The good work and renewed optimism of the last two games was ridiculously undone inside 40 seconds last night, pantomime defending once again left the Latics fans shaking their heads in disbelief as Brighton were given the perfect start to the game as they were looking to end their winless Championship run of 11 matches.
Uwe Rösler is obviously not an advocate of the saying, ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’ as he once again made changes to the starting line-up, five new faces doesn’t half change the complexion of the team, granted one was necessary with Leon Barnett being suspended, but to leave Fortune out after his ‘team’ performances of recent games was quite astonishing, his other reshuffling also upset the rhythm of the side.
In the blink of an eye Brighton took the lead, almost straight from the kick off, a cross from the right by Sam Baldock wasn’t dealt with and Gary Gardner smashed home from eight yards out, Brighton almost made it two on 16 minutes as the Latics were in complete disarray, Lua Lua picked out Joao Teixeira who hit a stunning drive that crashed against the bar before bouncing away to safety.
Brighton settled back and allowed the Latics possession in the midfield area, they restricted chances to long range efforts and half chances as Rösler’s men looked anything but the threatening attacking force of the last two games, settled sides breed confidence, for God sake just leave well alone instead of this constant changing.
Apart from a couple of long range efforts from Espinoza and Forshaw, plus a Waghorn half chance there wasn’t much to write home about, it certainly puts the pressure on ahead of Friday nights jaunt up the hill to Horwich, hopefully we can show more of the endeavour of the previous two games and put this one down to a bad day at the office, not holding my breath though.
Brighton – Walton; Calderon, Greer, Dunk, J.Bennett; Forster-Caskey, Gardner, Teixeira (Ince 69); E.Bennett (Halford 88), Baldock (Mackail-Smith 78), LuaLua
Unused subs – Ankergren (GK), Holla, McCourt, Colunga
Latics – Carson, Tavernier, Maloney, McClean (McManaman 67), Cowie (Riera 75), Espinoza, Perch (Capt), Forshaw (McCann 84), Kiernan, Figueroa, Waghorn
Unused Subs – Nicholls, Taylor, Watson, Kvist