Huddersfield undone by Ulloa

Leonardo Ulloa grabbed a sparkling hat-trick to keep Brighton’s

Championship play-off bid on track as they cantered past


The Seagulls were in danger of slipping out of the top six after

Ulloa’s opener was cancelled out by James Vaughan before


But the Argentinian striker, a January signing from Spanish side

Almeria, struck twice more in the space of three second-half

minutes before David Lopez wrapped up Brighton’s third straight win

from the penalty spot.

Gus Poyet’s side looked destined for the play-offs last season

only to slip away during the run-in, but this term they look like

they mean business.

The hosts dominated the opening stages but only had Ulloa’s

20th-minute goal to show for it.

Will Buckley’s header from Lopez’s corner was kept out by Town

keeper Alex Smithies and Adam Clayton blocked a header from


But the breakthrough came from another Lopez corner which was

volleyed towards goal from the edge of the area by Buckley.

Oscar Gobern blocked the fierce effort but the ball fell to

Andrea Orlandi, who whipped in a near-post cross which Ulloa met

with a fine header.

Orlandi almost made it two after a quickly-taken free-kick by

Buckley but his shot was superbly tipped around a post by


And the Seagulls were hit by a sucker-punch three minutes before

half-time when, on a rare Huddersfield foray forward, Gobern

crossed from the right and Vaughan finished from close range.

But Smithies was finally beaten again in the 75th minute when

Ulloa met Lopez’s cross with a powerful header from 12 yards


And three minutes later Ulloa latched onto a long pass from

Inigo Calderon, rounded Smithies and rolled the ball into an open

goal to complete the Seagulls’ first treble at the Amex


Brighton made it four in the 80th minute when Paul Dixon brought

down Craig Mackail-Smith in the area and Lopez coolly tucked in the