League One leaders Brighton produced an FA Cup upset as Ashley Barnes’s goal sent them into the fifth round at the expense of Championship side Watford.
Both sides went into the game on the back of good runs, although Watford’s defeat at Cardiff last time out had ended their seven-match winning run.
Brighton went in front after 16 minutes when Ashley Barnes drilled in a shot that Rene Gilmartin let squirm through his grasp and the ball bobbled in to the back of the net. This was after a good and clever build-up that involved Gary Dicker, Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood. It was a howler but he made amends when he denied Chris Wood from close-range.
Wood had an excellent chance seconds after the interval but after escaping his marker, the striker’s header hit the top of the crossbar.
Watford finally had their first shot of the match when Martin Taylor brought the ball forward from defence.He played a one-two with substitute Matthew Whichelow but could only scuff his shot 12 yards out and Brezovan saved comfortably.
The hosts continued to push forward and Stephen McGinn, Whichelow and Danny Graham all missed the target with long-range efforts.
Buckley was then put clean through on goal but his shot was superbly parried by Brezovan. However, Brighton had weathered the storm and Inigo Calderon and Glenn Murray had chances to kill the game off, but were just as wasteful as their Watford counterparts.
I must say that the Brighton fans were terrific, they well and truly out sung the Watford fans who barely made any noise. But this could be down to a below par performance from Watford. Still, we can concentrate on the league and can bounce back on Tuesday when Crystal Palace come to Vicarage Road. One final positive is that it looks like that John Eustace will be back some time soon. How we needed him today.