Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:40 am Post subject: Fuller on fire!
|Fuller struck his third goal in two games since returning from a loan spell
at Ipswich and on-loan Chaplow hit his first for the club to cap a dominant
display from Saints on their first league visit to their south-coast rivals
The teams must have been relieved to get back to the business of playing
football with off-field controversy dominating both camps all week -
Brighton's proposed new stadium hitting another hitch due to John
Prescott's clerical error and Sir Clive Woodward on the warpath amid talk
of takeovers and boardroom splits at St Mary's.
But it was the visitors who made the most of the break in hostilities with
Brighton, who remain seven points from safety, only waking up after the
interval in front of a record 7,999 crowd.
Saints should have taken the lead in the 10th minute when Alexander
Ostlund crossed to Chaplow but, with only Wayne Henderson to beat, the
midfielder side-footed his shot straight at the Seagulls keeper.
Moments later fit-again midfielder Djamel Belmadi fluffed another
gilt-edged chance, poking the ball wide after Henderson failed to hold a
Fuller shot. Fuller then missed a Chaplow cross by inches and both Darren
Powell and Grzegorz Rasiak sent free headers over the crossbar as the
Brighton goal continued to lead a charmed life.
Brighton's only first-half chance fell to Colin Kazim-Richards, who sent a
diagonal drive into the side-netting, but the ball was soon back at the
other end and Rasiak planted another header straight at Henderson.
Claus Lundekvam was next to try his luck, heading Belmadi's corner
narrowly wide, before Fuller showed that Woodward's coaching techniques
might be rubbing off by sending a long punt over the bar.
But the former Portsmouth frontman finally hit the target eight minutes
before the interval, coolly firing home from 10 yards after Henderson had
blocked his initial shot.
With scores elsewhere offering them a glimmer of hope of survival, the
Seagulls began the second half much brighter and tested 37-year-old
Saints keeper Kevin Miller for the first time when Gifton Noel-Williams
Kazim-Richards then forced a fine save from Miller before Adam
Hinshelwood put a free header wide from Richard Carpenter's corner.
Brighton should have levelled when Kazim-Richards sprung the offside
trap and raced towards goal, but the young forward opted to take the ball
round Miller and the keeper stretched out an arm to avert the danger.
And moments later the hosts were two behind when Chaplow pounced on
Belmadi's cut-back and placed the ball beyond Henderson from the edge
of the area after 63 minutes.
Noel-Williams forced another smart save from Miller with a low shot and
sub Sebastien Carole twice went close but Saints held out for a second
successive win to nudge Brighton a step closer to League One.