Championship First Saturday Review – Featured Game Brighton v Doncaster
The first day of the Championship is over and there were goals, dramatic comebacks and late winners in a day that averaged three goals per game with Nottingham Forest and Barnsley contesting the only goalless draw.
Three players started the season with a brace, Michael Chopra and supersubs Mathieu Manset and Will Buckley starting the season with a bang.
There were opening day victories for all three promoted clubs as Peterborough, Brighton and Southampton won in front of their home crowds to continue the optimism of last season.
A Chopra inspired Ipswich cruised to a three goal victory over Bristol City whilst Leicester and Derby won local derbies against Coventry and Birmingham respectively, the latter giving new manager Chris Hughton plenty to thing about at St Andrews.
This weeks featured game though is Brighton’s first competitive game at the Amex stadium against Doncaster.
Brighton v Doncaster
The first game at the Amex stadium saw proud new owners Brighton celebrating the end of a long, complex and frustrating struggle to find a place to call their own.
This match was highly entertaining and filled with incident and some crunching tackles most importantly for the Seagulls it heralded their first win back in the Championship.
One of the most controversial moments of the first half was when Kazenga Lua Lua went down in the area in the first half under contact from the Doncaster defence; the contact was legitimate and did not warrant a penalty. However few would have expected the referee to judge Lua Lua to have dived and book the former Doncaster loanee.
This was however his decision and this incensed the crowd and Brighton manager Gus Poyet who was quickly sent to the stands.
Doncaster were marginally the better side in the first half and took the lead through Billy Sharp after a deflected shot fell into his patch and his partially blocked effort crawled over the line by about a yard before the Brighton defence could react.
After the break and worryingly for Doncaster, goal scorer Billy Sharp was stretchered off, which seemed to trigger the start of the Brighton revival.
After 75 minutes Poyet introduced new signing Will Buckley who after just 8 minutes of his Brighton career opened his account with a drilled effort into the bottom right corner worthy of being the first Brighton goal scored in their new stadium.
The game looked to be heading for a draw but as the game entered injury time, however there were to be nearly ten minutes due to the time added to attend to the injury of Billy Sharp. Unfortunately for the travelling Doncaster fans there was to be a dream ending to the opening of the Amex stadium.
With 8 minutes of stoppage time gone, Craig Noone put through Buckley who opened his body to slot the ball into the right hand corner and send the crowd wild and securing three points for Brighton.
The game itself was fairly even, but it is not everyday a club moves to a new stadium and the Seagulls will be hoping that every game has this level of excitement and the right end result.