An­done puts 10-man Hud­der­s­field on the slide

Sunday Express - - PREMIER LEAGUE - By

FOR both man­agers as Christ­mas ap­proaches it’s not so much the jin­gle bells, it’s the rel­e­ga­tion chimes which rat­tle the eardrums.

The sur­vival game is in full flow al­ready for Hud­der­s­field’s David Wag­ner and Brighton’s Chris Hughton.

Yes­ter­day their col­lec­tive nerves were shred­ded to bits in the fren­zied roller-coaster bat­tle to stave off the dreaded drop.

Hughton watched the Seagulls con­cede the quick­est goal so far this sea­son in the Premier League – af­ter 55 sec­onds.

Then Wag­ner’s ec­stasy turned to hor­ror as striker Steve Mounie was shown a red card by top ref­eree Michael Oliver af­ter im­plant­ing his studs in Yves Bis­souma’s an­kle.

A ripped sock and specks of blood en­dorsed Oliver’s de­ci­sion al­though af­ter re­cov­er­ing it didn’t pre­vent the Mali in­ter­na­tional from be­ing con­tin­u­ally booed by the home crowd.

Hughton said: “A few years ago that’s not a send­ing off but the game has changed.”

Mounie later ap­peared in the di­rec­tors’ box – hope­fully feel­ing the guilt – watch­ing on as Brighton took ad­van­tage of the ex­tra man to stage a fine re­cov­ery job.

Shane Duffy struck in first-half in­jury time, fin­ish­ing off a short­corner rou­tine, in­volv­ing Solly March and Bruno to head home fiercely.

And Ro­ma­nian striker Florin An­done jus­ti­fied Hughton’s faith in start­ing him ahead of goal ma­chine Glenn Mur­ray.

He headed in at the near post in the 68th minute for his first goal in English foot­ball since his sum­mer move from De­portivo La Coruna en­abling Brighton to make off with the three points. Hughton said: “It’s a clas­sic No9’s goal, get­ting in ahead of the de­fender.

“I’m re­ally pleased for him be­cause he’s had to wait quite a while for his chance.”

Hud­der­s­field 1 Brighton 2 John Richard­son

RE­LIEF: Bernardo Silva cel­e­brates the opener. Be­low, Ra­heem Ster­ling nabs the sec­ond ALERT: David de Gea’s bril­liant re­ac­tion-save

HEADS UP: Florin An­done flicks in

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