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WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Month - October 2016

Four wins out of five in an unbeaten October saw Brighton and Hove Albion move three points clear of third placed Huddersfield and nicely poised just behind league leaders and overwhelming title favourites Newcastle in the Championship table.

Two long standing hoodoos were broken this month - a first ever victory at Hillsborough as Sheffield Wedensday were defeated 2-1 to kick things off and then a first home win over Norwich since 1983 in the performance of the season so far, a 5-0 triumph.

There were wins over Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers - both of whom sacked their managers in the aftermath - and a draw with Preston. Plus another three clean sheets in the bag for David Stockdale and his back four who, needless to say, feature heavily in the shortlist for Player of the Month.

October 2016 Player of the Month -  Steve Sidwell (25.17% of the vote)
Last season, losing Beram Kayal for three months would have been an unmitigated disaster. This season, his absence with injury has hardly been noticed thanks to the brilliant form of Steve Sidwell. While the midfielder may not be the sprightly young chicken he once was, he managed to play all five of the Albion's games in October and excelled in each of them sitting just in front of the back four. He was particularly impressive in the wins over Wolves and Norwich City. All of a sudden, the prospect of losing one of Kayal or Stephens permanently doesn't seem quite as daunting.
Played 5 (5 starts). Scored 0.
Second: Sam Baldock (17.48% of the vote)
Has found goals hard to come by since arriving in 2014 from Bristol City, but all that changed in October as he notched in three consecutive games to earn victories over Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday and a point against Preston North End.
Third: Glenn Murray (16.78% of the vote)
Any doubts about whether Chris Hughton should have bought him back to the club have been well and truly dismissed. Another excellent month which included four goals and a performance against Norwich in which he netted a hat-trick in one of the best individual showings The Amex has seen.

The contenders:
Sam Baldock - Has established himself ahead of Tomer Hemed in the pecking order in October, scoring in three consecutive games in the victory at Sheffield Wednesday, the draw with Preston and win the win over Wolves.
Gaetan Bong - Had his fair share of critics in the opening two months but in October the left back was back to the rampaging form he showed last season before long term injury struck. Was integral to setting up goals away at Wednesday and home to Norwich.
Shane Duffy - An integral part of a defence that only conceded three times all month. He was particularly impressive against a lively Wolves side in denying Walter Zenga's side a goal and was an absolute rock under a lot of Hillsborough pressure.
Lewis Dunk - Missed the game at Wigan through suspension but returned to head in his first goal of the season in the hammering dished out to Norwich. Alongside Duffy, perhaps the best centre back partnership in the division.
Anthony Knockaert - Scored a screamer against Norwich and also netted away at Sheffield Wednesday followed by a wonderfully over the top celebration. Suffered a rare off day at Wigan but he can't win matches on his own every week!
Glenn Murray - Became only the third player to score a hat-trick at The Amex in a quite stunning performance against Norwich. He also netted in the draw with Preston, taking his seasons haul onto nine and making him the divisions second top scorer.
Steve Sidwell - Anytime Beram Kayal was missing last season, Brighton were woeful. The biggest praise you can give Steve Sidwell is that Kayal hasn't played all month and there has been no noticeable difference. A brilliant October from the veteran.
David Stockdale - Had a few funny moments against Preston but bounced back with a clean sheet against Wolves. Then away at Wigan produced one of the best double saves from an Albion goalkeeper since Michel Kuipers at Molineux in 2002.


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