Huddersfield Town 1 Brighton 2 - Town rue controversial Mounie red as Albion triumph

David Wagner.
David Wagner.
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TEN-MAN Huddersfield Town were left to rue the controversial 32nd-minute dismissal of Steve Mounie as they went down 2-1 to visiting Brighton on a heated occasion.

The striker helped himself to three goals against Albion last season, including a double in the 2-0 home victory almost a year ago, but suffered the polar opposite in terms of emotions this afternoon.

The Beninese received his marching orders on 32 minutes after a challenge on Yves Bissouma, which displayed poor technique as opposed to maliciousness.

Referee Michael Oliver showed no hesitation in brandishing a straight red card for what he deemed to be a high, reckless challenge, much to the fury of home supporters, who barracked him for the rest of the game.

Bissouma, who showed no ill effects from the challenge, despite a fair bit of medical attention, was also given merciless stick.

Earlier, Town had been afforded a dream start with a goal after just 55 seconds, the fastest top-flight goal of the season when Mathias Zanka cashed in on Bruno's awful skewed clearance to beat Matt Ryan and head home.

But Brighton levelled in first-half stoppage-time when Bruno redeemed himself by being involved in a short corner routine which ended with Shane Duffy heading home a smart centre from the impressive Solly March.

March also had a telling hand in the winner in the 69th minute from Florin Andone, who headed home sharply for his first goal in Brighton colours after an excellent cross from the Seagulls midfielder.

Town made just one change from the side who performed so admirably at Wolves, with Zanka - back from suspension - replacing Tommy Smith.

And the burly Dane soon had a telling impact upon the action with the Town faithful barely in their seats.

Less than a minute had elapsed, when Jorgensen cashed in on an atrocious clearance from Bruno to beat Ryan to the ball and head home powerfully.

It set the tone for a shoddy defensive performance from the visitors ahead on, with Mounie firing over after latching onto a long throw from Philip Billing.

After their awful start, the visitors gradually composed themselves and started to have a say at the other end and went close to a 16th-minute leveller.

A Pascal Gross corner found the unmarked Duffy, with the Irishman's point-blank header parried by Jonas Lossl, with Town captain Jonathan Hogg getting an important block to get in the way of Andone's close-range rebound which was otherwise destined for the net.

At the other end, Alex Pritchard fired wide for the hosts after his initial effort was blocked by Duffy, with Brighton continuing to lack conviction in their defensive duties to provide Huddersfield with encouragement.

Town then suffered a huge blow when Mounie controversially saw red, much to the fury of Wagner and the aghast home supporters, with Bissouma receiving lengthy treatment before getting on with the game and showing no ill-effects from the challenge.

Soon after, a rebound which came off Andone flew just wide as Town - with Pritchard operating as a false nine - aiming to regroup.

That they did, with a point-blank header from Terence Kongolo blocked on the line by Andone following an Aaron Mooy corner, with referee Oliver unmoved when Pritchard claimed to have been impeded by Gross in the box.

Ryan was then forced into action to make a scrambling save to keep out Mooy's fine free-kick before Brighton applied the sting at the other end, courtesy of Duffy.

The signs early in the second half were ominous for Town, with Lossl making a fine reaction save to keep out a hooked half-volley from Bissouma and stopping Gross's follow-up.

Laurent Depoitre was then brought on with a brief of occupying the Albion centre-halves and holding up the ball to provide Town some respite.

Albion, with their man advantage, understandably dictated possession with Zanka making a timely clearance to prevent Andone from a certain tap in following March's dangerous low cross on the right.

Oliver incurred the further wrath of home fans again when Town were not awarded a corner after Bernando got the final touch to a shot from Depoitre, while Bissouma continued to be booed incessantly whenever he touched the ball.

The action was chiefly towards Town's goal and the pressure paid off when a dangerous cross from the impressive March was met by an equally fine header from Andone.

Bossing territory and gorging upon territory, the visitors saw the game out watchfully, with the hosts left to rue the dismissal of Mounie.

Town fans' sense of injustice was further increased when sub Leon Balogun only saw yellow for a nasty looking challenge on Erik Drum late on.

Huddersfield Town: Lossl; Hadergjonaj, Kongolo, Schindler, Zanka, Durm; Mooy (Smith 63), Hogg (Williams 77), Billing; Pritchard (Depoitre 48); Mounie. Substitutes unused: Hamer, Smith, Kachunga, Ramadan, Mbenza.

Brighton: Ryan; Bruno (Balogun 78), Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; March, Propper, Bissouma (Kayal 90), Izquierdo; Gross; Andone (Murray 79). Substitutes unused: Steele, Bong, Knockaert, Locadia.