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Amex Stadium (ATT 25,518) 21st August 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: M Halsey

Brighton Brighton and Hove Albion vs Cardiff City Cardiff

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Keepers prove handy in draw

Last Updated: 21/08/12 10:27pm

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Kuszczak: Pulled off several fine saves

Kuszczak: Pulled off several fine saves

Tomasz Kuszczak and David Marshall both made a series of top-class saves as Brighton and Cardiff drew 0-0 in the Championship on Tuesday night.

Brighton goalkeeper Kuszczak, a free summer signing from Manchester United, and opposite number Marshall were both in imperious form as their respective sides created a hatful of chances in either half.

The pick of Kuszczak's efforts was a double save in the 77th minute to deny Cardiff substitutes Joe Mason and Etien Velikonja, while Marshall kept out goalbound efforts from Brighton pair Craig Mackail-Smith and Saltor Bruno among others.

Both managers named unchanged sides at the Amex Stadium, Gus Poyet fielding the same Brighton XI that started in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Hull and Malky Mackay keeping faith with those that had earned a 1-0 win over Huddersfield last Friday.

Bluebirds defender Ben Turner saw his goalbound header from Peter Whittingham's seventh-minute corner blocked by Brighton striker Mackail-Smith, while returning hero Craig Bellamy crashed a 30-yard shot straight into the hands of home goalkeeper Kuszczak.

Brighton took a little longer to get going, but Marshall was forced to hold Ashley Barnes' angled drive in the 12th minute before the visitors threatened again.

Cardiff defender Andrew Taylor swung over a decent cross, but Bellamy's strike partner Heidar Helguson steered the ball tamely over the bar.

Mackail-Smith went close to giving the Seagulls the lead in the 22nd minute. His first shot was deflected for a corner and when the ball was played back in the Brighton forward was quickest to react, only to see Marshall parry the ball to safety at full stretch.

Marshall then kept out Craig Noone's angled effort from inside the penalty area before the action shifted to the other end, where Whittingham's excellent free-kick from 25 yards - after he was fouled by Brighton defender Gary Dicker - brought the best out of Kuszczak.

Cardiff midfielder Jordon Mutch was forced out through injury at half-time and replaced by Mason, but it had little effect on the visitors, who threatened first after the break through Whittingham's curling effort that flew just wide.

At the other end Brighton went closer to breaking the deadlock, first through winger Andrew Crofts - whose shot was blocked by Turner - and then Spanish defender Bruno, whose effort from the subsequent corner was superbly saved by Marshall.

Brighton boss Poyet sent on Kazenga LuaLua for Barnes in the 63rd minute and, after midfield team-mate Craig Noone had fired a shot straight at Marshall, opposite number Mackay responded by withdrawing Bellamy and sending on Craig Conway.

Conway's midfield partner Don Cowie let fly from 30 yards, but was thwarted by Kuszczak as both sides went in search of the winner.

Kuszczak came to Brighton's rescue again with a fine double save to deny Mason and substitute striker Velikonja, who had replaced Helguson moments earlier, in quick succession with 15 minutes left.

The goalmouth action dried up in the closing stages as both sides settled for a point at the end of a thoroughly entertaining goalless draw.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

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