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WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Month - February 2017

There was plenty of talk about "Seagulls choking" again in a February which saw Brighton pick up 11 points out of a possible 21 - one of their worst months of the campaign so far.

Putting in two of their worst displays of the season didn't help matters in losing away to a hugely impressive Huddersfield Town side and drawing at home with Ipswich Town. But despite the doom and gloom, there were impressive wins in a tricky tie at home to Burton Albion, a mauling of fellow promotion candidates Reading and a first victory away at Barnsley in 26 years.

Another big point was picked up in the hugely entertaining draw at Brentford which featured yet another David Stockdale penalty save and despite all the doom and gloom, the Albion still ended the month in a strong automatic promotion position although now trailing Newcastle after their 2-1 win at the Amex which rounded off the month.

February 2016 Player of the Month -  Sam Baldock (50% of the vote)
February went a long way to highlighting just how important a player Sam Baldock is for Brighton now. They say you don't realise you are missing something until it is gone and he missed the draw at Brentford and the defeat at Huddersfield. With Baldock returned to the side, he scored four goals in five games including both in the 2-0 win at Barnsley, an absolute screamer in the 4-1 win over Burton Albion and the opener against Reading. He has now hit doubled figures for a season for the first time in his Albion career and the reward is a richly deserved second Player of the Month award of 2016/17.
Played 5 (5 starts). Scored 4.
Second: David Stockdale (24.58% of the vote)
The winner of the previous two Player of the Month awards has to settle for second place this time around. There was yet another penalty save which helped earn a point away at Brentford and he was in inspired form in the draw at home to Ipswich and the win away at Barnsley in particular.
Third: Shane Duffy (16.25% of the vote)
Mr Consistent again makes the top three of a Player of the Month award. One brilliant block at home to Ipswich helped to earn a point and he also popped up with his second goal for the club and a vital one at that in the draw at Brentford.

The contenders:
Sam Baldock - Has now made it into double figures in a season for the first time in his Brighton career, adding another four goals in February including a brace that helped secure a first win away at Barnsley in a generation.
Bruno - Had his best month in some time in February, appearing somewhere near back to his attacking best from right back. Unlucky not to score against Newcastle with a thumping volley in a game in which he managed to largely keep the dangerous Matt Ritchie quiet.
Shane Duffy - Excellent against Reading and Newcastle in particular, the centre back continued his knack of delivering vital goals at vital times on the road when heading home the first equaliser against Brentford.
Tomer Hemed - He had a good January and carried that form into February, even taking over as first choice striker from Glenn Murray for a period. That resulted in four goals across the month including the vital 9th minute equaliser at Brentford.
Anthony Knockaert - His set piece delivery proved vital in the comeback against Brentford and he ran Newcastle ragged for long periods of the league leaders visit to the Amex. Netted a deserved goal in the win over Reading.
Steve Sidwell - Regained his spot in the middle of the park at the expense of Oliver Norwood for the victory at home to Burton and hasn't looked back, forming an effective partnership with Dale Stephens.
Dale Stephens - Injured for the points dropped away at Huddersfield and Brentford to continue his brilliant record of not being on a losing side for the Albion in God knows how long. That ended in the Newcastle defeat but February showed how vital he is for the side.
David Stockdale - Produced another brilliant penalty save at Brentford which helped secure a point. Had a few uncharacteristically funny moment in the month but they were more than outweighed by another ridiculous amount of points earning saves.


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