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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 Leicester City 42 90
2 Burnley 42 83
3 Derby County 42 75
4 Queens Park Rangers 42 73
5 Wigan Athletic 41 67
6 Reading 42 64
7 Brighton and Hove Albion 42 64
8 Ipswich Town 42 64
9 Bournemouth 42 62
10 Blackburn Rovers 42 60
11 Nottingham Forest 42 59
12 Middlesbrough 42 58
13 Watford 41 57
14 Bolton Wanderers 42 54
15 Sheffield Wednesday 42 50
16 Leeds United 42 50
17 Huddersfield Town 42 46
18 Birmingham City 41 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 42 43
20 Blackpool 42 42
21 Charlton Athletic 41 41
22 Millwall 42 40
23 Barnsley 42 39
24 Yeovil Town 42 36