Match Review – Brighton 2-1 Crystal Palace

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There should be a better reward for beating your arch rivals really. For just the third time in 10 meetings, Brighton triumphed over Crystal Palace with a 2-1 FA Cup Third Round victory at the Amex. Well done guys, for that you get a trip to Middlesbrough in the fourth round.

Aside from that draw being about as exciting as dry rot, this was a good night’s work for the Albion. A number of fringe players got good run outs and proved they wouldn’t look out for place should they be needed in the Premier League. Glenn Murray got a late winner against his former club. There was no repeats of the crowd trouble that marred the last game between the two. We beat Palace. And the club saw that they can’t take the piss with pricing and expect people to continue to show up.

Plenty has been made of the the fact the attendance was below 15,000 but what did anyone seriously expect when tickets were priced at £25 a pop. £25 to watch what was effectively two reserve teams, when for a pivotal league game away at Southampton in a couple of weeks time its only £20 to go in the away end.

That coupled with the fact it was a cold Monday night eight days into the New Year, there was a chance some gimp from Croydon wearing a black hoody might let a firework off around you and that it was live on BT Sport meant the crowd was never likely to be high. People get too hung up on this who is better supported out of Brighton and Palace nonsense and this was unfortunately another one of those occasions for the willy waving to occur. Really, who gives a toss?

Those who did turn up to the Amex were treated to game that was far more entertaining than the snoozefest that was the 0-0 November league meeting. There were 16 corners, 23 shots and a fair bit of controversy despite it being the first domestic match to have featured the use of the video assistant referee – which is of course meant to help remove controversy from the game.

Dale Stephens’ first goal of the season gave the Albion the lead at the break with Bakary Sako equalising late on. That looked like it would lead to the absolute nightmare scenario of a replay at Selhurst Park which would’ve been about as welcome as a hog roast at a bar mitzvah.

Thankfully, Murray didn’t fancy a return to Selhurst either and saved us all scrambling around for jabs to prevent 1920’s ahead of a trip there by scoring a winner with three minutes remaining.

Uwe Hunemeier headed the ball down for Murray who turned it over the line. There was plenty of debate about whether it was with him leg, arm or an extremely erect penis. The video referee was very quickly satisfied that whatever it was, it was legal and the goal stood, much to Palace’s dismay as they began throwing their toys out the pram at Andre Mariner.

There was nothing fishy about Mariner’s decision, with Woy Hodgson being the sporting gentleman that he is saying that he agreed with the goal standing afterwards.

A trip to Middlesbrough wasn’t the only bad thing to come out of the evening though. The game was just six minutes old when Izzy Brown departed injured with what was later revealed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament which will require surgery and rules him out for the season.

That means Brown returns to parent club Chelsea having played his last game for the Albion. We never really got to see the best of him and it was a sad way for his Brighton career to come an end. A speedy recovery and good luck for the future to him.

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