SEAGULLS SOAR INTO TOP SIX
BRIGHTON assistant manager Nathan Jones believes his team have a realistic chance of finishing in a play-off spot – claiming he doesn’t care what their rivals are doing.
Goals from Jesse Lingard, Leonardo Ulloa and Jake Forster-Caskey fired Brighton into sixth, two points above Reading who play Leicester City on Monday.
At the same time it left Charlton, who went into the game unbeaten in the last four meetings between the two sides, just one point clear of the relegation zone.
Jones said: “We knew it was a great opportunity, with Reading playing on Monday, to get into the top six and we’ve done that.
“I don’t know what it will do to Reading, I’m not concerned. We just have to keep winning. We can’t affect them because we’re not going to play them.
“If Reading want pressure they can add their own pressure.
“We’re a good side, we knew that from last year and we’ve continued that this year. Realistically we’re in a good position but let’s not get carried away.We have to keep winning.
“A few sides have come here, nicked goals and hung on but today, thankfully, we didn’t have that.
“For us our work’s done now and we can go again on Friday. It’s an important three points, it keeps us in touch with everyone.”
Lingard capitalised on a miscommunication between keeper Ben Hamer and Diego Poyet, son of former Seagulls boss Gus Poyet, to open the scoring in the 11th minute.
Hamer’s short ball caught Poyet unaware and the 19-year-old was quickly dispossessed by Kazenga LuaLua.
Both players fell to the floor after the challenge allowing Lingard to gather the loose ball and cut it into the bottom left corner.
Ulloa controversially doubled the lead shortly before the break with Lingard this time serving as provider.
Ulloa ran behind centre back pairing Dorian Dervite and Michael Morrison, who thought they had played the striker offside, to latch onto Lingard’s through ball and fire high into the net.
Less than a minute earlier a heavily deflected effort from Reza Ghoochannejhad beat Casper Ankergren only to hit the bar – Chartlon’s only meaningful effort of the match.
Subsitute Forster-Caskey added a third deep into extra time.
The 19-year-old academy graduate broke from midfield and had options around but opted to drive it into the net from the edge of the area himself.
Lingard, who has now scored twice in 11 league games for the Seagulls, twice came close to adding to his tally on the hour mark. A driven shot from 20 yards beat Hamer only to drift marginally wide.
And less than a minute later he fired over from six yards while one-on-one with the Charlton stopper.
Addicks manager Jose Riga said: “Against teams like this we have to be at 100 per cent individually.
“Collectively we do too but we weren’t.
“This is certainly not the Charlton you will see on Tuesday. When I saw the calendar I knew we would face a lot of difficulties but I am not here to complain.
“We have to think that we are better than we were and that we are still able to stay up.We are in a good position and we have to think that we can win every game and not lose.
“It was a moment to allow us to come into the game. That’s the big difference between the level of teams.
“We are able to create chances but creating chances and scoring is another story.”
UNLEASHING: Leonardo Ulloa scores the second goal for Brighton. Inset: Jesse Lingard scores the first