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WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Month - April 2016

Brighton and Hove Albion made it a second month unbeaten, winning five games out of six throughout April as they ensured that the race for automatic promotion with Burnley and Middlesbrough will go down to the last game of the season.

This was frankly an absolutely ridiculous month with the only points dropped coming in the last minute against Burnley (we'll ignore that effort that was at least three feet over the line from the Clarets that wasn't given) in a 2-2 draw.

After that, it was five wins with a remarkable 17 goals scored and just three conceded. Not bad for Boring Brighton eh? All that means a bumper list to select from as this has been a real team effort across the month.

April 2016 Player of the Month -  Jiri Skalak (37.06% of the vote)
The Czech international confirmed his reputation as the best deliver of a set piece to play for the club since Paul Watson with a glut of assists throughout April. The most important came as he weighed in with two brilliant balls into the box at Birmingham City for Connor Goldson and Lewis Dunk to score for him but there were plenty more of them to come. Not only that but he weighed in with two screamers including his 30 yard hit in the convincing win over Queens Park Rangers that forced the club to reopen it's Goal of the Season award vote.
Played 5 (5 starts). Scored 2.
Second: Anthony Knockaert (25.89% of the vote)
He is unplayable when the Albion get going at home and in the two matches at the Amex in April he weighed in with three goals including an absolutely stunning free kick against QPR. In a rare start away he also impressed against struggling Charlton Athletic.
Third: Tomer Hemed (10.15% of the vote)
His first hat-trick in English football was bagged in the 5-0 victory over Fulham and with it came the man-of-the-match award. He also showed an ice cool set of nerves to slot home the last minute penalty in front of the travelling support that secured the three points at Charlton.

The contenders:
Bruno - Had a couple of funny moments in the win over QPR but you can forgive him that for what has been an outstanding season. Another two clean sheets under his belt as well as netting in the win over Fulham.
Lewis Dunk - Solid defensively again while he also found his scoring boots of last season, netting vital goals from Jiri Skalak's set piece deliveries in the tense away wins at Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest.
Connor Goldson - Just like his defensive partner Dunk, the former Shrewsbury man had another excellent month at the back and he too has started banging them in at the other end, scoring his first goals for the club against QPR and Birmingham.
Tomer Hemed - The goals keep from the Israeli striker. His first hat-trick in English football came in the hammering of Fulham while there was the last minute penalty away at Charlton Athletic which secured a 3-1 win at The Valley.
Beram Kayal - Won the Official Player of the Season award and had another excellent month in midfield. Played in every game in April and needless to say, Brighton and Hove Albion won every game.
Anthony Knockaert - Rested for the away games against Birmingham and Forest, that decision was more than vindicated as he returned with a bang for the back-to-back home matches with Fulham and QPR in which he scored a total of three goals.
Liam Rosenior - Recently came out and said being released by Hull City was one of the best things to happen to him. We heartily agree as another excellent month at left back was recorded with the defence looking so much better with him in it.
Jiri Skalak - A slow start to the Czech internationals career at the Albion was more than forgotten as he became the best deliver of a set piece since Paul Watson to record a glut of assists as well as scoring two of the goals of the season against QPR and Charlton.
Dale Stephens - It's not a very well kept secret that we are such a better team with him and Kayal together in the middle and although they've been joined surprisingly successfully on occasions by Steve Sidwell, it is those two that kept the side ticking throughout April.
David Stockdale - You wouldn't expect a goalkeeper to be important in 5-0 and 4-0 wins but the pressure we were under in this two games in the opening 20 minutes meant that his interventions were key in building the ultimate successes.


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