Hemed treble boosts Brighton’s promotion push

Brighton fans sing in the crowd at stadium in, Brighton, southern England on January 5, 2013
AFP

London (AFP) – Tomer Hemed boosted Brighton’s bid for promotion to the Premier League as the Israeli striker’s first hat-trick in England inspired a 5-0 demolition of Fulham on Friday.

Hemed scored twice in the first half, once from the penalty spot, and captain Bruno hit the Seagulls’ third goal shortly after the break.

Chris Hughton’s side made it four when Hemed completed his treble 10 minutes from time before French winger Antony Knockaert completed Brighton’s biggest win of the season.

Brighton, now assured of a place in the Championship play-offs with four games remaining, climb above Burnley into the second automatic promotion place and are one point behind leaders Middlesbrough, who they visit on the last day of the season.

In Friday’s other second tier fixture, Hull are on course for a play-off berth after leaving it late to seal a 2-1 win over Wolves at the KC Stadium.

Steve Bruce’s side took an early lead through Adama Diomande’s opportunist finish, but Dave Edwards’ close-range header drew Wolves level.

Hull won it in stoppage-time when Robert Snodgrass curled a free-kick that hit Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme before bouncing over the goalline.

The fourth placed Tigers, who retain faint hopes of automatic promotion as they lie eight points behind Brighton with a game in hand, are 10 points clear of seventh placed Cardiff with five matches left.

.