HEATON LOSES HIS HEAD AT THE AMEX

Clarets keeper sees red

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/ By Rob Gil­mour

BRIGHTON out­played pre­vi­ously un­beaten Burn­ley af­ter a fre­netic af­ter­noon on the south coast – but were helped by an ex­tra­or­di­nary send­ing-off of vis­it­ing goal­keeper Tom Heaton.

Wales mid­fielder An­drew Crofts scored his sec­ond goal in as many games be­fore Leonardo Ul­loa’s fine header handed Brighton their first home win here – their sec­ond in suc­ces­sion – at a rock­ing Amex Sta­dium.

Af­ter a bright start from both sides, Brighton opened the dead­lock when Crofts slot­ted home from close range from a low Ul­loa cross.

It was Heaton’s red card in the 56th minute that then be­came the main talk­ing point as Brighton slowly sapped the en­ergy from ten-men Burn­ley, who sim­ply ran out of ideas.

Heaton was first awarded a yel­low be­fore the break, when ever-present dan­ger man Will Buck­ley was felled out­side the box from a loose ball. In what looked like a clear send­ing off, Heaton jogged back to his goal sheapishly, fear­ing the worst, be­fore a yel­low was awarded.

How­ever, his re­prieve was short-lived af­ter he was given his march­ing or­ders for unsporting be­hav­iour in the sec­ond-half for han­dling the ball twice, with Buck­ley again caus­ing a nui­sance on the edge of the box.

The Burn­ley bench fumed and just to sum up their woe­ful af­ter­noon, as­sis­tant coach Ian Woan was sent to the stands.

Brighton’s win was con­firmed af­ter a delightful move down the right wing, be­fore Buck­ley’s cross found Ul­loa, his loop­ing header se­cur­ing the points. It was the Ar­gen­tine’s third goal of the sea­son.

Os­car Gar­cia, though, pre­ferred to heap praise on his team – Keith An­drews the lat­est ca­su­alty with a ham­string prob­lem – rather than re­flect on the red card that changed the pat­tern of the game.

“Ev­ery­one has an opin­ion. I want to be fo­cused with the things I can change, and with this it was the de­ci­sion of the ref­eree,” said the Brighton boss.

“From what I saw, he touched the ball out­side the box but it was dif­fi­cult to see.

“We want ev­ery­one fit enough but the play­ers who are out there, I am very proud of right now.

“Our start to the sea­son has been dif­fi­cult as we have been play­ing in the week. But now all the play­ers want to im­prove and this is the best thing for a coach.

“It is the one of the things we want to build, to have many play­ers from our youth depart­ment start­ing as soon as pos­si­ble.”

On Buck­ley’s star per­for­mance, Gar­cia added:“We want to keep Will’s con­fi­dence go­ing as high as pos­si­ble. He is a spe­cial, dif­fer­ent type of player.”

Mean­while, Sean Dy­che was at a loss to ex­plain Heaton’s dis­missal. The Burn­ley man­ager had to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the ref­eree’s def­i­ni­tion of the red card, but be­lieves that Buck­ley headed the ball be­fore Heaton miss-han­dled for a sec­ond time.

“The tough side is that a ref­eree gets one chance to look at it,” he said.“It’s hard not to be dis­ap­pointed when it goes against you like that.

“My only gripe on it is how quick the de­ci­sion was given. He should have looked to the lines­man and not rushed into go­ing to his pocket.”

Asked whether it was one of the more bizarre dis­missals he had seen, Dy­che added: “I have been in the game a long time and it is in my top five. It is push­ing No.1 but you live and learn.

“But we shot our­selves in the foot in the first half with a re­ally poor goal. There were a few mis­takes from both sides but they gen­er­ally had a bet­ter feel for the game.

“We cre­ated some goo chances and con­sid­er­ing our great start to the sea­son, I didn’t feel we were at our nor­mal tempo.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

OFF YOU GO: Tom Heaton is shown a red card

FIRST BLOOD: An­drew Crofts scores Brighton’s open­ing goal

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