Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Southampton 2
By Tim Hodges from The Amex
Albion threw away a lead and several chances to increase the one they had as VAR played another huge part in the outcome of yet another home loss at the Amex. This time in front of 2000 or so fans for the first time in a competitive match in almost 9 months.
Albion started brightly enough and pinned Southampton back the industry and work rate of wing backs Solly March and Tariq Lamptey working well for the Seagulls. But early chances that fell the way of Danny Welbeck and Aaron Connolly wern’t taken. Welbeck stabbing his shot at Alex Macarthy when well placed.
Yves Bissouma played a superb ball over the top for Pascak Gross to run on to , bearing down in goal it looked like Gross would unleash a shot, instead he checked back and slide the ball to Connolly and the chance was gone.
Albion’s goal did come from the Welbeck, Connolly combination – intricate passing between the two forced James Ward- Prowse to fist the ball away. Gross dispatched the resulting penalty to put Albion in front.
The Seagulls had more spells of good possession but just create clear cut chances.
The return of fans was a boost – the 2000 in the stadium created an atmosphere similar to those reserve matches at the old Goldstone when around a similar number occasionally turned when you could purchase a cup tie ticket for Chelsea or Liverpool at the turnstile.
With a few minutes of the first half left, Jannick Vestagaard headed home Ward-Prowse corner to draw the Saints level.
The second half started ominously for the Seagulls, as the visitors introduced Danny Ings.
Southampton’s obvious intention was to be patient and wear Albion down
Albion were again wasteful in front of goal – Gross March and substitute Neal Maupay the worst culprits.
Theo Walcott and Nathan Redmond were causing Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk problems and were working into good positions to feed Ings.
With twelve minutes left March tangled with Kyle Walker Peters on the edge of the box – it looked an penalty immediately referee Coote gave a free kick on the edge if the box. After an age VAR decided the inevitable that it was in fact a spot kick to Southampton. Dunk , Gross and Webster remonstrated with Coote , which was pointless as he didn’t give it. Ings buried it to put the Saints in lead.
Albion tried to get back in it but were frustrating in the last few minutes as they pass it around instead of lumping it in the box. On Match of the Day in the 80’s Jimmy Hill highlighted an Albion fan yell “get it over” as Milke Bailey’s team were similarly indecisive- Steve Foster did and Andy Ritchie scored – pity 1980’s guy wasn’t there tonight.
Albion go to Leicester next Sunday and are still four points clear of the relegation zone with healthy goal difference- but home wins against Sheffield United and free falling Arsenal are vital later on this month.
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