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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 Middlesbrough 35 66
2 Derby County 35 65
3 Watford 35 65
4 Bournemouth 35 63
5 Norwich City 35 62
6 Brentford 35 61
7 Ipswich Town 35 60
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35 57
9 Nottingham Forest 35 50
10 Blackburn Rovers 35 48
11 Sheffield Wednesday 35 46
12 Charlton Athletic 35 45
13 Birmingham City 35 45
14 Cardiff City 35 44
15 Leeds United 35 44
16 Huddersfield Town 35 42
17 Bolton Wanderers 35 41
18 Reading 35 41
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 35 40
20 Fulham 35 39
21 Rotherham United 35 37
22 Wigan Athletic 35 31
23 Millwall 35 31
24 Blackpool 35 22

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.