Glenn Murray's winner against Blackburn moves Brighton step closer to promotion
Brighton took another step towards automatic promotion with Glenn Murray hitting the only goal in a 1-0 home victory over relegation-threatened Blackburn.
The Seagulls' ninth home win in the last 11 league games puts them a commanding nine points clear of third-placed Huddersfield, although the Terriers have eight games remaining to Brighton's seven.
Rovers remained in the bottom three after their first defeat under the guidance of head coach Tony Mowbray.
The hosts, backed by a crowd of 30,216, made two changes with striker Chuba Akpom, on loan from Arsenal, making his debut in place of Sam Baldock, who missed out with a slight hip injury, while Seb Pocognoli started at left-back after overcoming a groin problem.
Blackburn's former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele was forced to make a save early on when he held a dipping free-kick from defender Lewis Dunk after Murray was brought down.
The visitors' defence came under pressure with Uwe Hunemeier's deflected shot going close before Steele deflected an effort from Dunk over the bar.
Albion threatened again when Hunemeier headed a Jiri Skalak corner wide at the far post.
Blackburn went close when Portugal international Lucas Joao shot wide after good work on the left from Derrick Williams.
Seagulls striker Murray, who received treatment for a groin injury earlier in the half, had an overhead kick saved by Steele, who later saved a goal-bound shot from Skalak.
Steele was in action early after the break when he claimed a teasing cross from Anthony Knockaert, with Skalak in a dangerous position.
Albion boss Chris Hughton made a double change on 58 minutes when he introduced Tomer Hemed and Solly March in place of Akpom and Skalak.
The Seagulls were forced to work hard to break down a stubborn Blackburn defence and the breakthrough arrived on 67 minutes when Murray hit his 19th league goal of the season, scoring from close in after Knockaert had headed down a Liam Rosenior cross.
Murray, who hit a Championship-record 30 goals to spearhead Crystal Palace's promotion four seasons ago, nearly scored again moments later when his low shot was saved by Steele.
Steele saved a late free-kick from Dunk and Hemed also shot wide as Brighton clinched their fifth straight league win over Rovers.
Source : PA