brighton logo Player of the Month - August 2011

Sitting top of the NPower Championship at the end of August thanks to 4 wins and a draw from their opening five fixtures, the Albion have enjoyed a pretty decent start to the Amex era.

There's even been a cupset with Steve Bruce's Sunderland diaptched as the first Premier League side to visit the new ground in a competitive game to set up an eagerly awaited tie with Liverpool in September.

With that good beginning to the season, it could be any number of players who takes home the first ever Player of the Month trophy.

August 2011 Player of the Month - Craig Noone (52.79% of the vote)
Craig Noone followed on with his fine form in the friendly matches by playing like a man possessed in the opening month. Nooney found himself on the bench for the opening two games thanks to the increased competition offered by the arrival of Will Buckley and the return of Kazenga LuaLua, but he still managed two assists after coming on against Doncaster and a man-of-the-match performance after replacing the injured Buckley in the first half at Portsmouth. From there he hasn't looked back and he opened his account for the season with a screamer against Peterborough
Played 6 (4 starts, 2 sub). Scored 1.
Second: Lewis Dunk (15.24% of the vote)
With no new signing at centre back and Adam El Abd and Tommy Elphick out, teenager Lewis Dunk was thrown into the deep end at the start of the season. He has been superb at the back to the point where Gus Poyet has already championed him for an England under-21 call up
Third: Craig Mackail-Smith (13.75% of the vote)
The Albion's record signing has already begun repaying his fee with three goals in six games including the winners at Portsmouth and in the Carling Cup shock at home to Sunderland. Equally impressive has been his work rate which has already made him a firm fan favourite at The Amex.


The contenders:
Casper Ankergren - Conceded just four goals so far this season with clean sheets coming in what looked like difficult games against good attacks away at Portsmouth and Cardiff and at home to Peterborough.
Ashley Barnes - Despite the arrival of Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Hoskins to boost Gus' striking options, he has remained in the side and more important scoring goals including a much needed successful penalty against Gillingham.
Liam Bridcutt - Remains composed and assured in front of the back four, winning the ball back and distributing it intelligently. Has to rank as Gus Poyet's best signing and maybe one of the greatest free transfers in club history.
Will Buckley - Hobbled off at Portsmouth but his month and probably his Albion career will always be defined by THAT debut - two goals from the substitutes bench including a 96th minute winner in the first ever game at The Amex. You can't write stuff like that.
Gordon Greer - Only four goals conceded since the start of the season and that is largely down to the form of the captain and young Lewis Dunk. Continues to be one of the most consistent players in the side.
Lewis Dunk - Thrown in at the deep end with Adam El-Abd and Tommy Elphick out, the youngster has risen to the challenge being superb defensively and showing that he is probably the most comfortable defender on the ball at the club.
Will Hoskins - A frustrating start to his Albion career with injuries taking their toll but showed everybody what he is about with an absolutely first class goal away at much fancied Cardiff in that shock win.
Kazenga LuaLua - Got the nod to start the opening game after finally joining the Albion on a permanent deal. His afternoon wasn't helped by a booking for diving but will cause defences all manner of problems if his performance before that is anything to go by.
Craig Mackail-Smith - The record signing has started his Albion career with a bang, scoring goals away at Portsmouth, home to Sunderland and a brace at home to Blackpool. His workrate off the ball is also something else.
Craig Noone - Will Buckley may have got the goals against Doncaster but it was Noone's introduction that really changed the game. Terrifying Championship full backs already and finally get a number of deserved starts.