Brighton increased their lead at the top of League One with a convincing victory as Plymouth Argyle's week went from bad to worse.
Albion's top scorer Glenn Murray opened the scoring, slipping the ball under David Button from close range.
Chris Wood added a second with a long-range effort which beat Button.
Murray scored his second with a great turn and finish from the edge of the box and Fran Sandaza sealed the win from inside the area.
Argyle, who have now lost seven games in a row, suffered a
10-point deduction on Monday
after issuing a notice of intention to appoint an administrator, a move which dropped them to the bottom of the League One table.
And it was the hosts who started the brighter, with Wood forcing a decent save from Button following a great ball from Gary Dicker.
Ashley Barnes blasted high and wide from close range from Gordon Greer's ball and the opening goal went with the run of play, Murray converting from close range after a pass from strike partner Wood took a ricochet.
Albion continued to dominate, with Barnes heading just wide from Murray's cross before Wood's long-range effort beat Button to make it 2-0.
Elliott Bennett forced another save from the busy Button, with Barnes firing over the rebound when he should have scored.
The last kick of the first half proved to be Plymouth's best chance, but Carl Fletcher's free-kick was saved by Casper Ankergren.
The second half continued in the same manner as the first, with Murray taking less than three minutes to score a fine goal, his 16th of the season.
Button then denied Wood his second with his feet.
Joe Mason had a rare chance for the visitors, but his weak shot was easily saved by Ankergren.
The game looked set to end 3-0 before Spanish substitute Sandaza cut inside and scored an injury-time fourth.
Brighton boss Gus Poyet told BBC Sussex: "It was a tricky game. We were playing against a team who are suffering a lot outside the pitch and it affects the team. We needed to win and the performance was very good.
"The team came out in the second half to go and finish it. They weren't nervous at all and didn't try and hold it at 2-0.
"They kept going and kept trying to score goals I think we were very good going forward."
Plymouth Argyle manager Peter Reid told BBC Radio Devon: "We were second best all over the park in terms of winning tackles, passing the ball and not doing our job defensively.
"The run we're in now is a shocking run and we're getting beat too easy. I wanted to make it tight tonight but we were opened up to easily.
"We weren't good enough, we didn't make them work hard enough in my opinion."
Live text and stats
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Npower League One
07 Bennett (Sparrow 86)
09 Barnes (Sandaza 82)
39 Wood (Noone 60)
35 Nelson yellow card
04 Fletcher yellow card
11 Arnason yellow card (Duguid 82)
34 Young (Fallon 54)
Ref: Geoff RussellAtt: 7,261
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+4:27 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+2:19 GOAL - Francisco Sandaza:Brighton 4 - 0 Plymouth Francisco Sandaza scores a goal from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Brighton 4-0 Plymouth.
87:58 Corner taken by Craig Noone, Effort from deep inside the area by Glenn Murray misses to the left of the goal.
86:00 Substitution Matthew Sparrow joins the action as a substitute, replacing Elliott Bennett.
83:50 Corner taken by Elliott Bennett.
81:52 Substitution Karl Duguid on for Kari Arnason.
81:18 Substitution Francisco Sandaza is brought on as a substitute for Ashley Barnes.
81:10 Rory Fallon challenges Inigo Calderon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Casper Ankergren takes the direct free kick.
80:46 Booking The referee shows Kari Arnason a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
77:05 Chris Clark takes a inswinging corner.
76:33 Inswinging corner taken by Chris Clark, Gordon Greer makes a clearance.
68:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Noone by Stephane Zubar. Direct free kick taken by Elliott Bennett.
68:19 Booking Caution for Stephane Zubar.
66:10 Liam Bridcutt fouled by Stephane Zubar, the ref awards a free kick. Liam Bridcutt takes the direct free kick.
59:48 Substitution (Brighton) makes a substitution, with Craig Noone coming on for Chris Wood.
53:53 Liam Bridcutt challenges Stephane Zubar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marcel Seip takes the direct free kick.
53:53 Substitution Rory Fallon comes on in place of Luke Young.
49:28 Unfair challenge on Gary Dicker by Carl Fletcher results in a free kick. Elliott Bennett restarts play with the free kick.
47:19 GOAL - Glenn Murray:Brighton 3 - 0 Plymouth Glenn Murray fires in a goal from just outside the box to the top left corner of the goal. Brighton 3-0 Plymouth.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+2:29 The players leave the pitch at half time.
45:00+1:25 Foul by Inigo Calderon on Joe Mason, free kick awarded. Carl Fletcher has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save by
44:04 Shot from inside the area by Ashley Barnes clears the bar.
42:22 Chris Wood takes a shot. Save made by David Button.
40:32 GOAL - Chris Wood:Brighton 2 - 0 Plymouth Chris Wood grabs a goal from long range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 2-0 Plymouth.
36:31 Ashley Barnes has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
30:59 Corner from the right by-line taken by Elliott Bennett, James Paterson manages to make a clearance.
27:23 Assist on the goal came from Chris Wood.
27:23 GOAL - Glenn Murray:Brighton 1 - 0 Plymouth Glenn Murray grabs a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 1-0 Plymouth.
26:57 Carl Fletcher takes a shot. Save made by Casper Ankergren.
22:18 Foul by Elliott Bennett on James Paterson, free kick awarded. Carl Fletcher restarts play with the free kick.
20:19 Shot by Ashley Barnes from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
15:47 Foul by Glenn Murray on Marcel Seip, free kick awarded. Carl Fletcher restarts play with the free kick.
12:59 Foul by Curtis Nelson on Glenn Murray, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Liam Bridcutt, save by
12:59 Booking The referee shows Curtis Nelson a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
12:17 Liam Bridcutt fouled by Kari Arnason, the ref awards a free kick. Gordon Greer takes the direct free kick.
9:46 Kari Arnason challenges Marcos Painter unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.
Correction - 8:01 Kari Arnason challenges Gordon Greer unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gary Dicker restarts play with the free kick.
8:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kari Arnason on Gordon Greer. Gary Dicker takes the direct free kick.
6:46 Joe Mason fouled by Gary Dicker, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Chris Clark.
5:07 Corner taken right-footed by Elliott Bennett from the right by-line, clearance made by Luke Young.
4:43 Chris Wood takes a shot. Save by David Button.
2:34 Unfair challenge on Elliott Bennett by Marcel Seip results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Elliott Bennett.
2:16 Elliott Bennett produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.
1:44 Liam Bridcutt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Mason. Direct free kick taken by Chris Clark.
0:00 The game begins.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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