Leonardo Ulloa scored the winner as Brighton kept up their play-off push with victory over struggling Doncaster.

Billy Sharp missed Rovers' best chance when he headed wide from six yards 10 minutes after the break.

And Ulloa punished that miss on 75 minutes as he met Stephen Ward's cross from the left with a firm header to break the visitors' resistance.

Striker Sharp compounded his side's misery when he was sent off late on after tangling with Gordon Greer.

The result left the Seagulls four points from the play-off positions as they extended their unbeaten run at home to six matches.

Doncaster, who are five points above the relegation zone, proved a stubborn obstacle but remain without an away win in the league since September.

Argentine Ulloa gave warning of his aerial threat when he headed a Ward cross wide from 10 yards.

Sharp then went close to breaking the deadlock for the away side, only to nod wide from James Coppinger's cross.

Ulloa had a 20-yard curling strike kept out by keeper Sam Johnstone and Solly March's close-range effort was blocked by James Husband as Brighton pressed.

And they eventually broke through when Ulloa converted from Ward's cross, with Sharp sent off four minutes from time after clashing with Greer.

Brighton manager Oscar Garcia:

"We started really well but when you (miss) a lot of chances you can lose your confidence. We kept playing well and creating chances and finally Leonardo Ulloa took his chance well.

"[Speculation] doesn't affect the players because they know I am with Brighton. They are not new to football. They know how it works, that managers can be sacked at any time.

"So I don't think they will spend any second of their lives thinking about it at all. The players are happy and they know we have a massive game on Tuesday."

Doncaster manager Paul Dickov:

"We feel a bit unlucky. We were outstanding today. We knew they are a top team and we almost weathered the storm and got something from the game.

"In the second half we caused them some problems. We created more clear-cut chances throughout the game, so we feel that we've been done hard by.

"We've been on a good run lately and I'd like to think anyone that saw us would think that we can compete at this level.

"We're not stupid enough to dismiss the threat of trouble but we have a good chance of getting out of it."

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • 29 Kuszczak
  • 02 Bruno
  • 17 Ward
  • 38 Ince
  • 03 Greer
  • 20 Upson
  • 06 Stephens
  • 11 Orlandi (Lua Lua - 62' )
  • 19 Ulloa Booked
  • 09 Rodríguez Sánchez (Obika - 89' )
  • 27 March (D. López - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Brezovan
  • 05 Dunk
  • 10 Agustien
  • 14 Calderón
  • 21 D. López
  • 22 Obika
  • 25 Lua Lua

Doncaster Rovers

  • 33 Johnstone
  • 17 Tamas (Quinn - 45' )
  • 03 Husband Booked
  • 18 Keegan
  • 20 Méité Booked
  • 14 Khumalo Booked
  • 07 Duffy (Cotterill - 76' )
  • 04 Furman
  • 10 Sharp Dismissed
  • 09 Brown Booked
  • 26 Coppinger

Substitutes

  • 02 Quinn
  • 11 Cotterill
  • 12 McCullough
  • 13 Maxted
  • 21 De Val
  • 30 Peterson
  • 31 Stevens
Ref: Gavin Ward
Att: 27,009

Match Stats

Shots

17 5

On target

6 2

Corners

8 2

Fouls

9 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Doncaster Rovers 0.

90:00 +4:33 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Doncaster Rovers 0.

90:00 +4:02

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Coppinger.

90:00 +3:12

Hand ball by Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion).

90:00 +2:52 Booking

Booking Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +2:16

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:16

Foul by Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster Rovers).

90:00 +0:10

Attempt missed. David López (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Kazenga Lua Lua.

89:26

Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:26

Foul by Paul Quinn (Doncaster Rovers).

89:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Jonathan Obika replaces David Rodríguez.

88:28

Corner, Doncaster Rovers. Conceded by Tomasz Kuszczak.

87:25

Attempt saved. David Cotterill (Doncaster Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Keegan.

85:32 Dismissal

Dismissal Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers) is shown the red card for fighting.

85:06

Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:06

Foul by Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers).

84:13

David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

84:13

Foul by Paul Keegan (Doncaster Rovers).

80:07

Foul by David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion).

80:07

James Husband (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

79:32 Booking

Booking Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

79:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. David López replaces Solly March.

79:08

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).

79:08

Dean Furman (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

77:16

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Husband.

77:14

Attempt blocked. David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leonardo Ulloa.

75:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Doncaster Rovers. David Cotterill replaces Mark Duffy.

74:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Doncaster Rovers 0. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stephen Ward with a cross.

72:57

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Kazenga Lua Lua tries a through ball, but Leonardo Ulloa is caught offside.

72:22

Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

72:22

Foul by Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers).

71:02

Attempt saved. David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Solly March.

70:10

Attempt missed. Mark Duffy (Doncaster Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Chris Brown.

68:23

Attempt missed. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by David Rodríguez with a cross.

67:10

Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

67:10

Foul by Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers).

65:25

Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matthew Upson.

64:51

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Husband.

63:45

Attempt missed. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

62:41 Booking

Booking James Husband (Doncaster Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

62:40

David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

62:40

Foul by James Husband (Doncaster Rovers).

61:59

Corner, Doncaster Rovers. Conceded by Tomasz Kuszczak.

61:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Kazenga Lua Lua replaces Andrea Orlandi.

59:49

Attempt blocked. David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrea Orlandi.

57:28

Attempt saved. James Coppinger (Doncaster Rovers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Brown.

56:09

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Husband.

55:29

Attempt missed. Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by James Coppinger with a cross.

54:03

Foul by Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion).

54:03

Chris Brown (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:43

Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Rodríguez with a cross.

47:46

Attempt missed. Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James Coppinger with a cross.

45:00

Second Half begins Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Doncaster Rovers 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Doncaster Rovers. Paul Quinn replaces Gabriel Tamas because of an injury.

45:00 +1:29 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Doncaster Rovers 0.

45:00 +0:05

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bruno tries a through ball, but David Rodríguez is caught offside.

44:00 Booking

Booking Abdoulaye Méité (Doncaster Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

43:53

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

43:53

Foul by Abdoulaye Méité (Doncaster Rovers).

38:07 Booking

Booking Chris Brown (Doncaster Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

37:56

Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:56

Foul by Chris Brown (Doncaster Rovers).

36:43

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

36:43

James Husband (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:45

Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).

32:45

Mark Duffy (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

31:58

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

31:04

Delay in match Gabriel Tamas (Doncaster Rovers) because of an injury.

30:21

Attempt saved. Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Bruno.

27:30

Foul by Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion).

27:30

Chris Brown (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

25:05

Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).

25:05

Gabriel Tamas (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

24:26

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Dean Furman.

24:11

Attempt blocked. David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dale Stephens.

22:33

Attempt blocked. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

21:48

Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stephen Ward.

19:52

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:52

Foul by Paul Keegan (Doncaster Rovers).

16:59

Attempt blocked. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leonardo Ulloa.

15:35

Foul by David Rodríguez (Brighton and Hove Albion).

15:35

Gabriel Tamas (Doncaster Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:56

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Husband.

9:48

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Stephen Ward tries a through ball, but David Rodríguez is caught offside.

8:12

Attempt missed. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Stephen Ward with a cross.

6:23

Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

6:23

Foul by Chris Brown (Doncaster Rovers).

5:40

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Chris Brown.

5:38

Attempt blocked. Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leonardo Ulloa.

4:45

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Husband.

4:29

Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:29

Foul by Chris Brown (Doncaster Rovers).

3:54

Attempt blocked. Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

2:56

Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

2:56

Foul by James Husband (Doncaster Rovers).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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