Wolves 0, Brighton 2: Knockaert toasts player-of-the-season gong with brace as Albion edge closer
Anthony Knockaert's brace helped Brighton & Hove Albion edge a step closer to the Premier League with victory at Molineux - their first since 1991.
The winger celebrated his player of the season award in style as he fired home on the stroke of half-time and added a second - his 15th of the season - with ten minutes remaining as the Seagulls edged out Wolverhampton Wanderers on Good Friday.
The champagne was on ice, however, as Huddersfield managed to pinch a late winner against Preston as Collin Quaner put home the rebound after Aaron Mooy's penalty was saved by Chris Maxwell. It had looked like the away side had done enough to secure a 2-2 draw until the late drama.
A Preston win would have meant Albion would have all-but secured promotion today due to their superior goal difference, but they now need just four points from five games to definitely go up.
Chris Hughton named an unchanged side from the one that won 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers seven days ago, with Lewis Dunk back to fitness after his illness.
Sam Baldock again missed out with his glutes problem and Beram Kayal, who Hughton said was rested at QPR, was also not involved in the squad.
The first chance went Wolves' way as Conor Coady's teasing cross flashed across the goalmouth and just eluded the head of the onrushing Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
Albion had struggled to get out their own half for the first 15 minutes, but when they eventually broke forwards it was the woodwork that denied Tomer Hemed. The striker was released by Knockaert and he crashed against the bar from 12 yards out.
On the 20-minute mark, Ivan Cavaleiro's goalbound effort required a timely block in the area by Lewis Dunk as the home crowd continued their ferocious support.
Just before the half-hour mark, a piece of Knockaert skill released Seb Pocognoli, but his cross was blocked and Knockaert's second attempt saw Glenn Murray offside.
Murray's well-directed header from a Knockaert free kick was then tipped over the bar by Andy Lonergan, but referee Geoff Eltringham awarded a goal kick.
Another corner which was given soon after saw a short ball played to Solly March and he crashed into the side netting from just outside the box.
Albion led on the stroke of half-time as Kortney Hause missed a clearance and Knockaert burst through to go through one-on-one with Lonergan and the ball skidded past the keeper on the wet surface.
Hemed could have double the lead before the break moments after as his effort from the edge of the box whistled over the bar.
David Stockdale clawed away a couple of set-pieces at the start of the second half, before saving a poor header from Coady at the far post, while Andi Weimann's follow-up effort was blocked.
Solly March fired a dangerous cross across the Wolves box, before in the 72nd minute at the other end, Ben Marshall jinked into the box, but fired tamely at Stockdale.
Marshall then stung the hands of Stockdale, but with the ball loose in the area and no Wolves player to capitalise, Albion cleared.
In the 81st minute, Knockaert made sure of the points as he latched onto Murray's header and slid the ball Lonergan. That put Albion five points clear at the top of the table - temporarily at least with Newcastle playing Leeds in the evening kick-off.
Brighton: Stockdale, Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Pocognolia, Knockaert, Sidwell, Stephens, March (Murphy 70), Hemed (Norwood 83), Murray. Unused subs: Skalak, Murphy, Forren, Tomori, Akpom, Maenpaa.
Wolves: Lonergan, Coady, Batth, Hause, Doherty, Saiss, Edwards, Weimann, Cavaleiro, Marshall (Dicko 76), Dadi Bodvarsson (Wilson 76). Unused subs: Burgoyne, Saville, Evans, Gibbs-White, Williamson.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham.