Brighton boss Gus Poyet paid tribute to his team for a "good, professional display" after two early goals from Dean Hammond and Andrea Orlandi extended the Seagulls' unbeaten run to seven games with a 2-0 victory over Bristol City.

Poyet was especially pleased to seal maximum points after the disappointment of seeing a stoppage-time goal deny Brighton victory at home to Bolton last Saturday.

"We got a clean sheet, scored a couple of goals so I've no complaints," Poyet said. "It was a good, professional display. We needed to keep patient and make it difficult for the opposition."

Poyet sprung a surprise by dropping record signing Craig Mackail-Smith and strike-partner Ashley Barnes to the bench, and instead gave starts to Stephen Dobbie and Will Hoskins.

"Dobbie and Hoskins were desperate to play and this was an opportunity for them to come into the side and impress," he said. "I think they both had good games without being spectacular."

Brighton visit arch-rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday and Poyet admitted this comfortable victory was a perfect way to go into such an eagerly-awaited clash. "I hope it will be a proper game with no problems," he said. "The fans do enjoy those kinds of games."

Brighton scored both their goals inside the opening half-hour. Midfielder Hammond opened the scoring with a simple header after Liam Bridcutt played in a free-kick from Orlandi. Spaniard Orlandi doubled the advantage when his free-kick was not dealt with properly by defender Matthew Bates, and the ball went through the legs of unsighted goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

Bristol City manager Derek McInnes admitted sloppy defending from set-plays cost his side dearly.

"The Championship is an unforgiving league and if you don't defend set-plays you're in trouble," he said. "The first goal came from a free header and the second was a breakdown in communication between Matthew Bates and the keeper.

"Yet I believe that had we got one back, Brighton would have been more fragile. We kept going but for all our good play in possession we couldn't get anything from it. We needed to get the ball forward a little bit quicker, but I thought we worked hard against the ball."