Depleted Grecians easy pickings for Seagulls
Top of the table Brighton cruised to a 3-0 success over an Exeter City side severely weakened by a sickness bug that accounted for several first-teamers.
Adam El-Abd early header was soon added to by Ashley Barnes` dubious penalty before Barnes again finished coolly again late on as Brighton coasted to a routine victory.
With Paul Tisdale forced into six changes Marcus Stewart and James Norwood were given first starts of the season in attack and Artur Krysiak was handed a league debut in goal as The Grecian`s took to the field in a patched-up 4-4-2 system.
Brighton took the lead after just six minutes, slack marking from a corner allowed El-Abd to nod the ball in from point blank range.
Buoyed by the early strike Brighton began to dominate possession and duly doubled their lead when Troy Archibald-Henville was adjudged to have illegally stopped Glenn Murray`s run just inside the penalty area.
Barnes converted the spot kick high to Krysiak`s left, to the delight of the Seagulls 7,000 strong support.
Several half chances came and went for the hosts before the break, as City struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Brighton took their foot off the gas second half but still continued to calve out regular openings with Barnes and Kazenga LuaLua going close.
The points were sealed with 15 minutes to go when Barnes swept home Elliot Bennett`s cut back as Brighton deservedly extended their lead.
A lead that could have been added to in the closing stages through LuaLua. Time after time he burst past players and produced dangerous shots and crosses. His electric pace was too much for Steve Tully who had a night to forget at right-back.
The 197 hardy souls in the distant away fans section of the ground may not of had so much as a shot on target to enjoy but it didn`t stop them from warmly applauding City off the field at full-time.
After another blank on the road City will be hoping that the majority of the dozen missing players will be in a fit state for Saturday`s FA Cup tie with Bury.
City: Krysiak, Tully, Archibald-Henville, Edwards, B Jones, Cozic (Golbourne), Sercombe, Noble, Dunne, Stewart (Logan), Norwood (Nardiello)
Unused subs: P Jones, Duffy, Heath, Thomson,