Brighton 0-1 Wolves: Own goal condemns Seagulls to defeat
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 01/01/16 6:58pm
An own goal from Connor Goldson was enough for Wolves to earn a 1-0 win over Brighton at the Amex Stadium, condemning the Seagulls to their third straight home defeat.
Wolves clinched their third consecutive victory as a first-half own goal by Goldson ended up settling this contest.
The Seagulls, who have only earned one point over the festive season, dominated after the break but Wolves defended stoutly to claim a third successive clean sheet.
Brighton went into the clash having failed to score for over five hours and boss Chris Hughton freshened up his front line by recalling strikers Bobby Zamora and James Wilson.
Beram Kayal put an early shot wide for the Seagulls before Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale saved a goal-bound shot from Benik Afobe with his legs following a powerful run by James Henry.
Wolves 'keeper Carl Ikeme came to his side's rescue by tipping a fierce shot from Wilson over the bar in the 15th minute.
Wanderers, unchanged for the third match in a row, threatened when Dominic Iorfa set up Afobe, but his angled shot was held comfortably by Stockdale.
Brighton had failed to keep a clean sheet at the Amex since October and their defensive frailties surfaced again when defender Goldson gifted Wolves the lead with a 32nd-minute own goal.
Wolverhampton-born Goldson, 23, standing in for the injured Gordon Greer for the second time, stuck out a leg to divert a low cross from Jordan Graham into his own net at the near post.
At the other end Wilson - the striker on loan from Manchester United who was physically sick on the pitch during the first half - ran dangerously into the area shortly after the break, but his low shot was saved by Ikeme.
Central defender Lewis Dunk should have equalised moments later, but wastefully drove over from a pass by Goldson. Jamie Murphy also failed to make the most of an opening when he blazed over having been set up by Wilson.
Wilson forced Ikeme to save smartly from his goal-bound shot after Hughton made his first change by introducing former Feyenoord striker Elvis Manu for the veteran Zamora.
Wolves almost doubled their advantage when a rasping drive by Conor Coady was tipped over by Stockdale.
Brighton piled on the pressure in the closing stages and captain Bruno Saltor was unlucky when his tremendous 20-yard drive came back off the crossbar.
Dunk later had a goal-bound header brilliantly tipped over by Ikeme in stoppage time as Wolves held on, leaving Brighton fans wondering what has gone wrong on the south coast.
Brighton boss Chris Hughton said: "We need to find a way to get goals. Defensive errors have given teams a head start in the last two games and they've gone on to protect a lead. At the minute things are not going our way, whereas earlier in the season it was.
Wolves boss Kenny Jackett: "We don't need too many players out as this will give us problems, We did well to cope with Brighton; they are a good side and deserve to be where they are. The top five deserve to be there - they are there for a reason. Ipswich are coming through very strongly but the top five will take some shifting."