Brighton 3-1 Coventry: Locadia enjoys debut goal as Seagulls ease past League Two side

Debutant Jurgen Locadia enjoyed a goal-scoring debut as Chris Hughton's men reached the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final

Brighton & Hove Albion
3 1
Coventry City
Brighton & Hove Albion: Krul (Maenpaa, 46); Bruno, Goldson, Huenemeier, Suttner; Knockaert, Stephens (Propper, 46), Kayal, March; Ulloa, Locadia (Baldock, 76).
Coventry City: Burge; Grimmer (McDonald), Willis, Hyam, Haynes; Shipley, Kelly, Bayliss, Barrett (Biamou, 79); McNulty (Ponticelli, 74), Clarke-Harris
SCORE: 1-0, '14, Locadia. 2-0, '33, Goldson. 3-0, '61, Ulloa. 3-1, '77, Clarke-Harris

Brighton & Hove Albion eased into the quarter-final of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to a 3-1 victory over fourth-tier Coventry City

Goals for January signings Jurgen Locadia and Leonardo Ulloa will be seen as beneficial by head coach Chris Hughton as he looks to improve his side's firepower in their remaining Premier League fixtures. The energetic Locadia impressed throughout, scoring 14 minutes in before missing a host of chances that could have seen him add at least another three.

Connor Goldson headed home the Seagulls' second midway through the first half and Jonson Clarke-Harris slammed home a consolation for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining. 

Albion ease into 2-0 half-time lead

A 15 minute delay ceased to affect the tempo in the early minutes. New signing Locadia was awarded his first start for the hosts and looked impressive throughout. His early effort crashed against the post after the ball fell his way following a corner. 

The Sky Blues responded by hitting the woodwork themselves in an intriguing opening 15 minutes. Jordan Shipley's corner was headed against the bar by Clarke-Harris but nobody was on hand to tap in as the ball bobbled around the six yard box. 

It was chances like those that Coventry needed to take if they were going to earn a shock win, and it was from the game's next attack that Brighton led. A neat passing move that had already been attempted on a number of occasions finally worked, Anthony Knockaert burst towards the byline and his cut-back was swept home clinically by Locadia. 

The early goal eased the few nerves that resided around the Amex Stadium. Solly March felt he should have had a penalty when he cut inside from the right and weaved his way into the penalty area, only to go down under the challenge of Dominic Hyam

Hyam was then on hand to prevent a second goal moments later when he produced an excellent last-ditched tackle to deny Ulloa a tap-in from March's cross. 

Locadia should have had a second goal with a chance from a chance similar to the one that created his first. This time it was March who got to the byline and cut the ball back for Locadia - whose movement to pull away from Coventry's deep back four was exemplary - but the Dutchman swung at the ball with his stronger left foot, the opposite to which he scored with, and failed to make contact. 

It was beginning to become the Locadia show and he missed yet another excellent opportunity soon after, sliding in to connect with a cross but not quite being able to stretch enough as the ball trickled agonsingly wide. 

Brighton's pressure eventually paid off and they doubled their lead just after the half hour mark through Goldson. The defender, only recently back from a year out following heart surgery, met Markus Suttner's corner and glanced a header over the helpless Lee Burge.

Brighton were dominant, creating nice passing patterns by switching the ball on many occasions. The full-backs both had field days due to Coventry's surprisingly deep and narrow formation and were the recipients of plenty of wonderful cross-field passes from the excellent Dale Stephens.

Josh Barrett had an effort dip wide for Coventry but, other than hitting the bar in the first 10 minutes, that was as close as they came in the first half. Knockaert came close to adding a spectacular third when he chested down Bruno's dinked pass in the penalty area, and only narrowly volleyed over the bar from an acute angle. 

Sky Blues' cup run ended despite improved second period

Coventry improved slightly in the second half and Marc McNulty volleyed over from ten yards following Jack Grimmer's cross. 

However, as was the case in the first half, Brighton punished their inferior opponent's wastefulness by adding to the scoreline. Knockaert dribbled down the right before checking inside and passing back to Bruno, whose excellent cross was powered into the top corner by the towering Ulloa, scoring his first goal since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City in January. 

Coventry's Ryan Haynes struck the post straight after, deftly flicking an effort towards goal but looked on in frustration as it clipped the outside of substitute Niki Maenpaa's goal.

The hosts eventually earned a consolation 15 minutes from time when Clark-Harris finished well past Maenpaa, reacting first to a loose ball in the penalty area and side-footing into the bottom left corner. But it was too late; Brighton were dominant, although at times frustrating, and showed their superiority. The Seagulls should have won by far more, and nearly had a fourth when Sam Baldock became the fourth player to hit the woodwork, but had to settle for just three. 

Hughton's side will learn who their quarter-final opponents will be in tonight's draw. And if they find the next round as much of a stroll as they found this, they could be a dark horse to reach the final.