Rushden & Diamonds 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 3

Last updated : 02 October 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Brighton moved into second place in the Division Two table with a convincing win over Rushden.

There was a slow start to the game and the first chance didn't arrive until the 11th minute when the Seagulls' Nathan Jones threaded a pass through to Leon Knight who tested Billy Turley from 20 yards out.

After 19 minutes Chris McPhee had his effort disallowed for offside after Turley had failed to hold a shot from Jones, but two minutes later Guy Butters had to clear Barry Hunter's downward header off the Brighton line to keep the scores level.

The visitors took the lead in the 42nd minute when Butters shot home from eight yards out after Rushden had failed to clear Jones' corner.

The home side equalised in the 50th minute when Rodney Jack burst past Robbie Pethick and the defender was forced to upend the striker allowing Stuart Gray to score from the spot Three minutes later Knight put Brighton back in front when he surged past Andy Edwards and unleashed an unstoppable shot that left Turley helpless.

Rushden strove hard to get back into the game but the Brighton defence held firm and they put the game beyond doubt when Zesh Rehman, on-loan from Fulham, played a one-two with McPhee and then chipped beautifully over Turley.

After 81 minutes Marcus Bignot rescued Rushden from further punishment when he cleared Knight's goalbound shot off the line after a fine run by Rehman.

Brighton manager Steve Coppell must have been pleased with his team's performance, which was only marred by his sending to the stands after remarks made to the match officials.

Brian Talbot will have been disappointed with his team's performance but they are obviously missing striker Onandi Lowe who is sidelined for six weeks with a groin injury.