Argentine forward Leonardo Ulloa scored a hat-trick as Brighton stayed on course for the Championship play-offs with a big win over Huddersfield.

The 26-year-old headed in the first from Andrea Orlandi's cross but James Vaughan levelled from close range.

Ulloa restored the lead with another header to spark three goals in five minutes as Huddersfield folded late on.

He rounded Town keeper Alex Smithies to score his third before David Lopez's penalty completed the rout.

Leonardo Ulloa

  • Started his career with Argentine club CAI
  • Scored against Real Madrid in January 2011 for Almeria

Brighton's third straight league win keeps them sixth, while Huddersfield are now just five points above the relegation zone after conceding 24 goals in their last 10 Championship games.

Ulloa only arrived at the club from Spanish club Almeria in January but he has now scored five times in seven matches to help Brighton's promotion aspirations.

His opening goal came from Orlandi's whipped near-post cross which he met with a fine header but Huddersfield were level before the interval, former Everton striker Vaughan finishing from Oscar Gobern's 42nd minute cross.

Lopez could have had a second-half hat-trick of his own but Town captain Peter Clarke cleared two efforts off the line while keeper Smithies kept out a drive.

But any thoughts the visitors may have had of heading back to Yorkshire with at least a point were shattered by Ulloa's powerful 12-yard header from Lopez's cross in the 76th minute.

And three minutes later Ulloa latched onto a long pass from Inigo Calderon before rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick.

Brighton made it four in the 80th minute when Paul Dixon brought down Craig Mackail-Smith in the area and Lopez coolly tucked home the penalty.

Brighton boss Gus Poyet:

"When you sign a player like Leo you want to show to people why you signed him.

"We didn't have the kind of player he is and his second goal especially showed his quality. He has timing, jumping and power.

"During the week he was really confident and that is the key. You have to trust your own ability and he trusts his ability, especially with heading. He really believes in what he does."

Huddersfield manager Mark Robins:

"For 74 minutes I thought we'd get something from the game.

"But it wasn't a corner and then we conceded. We can't blame the referee but the second goal led to a capitulation.

"The two goals that followed came as a result of us thinking about the mis-fortune we suffered. Up to then Brighton hadn't hurt us very much."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • 29 Kuszczak
  • 02 Bruno
  • 06 El-Abd
  • 14 Calderon
  • 20 Upson
  • 04 Hammond
  • 11 Orlandi
  • 18 Dicker (Barnes - 57' )
  • 21 David Lopez
  • 30 Buckley (Mackail-Smith - 73' )
  • 19 Ulloa (Forster-Caskey - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 16 Ankergren
  • 03 Greer
  • 05 Dunk
  • 25 LuaLua
  • 35 Forster-Caskey
  • 09 Barnes
  • 12 Mackail-Smith

Huddersfield Town

  • 01 Smithies
  • 03 Dixon Booked
  • 05 P Clarke
  • 06 Gerrard Booked (Lynch - 82' )
  • 32 Hunt
  • 08 Clayton
  • 10 Gobern (Arfield - 65' )
  • 20 Danns Booked
  • 07 Scannell
  • 17 Robinson
  • 18 Vaughan Booked (Novak - 69' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Bennett
  • 15 Wallace
  • 16 Arfield
  • 33 Lynch
  • 04 Norwood
  • 09 Novak
  • 19 Lee
Ref: Ward
Att: 25,831

Match Stats

Shots

13 5

On target

8 3

Corners

12 6

Fouls

4 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +9:26 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +2:54

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Neil Danns, clearance made by Ashley Barnes.

90:00 +2:01

Jack Hunt crosses the ball, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

90:00 +0:55

Shot from just outside the box by Adam Clayton goes over the crossbar.

87:46

Andrea Orlandi concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Dixon. Paul Dixon takes the direct free kick.

82:54

Corner taken by Adam Clayton played to the near post, Craig Mackail-Smith manages to make a clearance.

81:32 Substitution

Substitution Joel Lynch comes on in place of Anthony Gerrard.

81:32 Substitution

Substitution Jake Forster-Caskey is brought on as a substitute for Jose Ulloa.

80:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Moreno David Lopez - Brighton 4 - 1 Huddersfld Penalty taken right-footed by Moreno David Lopez and scored. Brighton 4-1 Huddersfield.

79:54

Paul Dixon concedes a Penalty for a foul on Craig Mackail-Smith.

77:09

Assist on the goal came from Inigo Calderon.

77:09 Goal scored

Goal! - Jose Ulloa - Brighton 3 - 1 Huddersfld Jose Ulloa gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Brighton 3-1 Huddersfield.

75:47

Moreno David Lopez provided the assist for the goal.

75:47 Goal scored

Goal! - Jose Ulloa - Brighton 2 - 1 Huddersfld Jose Ulloa scores a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Brighton 2-1 Huddersfield.

74:44

The ball is delivered by Bruno Saltor, clearance by Sean Scannell. Corner taken by Moreno David Lopez,

72:44 Substitution

Substitution Craig Mackail-Smith joins the action as a substitute, replacing Will Buckley.

71:11

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Moreno David Lopez, Paul Dixon makes a clearance.

70:11

Shot from 25 yards from Sean Scannell. Adam El-Abd makes a clearance.

67:50

Corner taken by Adam Clayton.

67:50 Substitution

Substitution Lee Novak joins the action as a substitute, replacing James Vaughan.

67:50

Neil Danns crosses the ball.

66:55

Effort from 18 yards by Moreno David Lopez. Clearance by Peter Clarke.

