Six things we learned from Brighton & Hove Albion v West Brom
Brighton and West Brom battled to a 0-0 draw at the Amex in the fourth round of the FA Cup yesterday. Here's six things we learned from the game.
A game to forget
Brighton had the better of the game at the Amex but it won't be a match which lives long in the memory.
The Seagulls had 24 attempts at goal but only seven on target, while West Brom had six efforts and just two on target.
Both sides hit the woodwork, with Baggies keeper Jonathan Bond pushing Dale Stephens' 25-yarder onto a post and West Brom defender Tosin Adarabioyo saw his header hit the bar after a touch by Brighton keeper David Button.
The Seagulls made six changes for the clash and West Brom made nine and the competition is arguably more of a priority for Brighton.
If a favourable draw for the fifth round comes out of the hat on Monday and Brighton pick up positive results against Fulham and Watford in their next two Premier League games, maybe Seagulls boss Chris Hughton will set his sights on an extended run in this year's competition.
Too intricate at times
Brighton got in and around the penalty area on several occasions but their play around the 18-yard box was too intricate at times.
Rather than pulling the trigger and shooting, Seagulls players looked for the killer through ball or final pass and the attack broke down or it was cut out by the Baggies defence.
Despite the amount of shots they had, there weren't many clear-cut opportunities and that will have been a frustration for Seagulls boss Chris Hughton.
It was one of those days where things didn't quite click for Brighton as an attacking force.
With Solly March an unused substitute, Alireza Jahanbakhsh back from the Asian Cup in a week or two and Jose Izquierdo still to return from injury, there will be plenty of options for Hughton to make in the attacking positions for the final third of the season.
Rock at the back on debut
Dan Burn was outstanding on his Brighton debut as he produced a man-of-the-match performance in central defence.
The 26-year-old joined Albion from Wigan last summer, before spending the first half of this season back on loan at the Latics.
He knows first-team opportunities will be limited this campaign but wanted another crack at the top flight, after playing a handful of games in the Premier League with Fulham in 2014.
He is behind Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy and Leon Balogun in the pecking order but his performance showed Chris Hughton he can be relied upon if needed.
The tall centre-half produced a couple of crucial last-ditch tackles and also made some timely interceptions.
A replay might not have been what Brighton wanted but it will give Burn at least one more game in this season's competition.
On the Button
Brighton keeper David Button had little to do throughout the 90 minutes but made a crucial save on 72 minutes.
West Brom defender Tosin Adarabioyo met Wes Hoolahan's free kick and Button got a slight touch to divert the ball onto the bar, before the Seagulls cleared the danger.
Button's concentration levels were spot on to make the save and the stopper has proved a more than able deputy for Mathew Ryan.
He has kept two clean sheets in five matches while Ryan has been away at the Asian Cup with Australia.
The Socceroos exited the competition at the quarter-final stage last week and Ryan will be back available for Tuesday's Premier League game at Fulham.
Ryan is likely to come straight back into the side but Button has shown Brighton are in safe hands if Ryan is unavailable again in the future.
Baggies youngsters shine
West Brom included four players from their academy in their starting line-up and another came off the bench in the second period.
Their team was without a number of their household names but several of their younger players stepped up to the plate at the Amex.
Sam Field, Rekeem Harper, Jonathan Leko and Kyle Edwards all impressed and Rayhaan Tulloch came off the bench late on to make his debut.
Arguably the most impressive West Brom youngster was Manchester City loanee Tosin Adarabioyo. The 21-year-old has featured just 24 times for the Baggies this season but rumours suggest City will recall him this month over limited game time recently.
If he is not going to play much at the Hawthorns, his performance at the Amex suggests another loan spell at a Championship club - and game time - will be best for his development in the long run.
Fans up for the cup
Brighton got the ticket prices spot on for the fourth round tie and were rewarded with a bumper crowd at the Amex.
Adult tickets were just £15 and under-18 tickets were £5. There were 27,001 fans in attendance, including a number of new and young fans.
The FA Cup has had a number of critics in the past few seasons but Seagulls boss Chris Hughton called it 'the best cup competition in the world' earlier this week and this type of attendance shows fans are still interested in it.
Shocks like Millwall beating Everton and AFC Wimbledon defeating West Ham will only add to the excitement for the rest of this season's competition.
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