Post-match report for our last game: Aston - Villa, Sunday, 7th May 2017

Villa 1 : 1 Brighton

It all came down to a high noon showdown in the midlands for Albion, as they cast an eye northwards for other developments to affect the climatic Championship outcome. Newcastle were a point behind table-toppers on Sunday morning, with all to play & pray for during early afternoon.

Chris Hughton selected the starting eleven he believed capable of rising to the occasion. Pocognoli got the nod over Bong at left back. Huenmeier was ill and did not figure so Tomori deputised in central defence, while fit-again Baldock replaced Hemed up front.

Stockdale, Bruno, Tomori, Dunk, Pocognoli, Knockaert, Stephens, Sidwell, Murphy, Baldock, Murray.

1 min. massed away support in a packed stadium watched in bright spring sunshine as the home 11 pressed from the start.
3. travellers come forward building slowly at the back but lose possession & are forced to backtrack until Stockdale takes.
5. Bruno receives attention after a clash of heads. Villains striker is also hurt. Play resumes following a lengthy stoppage.
8. Brighton press ahead with a high line and the ball is switched from one side to the other. Visitors gain a f-k in midfield.
9. corner to Seagulls after good running by Baldock is headed clear and Villa beak but Dunk intercepts. Play is open now.
11. f-k to locals from a foul by Bruno is half cleared. A long range punt allows Stockdale to palm away for a corner - cleared.
15. Villa appear to play long balls and Albion push up and frustrate opposition. F-k to visitors is lofted too high and wasted.
17. Ref blows up when Stephens is involved in an illegal challenge. Murray is back defending the set piece with a big block.
19. tempo increases - Pocognoli makes a mistake trying to chest back to Stockdale but locals miss a wide open goalmouth.
22. Sidwell wins possession and Brighton counter via Knockaert but the move dissipates. 2nd ball is won - Albion on ahead.
25. corner to travellers by Knockaert is wasted & goes into touch. Murphy switches flanks as SSeagulls probe an opening.
28. Stockdale collects at a corner following a domestic threat. Neither side has yet got supremacy in middle of the park.
31. f-k to visitors by Knockaert is curled over but Sidwell heads wide. Brighton are not causing Villa too many problems.
33. Sidwell puts an effort over the bar after good work by Bruno & Murray. 2nd mistake by Pocognoli - saved by Stockdale.
35. Brighton miss another opportunity and have not managed to work the keeper sufficiently from the progress up field.
38. following a threat by the home unit visitors regain possession and gain yardage but play is scrappy and not cohesive.
43. Sidwell fouls in a dangerous area. Play stops briefly for injury. Stockdale saves the f-k then gathers A-ok at the corner.
45+ at end of extended added time, a disappointing display from visitors despite a better level of enthusiasm compared to recent matches. Hughton will need to have strong words during the interval to up the ante on turnaround. Brighton have to make & take chances.

46. locals have made one change prior to h-t and seem to have another man struggling after some previous tough tackling.
48. Murphy does well but strikers cannot capitalise. Visitors have everything to gain by offering offensive tactic in this half.
50. Dunk slides in and the howl goes up for a penalty. From the corner Dunk is involved once more but the ball squirms out
53. Brighton go forward and Knockaert & Murphy are in the action but runners are not visible. Villa counter with a pot shot
55. Villains gain possession following an error by Sidwell but make a hash of an opportunity to open scoring with a chance.
57. Murray heads wide from a Murphy cross. Stockdale collects following locals counter threat. Baldock shoots on sight.
60. f-k to visitors comes to nought. March comes on for Murphy. Villa also insert a sub. Play resumes after a hectic period.
63. spot kick given to Seagulls after Baldock is fouled. MURRAY SCORES! A big moment for the striker as he remains cool.
66. last sub by Villa. Brighton press forward backed by euphoric travelling support. Seagulls maintain possession at present.
68. Stockdale is forced to save once more. Visitors commit men forward - March runs & takes a dig from down range.
71. Sidwell arrives late at the rear post but puts the ball wide following useful build up by Knockaert & Stephens.
73. Brighton push up in search of a second goal against ten men. The match is quite open as it enters later stages.
76. a great move via March & Pocognoli allows Bruno a chance but the keeper blocks. Villa counter and gain a corner.
79. Bruno goes down as Rosenior warms up then comes on. Villa are not done with and mount a series of forays up field.
84. f-k to Villa in a dangerous area is saved by Stockdale. From the corner Albion scramble the ball away at further threats.
89. Villa score a freak goal as the ball goes through the legs of Stockdale. Brighton make a late change, Hemed for Baldock.
90+ Congratulations to Albion on reaching the Premier League as Championship runners-up.