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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 44 96
2 Burnley 44 89
3 Derby County 44 81
4 Queens Park Rangers 44 76
5 Wigan Athletic 43 70
6 Reading 44 67
7 Brighton and Hove Albion 44 66
8 Nottingham Forest 44 65
9 Ipswich Town 44 65
10 Blackburn Rovers 44 64
11 Bournemouth 44 63
12 Watford 43 60
13 Middlesbrough 44 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 44 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 44 53
16 Leeds United 44 53
17 Huddersfield Town 44 50
18 Charlton Athletic 43 45
19 Doncaster Rovers 44 44
20 Millwall 44 44
21 Birmingham City 43 43
22 Blackpool 44 43
23 Barnsley 44 39
24 Yeovil Town 44 37