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Amex Stadium (ATT 25,831) 2nd March 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: G Ward

Brighton Brighton and Hove Albion vs Huddersfield Town Huddsf'ld

Brighton 4

L Ulloa (20, 76, 78)
D Lopez (pen 81)

ft

Huddsf'ld 1

J Vaughan (42)

Leonardo Ulloa grabbed a sparkling hat-trick as Brighton beat Huddersfield 4-1

Last Updated: 06/03/13 11:26am

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Leonardo Ulloa: His hat-trick kept Brighton sixth in Championship

Leonardo Ulloa: His hat-trick kept Brighton sixth in Championship

Leonardo Ulloa grabbed a sparkling hat-trick to keep Brighton's Championship play-off bid on track as they cantered past Huddersfield.

The Seagulls were in danger of slipping out of the top six after Ulloa's opener was cancelled out by James Vaughan before half-time.

But the Argentinian striker, a January signing from Spanish side Almeria, struck twice more in the space of three second-half minutes before David Lopez wrapped up Brighton's third straight win from the penalty spot.

Gus Poyet's side looked destined for the play-offs last season only to slip away during the run-in, but this term they look like they mean business.

The hosts dominated the opening stages but only had Ulloa's 20th-minute goal to show for it.

Will Buckley's header from Lopez's corner was kept out by Town keeper Alex Smithies and Adam Clayton blocked a header from Ulloa.

But the breakthrough came from another Lopez corner which was volleyed towards goal from the edge of the area by Buckley.

Oscar Gobern blocked the fierce effort but the ball fell to Andrea Orlandi, who whipped in a near-post cross which Ulloa met with a fine header.

Orlandi almost made it two after a quickly-taken free-kick by Buckley but his shot was superbly tipped around a post by Smithies.

And the Seagulls were hit by a sucker-punch three minutes before half-time when, on a rare Huddersfield foray forward, Gobern crossed from the right and Vaughan finished from close range.

But Smithies was finally beaten again in the 75th minute when Ulloa met Lopez's cross with a powerful header from 12 yards out.

And three minutes later Ulloa latched onto a long pass from Inigo Calderon, rounded Smithies and rolled the ball into an open goal to complete the Seagulls' first treble at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton made it four in the 80th minute when Paul Dixon brought down Craig Mackail-Smith in the area and Lopez coolly tucked in the penalty.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

Match Reaction

Huddersfield frustrate Robins

Huddersfield frustrate Robins

Huddersfield manager Mark Robins admitted his side fell apart after conceding the second goal in their 4-1 defeat at Brighton.