West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: Evans and Dawson give Pardew first league win for Baggies

Alan Pardew's side took on Brighton on Saturday afternoon, hoping to close the gap on the teams currently sitting in safety.

West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: Evans and Dawson give Pardew first league win for Baggies
[Photo via Getty Images]
WEST BROM
2 0
BRIGHTON
WEST BROM: FOSTER; GIBBS, EVANS (MIN 79, MCAULEY), RONDON, PHILLIPS, BRUNT, BARRY, RODRIGUEZ (MIN 79, LIVERMORE), KRYCHOWIAK, DAWSON (MIN 79, NYOM), HEGAZI, RONDON
BRIGHTON: RYAN; BRUNO, BONG, DUNK, STEPHENS, GROB (MIN 63, BALDOCK), DUFFY, PROPPER (MIN 76, KYAL). KNOCKAERT, IZQUIERDO, MURRAY
SCORE: 1-0, MIN, 4, JONNY EVANS. 2-0, MIN. 54, CRAIG DAWSON
REFEREE: MARTIN ATKINSON
INCIDENTS: PREMIER LEAGUE ATTENDANCE: 25,240.

West Brom ​came out on top in the battle of the Albions on Saturday afternoon, with two goals from two surprise sources proving enough to get the three points against a sub-par Brighton side. 

Jonny Evans ​opened the scoring just five minutes into the tie, with a powerful header from a corner a reward for a fast start by Pardew's men.

His partner at the back, Craig Dawson, was the man who doubled the score in the second-half in very similar fashion, capitalising on Brunt's pinpoint delivery to ensure the game remained out of Brighton's reach.

The result sees West Brom close the gap on the teams ahead of them, with plenty of work still to be done to ensure their Premier League ​survival.

 

Matt Philipps runs the show for The Baggies

The 26-year-old was the man that got things ticking for Alan Pardew's side right from the get go, delivering a series of inviting balls into the box while having the beating of his man on almost every occassion. Fitting then, that that's where the goal came about.

Drilling in a corner kick, Phillips' corner found the head of Jay Rodriguez, who carefully glided the ball into the path of Jonny Evans to knod home at the back post from close range.

He so nearly bagged another assist just five minutes later when another superb delivery found Craig Dawson this time, only for the defender to narrowly miss the target.

Brighton couldn't deal with Phillips' quality from the right-hand side, with Bong struggling to contain him throughout the contest. Rodriguez was the next to go close folllowing Phillips' involvement before taking aim himself with a speculative long-range effort. 

Showing far more intent and verve than anyone else on the pitch, he guided West Brom to a crucial victory on their quest to pull themselves out of the relegation zone and retain their status in the Premier League​. Performances like this one will go a long way in helping them do just that. 

 

Craig Dawson impresses at both ends of the pitch

While being fielded at right-back by his manager, Craig Dawson was just about everywhere for the Baggies, dancing his way forward at every opportunity and combining well with Rondon and Phillips down the right-hand side.

The defender had a half-chance to get himself on the scoresheet in the opening forty five after Rondon expertly held the ball up and unleashed him down the flank, but Ryan was on hand to ensure his effort was quickly stifled.

As the half wore on, Dawson was given the freedom to drift inwards, enjoying further joy on the ball to set up a great chance forJay Rodriguez before the half-time whistle. 

The second-half continued in very similar fashion, with no-one from Brighton able to pick up the right-back's energetic runs before he bagged a goal that his performance thoroughly deserved.

Chris Brunt's delivery from the left-hand side found it's way to the back post, with Dawson on hand to slam his header emphatically into the back of the net and double West Brom's advantage.

At the other end of the pitch, while relatively untested by the Brighton forwards, the right-back produced a timely interception to prevent the away side from finding their way back into the match. 

 

Real lack of intent from Brighton in the final third 

While West Brom were full of attacking verve and creativity, The Seagulls were bereft of it. Failing to press and hunt down their opposition, they enabled the home side time and space in possession and were dually made to pay for such indecision.

That was the pattern in the final third too, with Knockaert and Izquerdo the only two players that attempted to take on their opposite number. The former produced their best chance of the opening stages when he floated a teasing ball into the back post to try and find Glenn Murray but Ben Foster was on hand to clear the danger.

Other than that, the striker had very little to feed off on a drab afternoon for Brighton, with Izquerdo producing a couple of promising moments, dazzling around the area in an attempt to make something happen for Hughton's side. 

Murray's desire to get involved in the contest only made matters worse, with the forward dropping deeper and deeper to try and get a touch of the ball. However, that ensured Brighton had no anchor up the pitch, with West Brom able to continue pressing forward and mount pressure on Matt Ryan's goal.

The final 10 minutes of the half were arguably Brighton's best moments, with Propper growing into the game and linking well with Murray and Knockaert in the final third.

Solly March's introduction livened things up slightly in the second-half and the winger was unlucky not to produce a goal for his side, with his pass across goal falling to Murray.

The veteran was quickly closed down by Foster, only to show a composed head and set up Knockaert from close range. Sadly, his teammate didn't show such composure, blazing high and wide of the goal to compound the misery for The Seagulls.