MA­DINE SHOOTS DOWN SEAG­ULLS Hughton blames Mur­phy red card

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Mikael McKen­zie

BRIGHTON boss Chris Hughton was left to rue a game-chang­ing red card af­ter his side sur­ren­dered a two-goal lead at Bolton.

The Seag­ulls went ahead against the run of play when Dale Stephens smashed the ball into an empty net be­fore Jamie Mur­phy tapped in a sec­ond four min­utes later.

Bolton pulled one back through Neil Danns on the stroke of half­time be­fore Mur­phy was sent off for a reck­less chal­lenge on the Wan­der­ers goalscorer mid­way through the sec­ond half.

And when it looked as though the visi­tors would ce­ment their place at the sum­mit of the league ta­ble, Gary Ma­dine headed in an equaliser four min­utes into stop­page time.

“I felt we should have had 11 men on the pitch,” said Hughton.

“He has slipped. There is no doubt that he has slipped.My first im­pres­sion at the time is that he had swept the lad away. For me it is not a send­ing off and that changes the game.

“I thought we were the bet­ter side. I think we made it dif­fi­cult for our­selves by con­ced­ing the goal that we did be­fore half time but I gen­er­ally felt we were go­ing to hold out at the end.

“It is very dif­fi­cult with ten men to stop a per­cent­age of balls com­ing into the box but I thought we dealt with most quite well.”

Bolton started the bright­est as Liam Feeney headed Dean Moxey’s cor­ner against the cross­bar and Max Clay­ton – mak­ing his first Wan­der­ers ap­pear­ance in nine months – forced David Stock­dale into a won­der­ful save from the edge of the area.

But against the run of play the visi­tors took the lead. Ben Amos punched the ball against the body of Bobby Zamora – mak­ing his first Brighton start in more than12 years – and he laid the ball back for Stephens to smash into an empty net.

Four min­utes later Brighton went fur­ther ahead as Mur­phy swept Liam Rose­nior’s cross home from close-range.

Bolton be­gan to hoist the white flag as they left Gor­dan Greer un­marked in the penalty area but he planted his header wide.

The flag was soon drawn back as Danns found the bot­tom cor­ner of Stock­dale’s goal from dis­tance four min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val to re­store home spir­its.

A mo­ment of mad­ness from Mur­phy changed the tide of the game when he was sent off for a very late chal­lenge on Danns with 15 min­utes re­main­ing.

The hosts cranked up the pres­sure and one minute later Ma­dine was sent through on goal but was de­nied by the legs of Stock­dale.

Bolton took the game to Brighton and had the ball in the net through Ma­dine but it was rightly ruled out for off­side.

But four min­utes into in­jury time Ma­dine did get his goal – leap­ing the high­est to head Feeney’s cross from the right into the bot­tom cor­ner and ended his goal drought that spanned more than 20 hours of football.

And Bolton man­ager Neil Len­non was de­lighted that his for­ward has fi­nally got off the mark for the sea­son.

“Ma­dine got what he de­served be­cause he played re­ally well and he has been knock­ing at the door for weeks to get a goal and that is what he is ca­pa­ble of,” said the Wan­der­ers boss.

“Af­ter 35 min­utes you are 2-0 down and you are scratch­ing your heads as to why be­cause we were ac­tu­ally play­ing quite well and we cre­ated good chances.

“Their goal­keeper made a cou­ple of fine saves and there was a flow to us and we are play­ing against cur­rently the best team in the league.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MEAN MA­DINE: Gary Ma­dine watches his header glide in for Bolton’s equaliser. Inset: Ben Amos walks back to col­lect the ball out of the net af­ter a Brighton goal

STAR MAN DALE STEPH

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