Post-match report for our last game: Newcastle, Tuesday, 28th February 2017

Brighton v Newcastle


PITCHSIDE NOTEBOOK; from the Amex, Falmer.
RESULT; 1-2 ~ Murray . (ht 1-0) . SHAPE; 4-4-2 . REF; set the tone by flattering to deceive.

WEATHER; cold but dry . GATE; 30,230 . PITCH; no blame attached by participants or managers.
ATMOSPHERE; big match buzz greatly helped by huge numbers of travelling support in a packed venue. Also, fluctuating & mixed emotions in an incredible climax.

OVERTURE; it was a Tuesday night and tv cameras were there too for this clash left over from that duplicate FAC4 afternoon in late January. Southern trains were running to Falmer, the A27 was incident free and fast food & drinks were readily available at the stadium from 6:15pm. What would be would be from here on in.

CHRIS HUGHTON selected an unchanged match-day squad. The fitness scare over Pocognoli was apparently resolved.

TEAM; . . . . . Stockdale
. . Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Pocognoli
. Knockaert, Stephens, Sidwell, Murphy
. . . . . . . . Baldock, Murray

BENCH; Walton, Huenemeier, Akpom, Hemed, Tomori (18), Kayal (82), March (88)

GOALS; 14 - at a corner there was the usual grappling. Ref ruled in favour of sprawling MURRAY who got up and despatched the spot kick. 1-0 - an element of good fortune but an essential lead anyway.
81 - Stockdale punched out but the ball fell to opposition. The shot was miss-hit but looped up off another player into the top corner. 1-1 - fickle finger of fate reset parity in bizarre fashion.
89 - visitors fired a long diagonal ball to left flank and the winger cut inside a square pass. Their sub struck a low drive as tackles came too late and Stockdale went the wrong way. 1-2 - a death blow & game over to boot.

YELLOWS; Duffy slid in robustly with boot raised. Knockaert was enthusiastic at the touch line but similarly considered cause of infringement. Murray battled on an evening of ups & downs.

SUBS; Pocognoli suffered recurring groin strain and was withdrawn for Tomori inside twenty minutes. Hughton then responded only when parity was re-established by immediately introducing Kayal for Baldock. March arrived at expense of Knockaert but it was too little too late and he barely got a kick.
Substitutions made hardly any difference to balance of the match. Hughton had hoped to hold out for a single goal victory, although fresh legs at an earlier stage may have been a tactical option.

ANALYSIS; for much of this overrated head to head there was a fine line evident between seeing which style of play could produce a win. In the event, none of the goals had purity but that is the nature of any unpredictable football fixture.
Albion appeared to contain the reputation of a very strong away side but lacked the nous to see it through to the end. Possibly BHA failed to reproduce the necessary will to win that travellers have showed continuously this term.

1ST FAN; +Seagulls were surviving on good luck and it ran out in a cruel twist of fate as they tried to hang on for a positive result+

2ND FAN; +it was one of those games, especially during closing stages, that would go to the team who wanted it more+

3RD FAN; +you could not make it up. It was over the moon to sick as a parrot in ten minutes. Brighton fans are collectively gutted+