Seagulls Scene: Draw specialists Brighton fail to kick their play-off push on

editorial image

Tuesday night at the Amex was a huge let down, writes Ray Eggleton.

Our visitors Charlton came with a defensive plan and proved difficult to beat.

With a combination of woodwork (twice), our poor finishing, and their dogged defending we couldn’t score.

The bitterly cold night and a swirling wind didn’t help. The goalless game was our 16th draw!

Just one point meant we couldn’t take advantage of the teams around us failing to win.

Instead of overtaking Nottingham Forest we stayed sixth, one point behind.

Fans had been heartened by Poyet’s attacking team selection. Bridcutt and Kuszczak were back in the team and Vicente played.

It was disappointing for 70 minutes. However we were treated to a spirited and rousing finish as the North end woodwork twice saved Athletic.

It was definitely two points dropped. Now the pressure is back on and a win on Saturday, when seventh-placed Leicester are the visitors, is essential to keep Premiership play-offs on track.

The mid-week stalemate followed Saturday’s 2-2 draw away at play-off rivals Nottingham Forest.

It was a case of if only! If only goalkeeper Casper Ankergren had kept up his fine performance for 92 minutes our Seagulls would have been very happy Easter bunnies indeed.

Saturday saw the latest ‘big one’, this time at the City Ground. It was hugely important for both clubs. The sting in the tail was a ghastly blunder by our keeper Ankergren in the 91st minute as he let a ball under his body allowing Forest to snatch the draw.

I should say now that if asked before the game I would have been happy with a point.

But when a victory and two points slip away in added time it feels like a defeat. It was déjà vu as a win was denied by a late goal last year too.

Brighton defended soundly in the first battling 45 minutes which finished goalless.

Brighton were an improved side after the break. From a corner striker Leo Ulloa fired home through a packed penalty area to put the visitors ahead. This was in front of 2,800 jubilant Seagulls’ fans. Glad Ulloa - this was the Argentinean’s ninth goal in the eleven games started.

Lewis McGugan levelled for Forest but this only spurred Albion on, and Will Buckley put us back in front four minutes later. But with three minutes of added time played Ankergren’s good work was undone by a howler as it finished all square.