Brighton 3-1 Coventry: Jurgen Locadia and Leonardo Ulloa score for Seagulls in comfortable win
By James Walker-Roberts at the Amex Stadium
Last Updated: 17/02/18 11:08pm
Jurgen Locadia scored on his debut to help Brighton beat Coventry 3-1 and reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1986.
The Seagulls' club record-signing took just 15 minutes to break the deadlock on his first appearance since joining from PSV Eindhoven in January.
Connor Goldson headed in the second after 34 minutes and Leonardo Ulloa then scored his first goal for Brighton since May 2014 in the 61st minute.
Brighton: Krul (5), Bruno (7), Goldson (7), Huenemeier (7), Suttner (7), Knockaert (7), Stephens (5), Kayal (6), March (7), Ulloa (7), Locadia (7)
Subs: Maenpaa (5), Propper (6), Baldock (5)
Coventry: Burge (5), Grimmer (5), Willis (5), Hyam (5), Haynes (5), Shipley (5), Kelly (5), Bayliss (5), Barrett (5), McNulty (6), Clarke-Harris (7)
Subs: McDonald (5), Biamou (5), Ponticelli (5)
Man of the match: Solly March
Jonson Clarke-Harris pulled a goal back for the League Two side in the 77th minute but it was just a consolation as Brighton reached the last eight.
Coventry had twice beaten higher-league opposition already in the FA Cup this season, including Premier League side Stoke in the third round, but they were second best in the first half and Brighton took control of the game with two goals inside the opening 35 minutes.
Both sides hit the woodwork early on, with Locadia firing against the post on the turn and Clarke-Harris heading against the bar at the other end from a corner.
The deadlock was broken after 15 minutes as Locadia, whose debut had been delayed by a hamstring injury, swept home from Anthony Knockaert's cross. Locadia then spurned two good chances to add to his tally before Goldson headed in from a corner.
Josh Barrett shot narrowly wide in the 38th minute from a rare opening for Coventry, whose slim hopes of a comeback were dampened after half-time when Ulloa expertly headed in from Bruno's cross.
Brighton made nine changes from their draw at Stoke, with only March and Stephens keeping their places. Club-record signing Locadia made his debut after recovering from injury and Ulloa given his first start since returning to the club in January. Coventry made four changes, with Clarke-Harris making his first start for the club.
However, after hitting the post in the 63rd minute, Clarke-Harris grabbed a deserved consolation for the visitors with a brilliant first-time finish late in the game.
Substitute Sam Baldock struck the woodwork in the final minute as Brighton, who have only reached the FA Cup final once in their history, saw out the win.
- Brighton have only lost two of their last 16 FA Cup home games (W9 D5), with both defeats coming at the hands of Arsenal.
- Coventry have won just once in their last 11 away FA Cup matches against top-flight opposition (D2 L8), losing the last four in a row.
- The Sky Blues have lost four consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since December 2016.
- Leonardo Ulloa scored his first goal for Brighton since May 2014 against Nottingham Forest - 1386 days ago.
- Connor Goldson scored his first competitive goals since April 2016 versus QPR - 669 days ago.
Chris Hughton: "We certainly deserved it. A lot of the talk before the game to the players was about attitude and the type of game it was and that if you don't match the opposition's endeavour then you can make it a difficult afternoon, but we started well and our application was really good. It's obvious the difference in the levels but the only way you can show that is by applying yourself well."
Mark Robins: "It was a good experience for us in terms of learning and development but also I thought we were a threat. We didn't just sit back. Our support has been absolutely magnificent throughout my time at the club but with that comes high expectation and the players have to deal with that. It will stand us in good stead moving forward."
Man of the match - Solly March
March didn't get on the scoresheet but he did look threatening whenever he carried the ball forward. He also made some good runs and could have had at least one assist to his name after teeing up Locadia in the first half and then creating two further chances late in the game.
Brighton are at home in their next Premier League games as they host Swansea on Saturday, February 24 and then Arsenal on Sunday, March 4, live on Sky Sports. Coventry travel to Mansfield in League Two next Saturday and then go to Wycombe on Tuesday, February 27.