Steve Sidwell long-range effort the highlight of Brighton's win at Bristol City
Steve Sidwell produced a candidate for goal-of-the-season to set Brighton on course for a 2-0 Sky Bet Championship win at Bristol City.
The midfielder scored from inside the centre circle on 13 minutes, spotting City goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell well off his line and lifting the ball over him with a deliberate left-footed shot from 50 yards after Korey Smith had been caught in possession.
The Brighton players all rushed to their bench and celebrated by holding up the number 11 shirt, a tribute to team-mate Anthony Knockaert - absent following the death of his father.
Seven minutes later Jamie Murphy cut in from the left to double Brighton's advantage with a low right-footed drive that took a deflection off a defender to beat O'Donnell.
From then on the outcome was never in doubt as visiting goalkeeper David Stockdale never had a testing save to make.
City should have been ahead before Sidwell's cracker
Lee Tomlin fired wide of the near post on three minutes when put through by a Tammy Abraham pass.
But it was one of few first half openings for the hosts, who have the worst record in the Championship for netting in the first half of games this season.
Again they drew a blank, despite threatening again on 31 minutes when a Scott Golbourne header bounced across the six-yard box with no team-mate able to apply the finishing touch.
Brighton continued to look dangerous without creating another clear first half opportunity and were good value for their interval lead.
The visitors started the second half well and Jiri Skalak shot into the side-netting from an opening created by Glenn Murray.
Gary O'Neil volleyed straight at David Stockdale as City tried to find another gear, but in the 61st minute head coach Lee Johnson made a double change, sending on Aaron Wilbraham and Bobby Reid for Golbourne and Smith.
It made little difference as the home side continually hit a brick wall in the shape of Brighton centre-backs Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk, well protected by Sidwell and Dale Stephens in midfield.
Brighton protected their lead with an impressive defensive display and might have extended it when substitute Tomer Hemed blasted over the bar five minutes from time.
It was one of few second-half efforts from either team and by then more than 1,800 travelling Brighton fans were already in celebration mood.
Murphy's skilful running with the ball often had City stretched and all over the pitch the Seagulls had players looking comfortable and confident on the ball.
The home side almost carved a chance in added time from a quality through-ball by Reid, but Duffy snuffed out the danger posed by Abraham and Brighton's clean sheet was assured.
Source : PA