BRUNO BOOSTS PLAY-OFF HOPES

Ter­ri­ers sweat­ing on fate

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Harry Nightin­gale To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

BRUNO in­sists the Cham­pi­onship is as un­pre­dictable as his goal-scor­ing habits, and that’s why no-one at Brighton is get­ting too car­ried away de­spite stretch­ing their un­beaten run at Hud­der­s­field.

The Spa­niard grabbed his first goal since Novem­ber 2012 with seven min­utes left at the John Smith’s Sta­dium to can­cel out Oliver Nor­wood’s first-half free­kick and earn Brighton a point against Hud­der­s­field.

The draw means that the Seag­ulls head into to­mor­row’s clash with free-fall­ing Black­pool off the back of five games un­beaten as their play-off charge ap­pears to be tak­ing shape just at the right time.

But while Bruno was de­lighted to play his part with a back-post header late on, the right-back is urg­ing cau­tion with three games still to play.

“I don’t know why I was there at the back post,” Bruno said. “I’m happy about the goal be­cause it was an im­por­tant goal and point for us.

“I thought Leo (Ul­loa) would maybe flick the ball on. I tried to be there and I touched the ball and scored.

“It’s a good point. It was a strange game for us. From the start we never felt com­fort­able.

“It was a dif­fi­cult point be­cause they played re­ally hard, re­ally strong. We knew what to ex­pect be­cause Hud­der­s­field have scored a few early goals.

“They scored and af­ter that the game was more dif­fi­cult es­pe­cially be­cause the pitch wasn’t the best. It was dry and for our foot­ball it was quite dif­fi­cult.

“I al­ways say it is the most un­pre­dictable league in the world. You never know. Any­thing can hap­pen.That’s why even get­ting this point can make a big dif­fer­ence.”

Hud­der­s­field burst into a six­th­minute lead when Nor­wood drilled home a free-kick af­ter Keith An­drews fouled Nahki Wells.

Brighton’s top-scorer Leo Ul­loa then thought he had equalised but his header from Dale Stephens’ cor­ner was ruled out for a push in the area.

Af­ter the break Lewis Dunk was for­tu­nate not to be shown a sec­ond yel­low card for a foul on Adam Clay­ton, while To­masz Kuszczak de­nied Hud­der­s­field fur­ther by keep­ing Nor­wood’s free-kick out.

Kuszczak fur­ther de­nied the Ter­ri­ers when he de­nied Adam Ham­mill and then used his legs to keep Sean Scan­nell off the score­sheet.

Craig Mack­ail-Smith went close with two head­ers for the vis­i­tors, who had cap­tain Gor­don Greer booked with 13 min­utes to go when there was an al­ter­ca­tion as he tried to re­trieve the ball from the Hud­der­s­field bench.

But Brighton did pull level on 83 min­utes when Bruno took ad­van­tage of a rare slip-up in the de­fence be­fore fir­ing in off the post.

There were late chances at both ends as Wells and Scan­nell forced saves from Kuszczak and Dunk had a header saved by home keeper Alex Smithies in in­jury-time.

Hud­der­s­field have now not won in ten matches, with Hud­der­s­field boss Mark Robins ad­mit­ting his side had blown a big chance to end that run.

“On bal­ance, I have to be happy with a point but we could have had all three. I was pleased with the ap­pli­ca­tion and the steely way we set about our jobs,” Robins said. “If we had taken an­other of the chances we would have been all right.We have been cre­at­ing chances all sea­son but just not been clin­i­cal enough.

“We said we needed four points from the Easter weekend fix­tures, so we have to go to Yeovil on Mon­day and win. They are fight­ing for their lives but we have the play­ers who are ca­pa­ble of go­ing there and get­ting three points.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

MR POP­U­LAR: Brighton’s Bruno cel­e­brates their vi­tal equaliser

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