Date: 18th November 2012 at 10:53am
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Will Buckley bagged a brace to help Albion to their first victory over Huddersfield in 10 attempts and lift the side to within a solitary point of the play-off spots.

Albion’s on-song, tormentor-in-chief Buckley found the net twice during a dominant opening 45 minutes for the visitors, before Huddersfield threatened to hit back after the break but could only muster a 90th minute consolation as the Seagulls remained decent value for their win.

Poyet’s men burst immediately onto the front-foot as whistle blew – Andrea Orlandi engineering the first chance of the game for Craig Mackail-Smith with a square pass, but the Seagulls’ top scorer’s effort just evaded the post. It set the tone, however, for the opening stages – and the deadlock-breaker arrived just moments later.

Bruno collected Orlandi’s clever short corner, before feeding Buckley in the area, where the winger took one touch to open up space and buried the finish with a guided left-footed strike just inside Alex Smithies’ left-hand post. Ashley Barnes soon came close to adding a second, but his fierce strike flew just off-target after a slick move.

Huddersfield were well under the cosh by this point, as they were forced to produce some last ditch defending to deny for Mackail-Smith and then Buckley – the latter’s drive blocked on the line by ex-Albion defender Joel Lynch. The hosts then had a gilt-edged chance to level matters with their first real chance – Simon Church wastefully heading Danny Ward’s cross over from 6 yards.

Albion were soon on the attack down the other end once again, and were a linesman’s flag away from extending their lead when Barnes was adjudged to have been offside, having glanced in Orlandi’s superb looping free-kick. They didn’t have to wait much longer though, as the second goal duly arrived on 40 minutes from an unsurprising source.

Buckley managed to latch onto Mackail-Smith wayward pass, and in a central position, jinked left and right to leave Peter Clarke on his backside, before calmly plundering the ball past Smithies in the Huddersfield net to notch a deserved second and give Albion clear daylight going into the interval.

Simon Grayson’s side improved after the break, as they looked to get at Albion’s up until this point untested back-line. Lee Novak spurned a great chance when he skewed Jack Hunt’s centre wide of Peter Brezovan’s goal-frame. The Seagulls’ still looked a menace on the break, and Buckley came close to his hat-trick when he struck from the edge of the area only for Smithies to produce a smart stop.

Having pumped a number of balls into the box, Huddersfield finally breached the visitor’s defence when Brezovan, filling in for the absent Tomasz Kuszczak, spilled Ward’s shot from distance, allowing Church to follow-up with a simple finish and set up a potential comeback. But the contest should have been killed off once and for all as the game was nearing its conclusion..

Will Hoskins, on as a sub, played a lofted through ball for the on-rushing Buckley to find space in behind – but the two-goal attacker was again denied by a top save from Smithies as the match finished 2-1.