66:11

Adam El-Abd restarts play with the free kick.

66:11 Booking

Booking The referee shows James Vaughan a yellow card.

66:04

Adam El-Abd fouled by James Vaughan, the ref awards a free kick.

64:46 Substitution

Substitution Scott Arfield replaces Oscar Gobern.

63:15

The ball is sent over by Moreno David Lopez, Andrea Orlandi produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

62:29

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Andrea Orlandi played to the near post, clearance made by Peter Clarke. Outswinging corner taken by Andrea Orlandi.

62:04

Shot from 18 yards by Moreno David Lopez. Peter Clarke manages to make a clearance.

60:26

Foul by Oscar Gobern on Will Buckley, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Will Buckley.

60:03

Shot from 20 yards from Neil Danns. Adam El-Abd makes a clearance.

59:15

Paul Dixon sends in a cross.

58:40

Corner taken by Andrea Orlandi, Oscar Gobern manages to make a clearance.

56:52 Substitution

Substitution (Brighton) makes a substitution, with Ashley Barnes coming on for Gary Dicker.

55:27

A cross is delivered by Will Buckley, Foul by Peter Clarke on Jose Ulloa, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Andrea Orlandi, clearance by Peter Clarke.

53:47

The ball is sent over by Paul Dixon.

53:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrea Orlandi on Oscar Gobern. Free kick taken by Anthony Gerrard.

52:03

The referee blows for offside against Jose Ulloa. Indirect free kick taken by Alex Smithies.

51:22

The ball is crossed by Jack Hunt, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.

51:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Clayton by Jose Ulloa. Peter Clarke takes the indirect free kick.

50:16

Shot from just outside the box by Theo Robinson misses to the left of the goal.

48:27

The ball is swung over by Moreno David Lopez, Shot from deep inside the area by Inigo Calderon goes over the bar.

48:27 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Paul Dixon for unsporting behaviour.

48:20

Paul Dixon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Will Buckley.

47:10

Andrea Orlandi produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.

46:34

Jack Hunt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Hammond. Direct free kick taken by Andrea Orlandi.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +2:17 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +0:03

Andrea Orlandi sends in a cross, clearance made by Paul Dixon.

44:20

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tomasz Kuszczak by James Vaughan. Free kick taken by Tomasz Kuszczak.

41:49

Assist by Oscar Gobern.

41:49 Goal scored

Goal! - James Vaughan - Brighton 1 - 1 Huddersfld James Vaughan gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Brighton 1-1 Huddersfield.

39:52

Moreno David Lopez restarts play with the free kick.

39:52 Booking

Booking Anthony Gerrard goes into the referee's book.

39:38

Anthony Gerrard concedes a free kick for a foul on Bruno Saltor.

38:44

Unfair challenge on Adam El-Abd by Theo Robinson results in a free kick. Adam El-Abd takes the indirect free kick.

37:30

Gary Dicker sends in a cross, Adam Clayton manages to make a clearance.

36:24

Outswinging corner taken by Moreno David Lopez from the right by-line played to the near post, James Vaughan makes a clearance. Moreno David Lopez takes a short corner.

32:56

Inigo Calderon takes the direct free kick.

32:56 Booking

Booking Neil Danns goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

31:26

Foul by Neil Danns on Dean Hammond, free kick awarded.

30:09

The ball is swung over by Jack Hunt, Tomasz Kuszczak manages to make a clearance.

29:48

Gary Dicker concedes a free kick for a foul on Neil Danns. Adam Clayton restarts play with the free kick.

28:13

The ball is swung over by Will Buckley, save by Alex Smithies.

25:32

Andrea Orlandi takes a short corner. Effort on goal by Moreno David Lopez from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

24:21

Handball decision goes against Neil Danns. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Andrea Orlandi, save made by Alex Smithies. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Moreno David Lopez from the right by-line.

23:39

The ball is sent over by Moreno David Lopez, clearance by Sean Scannell.

19:58

Andrea Orlandi provided the assist for the goal.

19:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Jose Ulloa - Brighton 1 - 0 Huddersfld Jose Ulloa grabs a headed goal from close in. Brighton 1-0 Huddersfield.

18:42

Corner taken right-footed by Moreno David Lopez, Will Buckley takes a shot. Oscar Gobern gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Moreno David Lopez.

17:19

Moreno David Lopez takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Jose Ulloa takes a shot. Adam Clayton manages to make a clearance.

14:55

Moreno David Lopez produces a cross, Will Buckley takes a shot. Alex Smithies makes a save.

14:14

Corner taken by Adam Clayton from the right by-line, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.

13:35

A cross is delivered by Will Buckley, save by Alex Smithies.

9:38

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Adam Clayton from the left by-line, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

9:16

The ball is swung over by Paul Dixon, Adam El-Abd manages to make a clearance.

7:48

Unfair challenge on Will Buckley by Paul Dixon results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Andrea Orlandi from left wing, Neil Danns makes a clearance.

6:59

Oscar Gobern gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Hammond. Moreno David Lopez takes the direct free kick.

4:10

Jack Hunt produces a cross, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

3:14

Adam Clayton takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Andrea Orlandi.

2:04

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Will Buckley by Paul Dixon. Bruno Saltor takes the free kick.

1:23

Jose Ulloa is ruled offside. Alex Smithies takes the free kick.

0:07

Paul Dixon challenges Will Buckley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Bruno Saltor takes the free kick.

0:00

The match gets underway.

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