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REPORT: Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 Coventry City - Seagulls progress despite Clarke-Harris' late goal

Jonson Clakre-Harris' first goal for the Sky Blues was not enough to stop a Brighton victory at the AMEX...

17 February 2018

The Sky Blues have been beaten 3-1 at the AMEX Stadium by Premier League Brighton despite Jonson Clarke-Harris' late consolation.

Jurgen Locadia, on his debut, gave the home side the lead after just thirteen minutes, before Connor Goldson and Leonardo Ulloa put the game to bed.

Clarke-Harris did find the net for the Sky Blues in front of a packed away-end, but it was not enough to stop Chris Houghton's side from progressing to the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup.

Brighton rattled the woodwork after just four minutes. Locadia, on his Seagull's debut, watched the ball intently as it dropped perfectly for him to volley on the turn, beating Lee Burge in the Sky Blues net, but striking the post. City were looking nervy on the big stage.

Nevertheless, Mark Robins' side did grow into the game quickly and forced a corner after 13 minutes through Marc McNulty, which resulted in Jonson Clarke-Harris, making his first start for the Sky Blues eight years after earning his first professional contract, striking the crossbar with his head.

The home side were out to punish the Sky Blues for their missed chance and had the lead moments later. Bruno found Anthony Knockaert on the touchline who crossed low for Locadia to slot home his first for Brighton. The Premier League side were showing their quality.

Realistically, Brighton's new-boy could have had a hat-trick by halftime and fluffed several opportunities to extend his side's advantage. Notably failing to turn home a cross from Markus Suttner on the half-hour mark, which sat up nicely for the 24-year-old, that he dragged wide.

The Seagulls doubled their lead ten minutes before halftime. Former Shrewsbury defender Connor Goldson managed to lose his man in the area and jump well to head home their second, this time from a corner, exactly a year on to the day that his career was in doubt after doctors discovered a heart murmur. A touching moment inside the AMEX.

Robins' side were still creating chances. Josh Barrett's trickery on the edge of the area saw him shake Goldson from his trail to fire a volley from 25-yards that had Tim Krul beaten but whistled wide of the far post.

Cheered on by four-and-a-half thousand City fans behind the goal who refused to allow the scoreline to let them lose, Clarke-Harris' effort from close-range had Brighton's replacement 'keeper Niki Maenpaa, introduced at half-time for the injured Tim Krul, beaten but clip the far post and trickled behind for a goal kick. It was the closest his side has come.

The game was put truly out of City's reach on the hour mark when Ulloa was left alone in the area to direct his header into the top corner and secure his side's place in the quarter-finals.

The hunt for a consolation goal now began, as Robins' side looked to give the Sky Blues army behind the goal something to celebrate.

City probably should have had a penalty with twenty minutes remaining. McNulty did well to keep control of the ball in the Brighton area before being tripped by Davy Propper, just goal-side of the white line. The referee waves play to continue.

Clarke-Harris has waited a long time to score his first Coventry goal, and it came with ten minutes to go when he raced onto a Jordan Ponticelli knock-down to fire the ball into the bottom corner with the outside of his foot. The away-end erupted. Coventry had their goal and could travel back happy.

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