not come from behind to win an away game since they beat Blackpool in December 2009, and their faint hopes of doing so disappeared three minutes after the interval.

John Stones was muscled off the ball by the diminutive Noone and his cross was headed on by Barnes for Mackail-Smith to tuck in his second.

And 10 minutes from time, substitute Kazenga LuaLua reached the byline and crossed for Barnes to fire his second and Brighton's fifth.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8