As you were – Albion still need to show Dunk- irk spirit at Boro to realise automatic promotion dream
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Derby County 1
By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Albion could only draw with Derby and only thanks to a last gasp equaliser from James Wilson. After goalkeeper David Stockdale had made a nuisance of himself in the Derby penalty area as Albion’s Anthony Knockaert fired in a late corner.
The Seagulls never really found their stride. Knockaert was instrumental in everything Albion were doing to penetrate the Derby defence.
Conner Goldson looked to have picked up a nasty looking knock when he appeared to collide with the goal post, as he tried to get on the end of a Knockert cross.
Goldson appeared to be moving quite gingerly and gave away a needless corner after he was put under pressure by Bruno.
Albion’s best chance of the first half came from a Knockaert free kick. In a similar position to his strike against QPR, Knockaert appeared to have found his perfect range again,but Derby Defender Jason Shackell tracked back and headed the effort over .
Beram Kayal had an effort which the Rams ex- England keeper Scott Carson pushed wide. And Tomer Hemed saw a header bounce wide.
Retrospectively the biggest moment of the first half was Lewis Dunk’s booking for a foul on Chris Martin.
The half ended with Knockaert striding through the county defence and forcing a late flurry of corners.
Albion seemed to be asleep early in the second half as Chris Martin twice and Will Hughes forced Stockdale into rountine saves.
Bruno appeared to take an elbow in the face from Tom Ince . But Premier League referee Bobby Maddley,only showed the son of former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul, a yellow card.
Liam Rosenior clashed heads with Cyrus Christie as Albion desperatly tried to control the midfield . Dale Stephens looked pariticularly out of sorts as most of his usually sound flicks and passes went astray
Albion had a great shout for a penalty as George Thorne looked to have upended Knockaert , the assitant even appearing to signal a foul. But Mr Maddley gave a corner instead.
As Albion pushed forward with more players so Derby became more dangerous on the counter.
Andreas Weimann just on as a substitute reacted quickest to a loose ball , but Stockdale parried well. However Weimann was first to the rebound and fired Derby in front.
Liam Rosenior sprinted with the ball from net back to the centre circle and Albion immediatly pressed Derby for an equaliser.
Kazenga Lua Lua who had replaced Jiri Skalak gave Albion another outlet. But it was Lua Lua’s miscue that caused Dunk to sythe down Martin.
Dunk knew his fate , he pulled his shirt over his head , before Mr Maddley raised a send yellow card.
Although with ten men, Albion still pressed Derby .
The Rams were incensed when Jacob Butterfield kicked the ball out after pulling up injured and the Albion players contested the ball from the restart . However Keogh had controlled it and was trying to shepherd it out of play.
Hemed had a swipe on the edge of the six yard box but the ball hit a defender and looped away. And Lua Lua had a snapshot well held by Carson.
As the injury time clock counted down Albion won a corner . Unusually David Stockdale jogged forward. Stockdale tried this a couple of times during Sammi Hyppia’s reign. But was always waved back.
Knockaert’s kick went towards the big Yorkshire goalkeeper , he appeared to win a header of sorts and the ball fell to James Wilson. He fired into the roof of the net via a Derby head.
Wilson’s equaliser was almost the last kick of the game. But within two hours Burnley had won and were promoted.
The last promotion spot lies between Albion and Middlesbrough who meet at The Riverside next Saturday. Winner takes all . Although Boro need just a point. It promises to be a humdinger and possibly the costliest Championship fixture ever.
Club captain Gordon Greer is likely to replace Dunk.
It didn’t look like Dunk reappeared for the players lap of honour.
If Albion don’t win at Boro, its Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsbrough on Friday 13th and then the following Monday at The Amex. In a two legged play-off semi final.
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