Brighton & Hove Albion lost 3-1 at playoff-chasing Huddersfield Town as the leaders of England's second-tier Championship missed the chance to go four points clear on Thursday.

It was a third straight away defeat for Brighton, after losses at Preston North End and to non-league Lincoln City in the FA Cup fourth round, and left them a point above Newcastle United, who drew 2-2 with Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday.

Brighton, who had conceded just 18 league goals going into the Huddersfield match, shipped three in the first half, falling behind when Tommy Smith curled the ball home after nine minutes.

They drew level when Tomer Hemed rounded the keeper for his 12th goal of the season after 20 minutes but were soon behind again when Town striker Nahki Wells crashed home a right-foot finish from 20 metres in the 36th.

Elias Kachunga headed into an empty net on the rebound in first-half stoppage time and Brighton's frustrations were compounded after the break when Lewis Dunk was sent off for a second booking in the 67th minute.

Huddersfield's victory left them fifth on 52 points, eight adrift of Brighton after 28 matches.