By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Keith Andrews salvaged a point for the Albion as the Seagulls gave an unconvincing performance against lowly Sheffield Wednesday.
Ashley Barnes, on as a substitute, headed Stephen Ward’s cross back across goal and Andrews bundled the ball home with just a minute left to play.
More worryingly for Albion, Leo Ulloa was stretchered off just before the hour mark with what was later being described as a stress fracture of the foot.
Ulloa had two good early chances for Albion but failed to take either of them. He was put through first by Bruno Saltor and later by Gordon Greer.
Bruno then put David Lopez through but Wednesday keeper Chris Kirkland was equal to the midfielder’s half-hearted shot.
A half with few chances saw Andrew Crofts draw the the first save of any note from Kirkland with just over half an hour played.
Things began to liven up soon after. Kazenga LuaLua sprinted past Jake Buxton and appeared to be hauled down in the box but referee Keith Stroud waved play on.
Minutes later Andrews and Jose Semedo appeared almost to wrestle each other to the ground inside the penalty area.
Several players got involved in the pushing and shoving but the outcome was a yellow card each for Andrews and Semedo.
With two minutes of the half left, Michail Antonio hooked the ball in from the byline. Jeremy Helan did the hard work and picked out on-loan Matty Fryatt, who swivelled and steered his shot past Tomasz Kuszczak to put the Owls in front at half time.
As they often do, the Albion come out with much more purpose at the start of the second half. Will Buckley replaced Inigo Calderon and was soon in the thick of the action.
But it was the injury to Ulloa that knocked Albion out of their new-found stride.
Kemy Agustien came on and tried to get Albion moving. The Dutchman showed a lot of nice touches.
Ashley Barnes, on a sub, missed a glorious opportunity to put Albion level as he screwed a shot wide from eight yards out.
Wednesday were happy to sit and contain Albion, although they a few had half chances through Helan and later Liam Palmer.
With 15 minutes left, more great work from LuaLua saw him centre but Andrews half-volleyed inches wide.
Wednesday were beginning to find gaps as Albion pushed forward and a couple of times Kuszczak had to be alert.
But right at the end of the 90 minutes, as Albion streamed forward, Andrews as able to poke the ball home and give the Seagulls a vital point.
Albion take on former European champions Nottingham Forest at the Amex on Saturday (5 October) in a 5.30pm kick off due to a Sussex University event earlier in the day.