Brighton & Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray bounced back after being carried off on a stretcher a week ago with a poacher’s goal to clinch a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in a pulsating Premier League clash on Saturday.
Murray, who suffered concussion after a clash of heads in last week’s win over Newcastle United, netted his 100th goal for the south-coast club early in the second half to give Chris Hughton’s side their third 1-0 league win in a row and lift them to 11th place.
Wolves’ Portuguese head coach, Nuno Espirito Santo, made a rare change to his starting lineup after last week’s loss to Watford, bringing in forward Adama Traore in place of Diogo Jota.
And they pummelled Brighton from the off.
Matt Doherty almost gave Wolves the lead in the 33rd minute but he curled his left-foot shot outside the far post, and Brighton’s Shane Duffy went close with a trademark towering header towards the end of a scoreless first half.
The home side broke the deadlock three minutes after the break, with Murray helping the ball on from a throw-in and then steering it deftly into the net when it was played back to him by full back Bruno.
Brighton goalkeeper Matt Ryan pulled off a string of fine saves as Wolves poured forward looking for an equaliser, and he managed to protect his team’s lead and consign ninth-placed Wolves to their second league defeat in a row.
“The result was not what we expect and not what the boys worked for, but the performance was good and it was better than against Watford,” Nuno said after the game.
“All the game we were trying to win. We had many chances and we conceded the only chance they had - that disappoints me,” the Portuguese coach added.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton was a lot happier with his side, praising his defence, even though Wolves came close to snatching a point.
“We are not playing at our best, nowhere near,” he said. “We have players who are not at their level. We are not good on the ball but we are defending really well.
“Glenn Murray is a poacher. When the ball comes his way you are confident it will end up in the net.”
Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris, Neville Dalton