Simon’s week to remember
THREE games unbeaten, three clean sheets and a point at the league leaders all in a week – but Simon Grayson was disappointed his Preston side didn’t leave the Amex Stadium with a victory.
Grayson and North End’s frustration was directed at referee Andy Davies after he turned down a seemingly stonewall penalty.
Seagulls defender Lewis Dunk nervously looked over his shoulder after dragging down striker Jordan Hugill in the first half – expecting to hear a whistle and see a red card flashing in his direction.
But Davies kept his cards in his pocket, much to the visiting manager’s frustration.
Grayson said: “I think they’re both tangling with each other and then he gets into the box and he’s still tangling and brought him down so maybe on another day you get that.
“It wasn’t to be but it would have been a perfect start and probably resulted in a sending off.
“We had the clear opportunities. At the end, Joe Garner connected with one too well and had one cleared off the line.
“You certainly can’t be disappointed coming to the league leaders and drawing.
“We always knew it would be a tough ask to come here and come away with anything because of the players they’ve got and where they are in the division.
“It’s been a good week for us, two away trips and three clean sheets with a makeshift defence.”
Israeli frontman Tomer Hemed blazed over when clean through after a velvety touch and back heel from Sam Baldock as the hosts had the better of the first half.
The most eye catching chance came from an inventive free-kick as Josh Murphy and Liam Rosenior interchanged before the former smashed at Jordan Pickford.
Then the game’s polarising moment, Hugill bullied Dunk for the ball, after the defender let the ball drop over his shoulder, before he was bundled down.
And then the loudest crescendo of the day came when Bobby Zamora entered the field on the hour with the veteran striker in the quest to become a hero for the third game in succession.
But it was a substitute from the other side that came closer to a game changer.
Joe Garner thought he had grabbed the lead when he looped a header across goal but Bruno Salter scampered across the keep it goalless.
David Stockdale had to get down quickly to keep out Garner’s smart shot and the livewire attacker should have had an injury-time winner but volleyed over on the twist.
The Seagulls didn’t look like a side unbeaten and topping the table and barely looked deserving of a point after their timid second-half performance.
Chris Hughton’s side continue to top the Championship and the former Newcastle manager was content to move to 14 games without defeat.
He said: “It was probably a fair result.
“On the balance of play we were the better side especially in the first half.
“We were getting into opportunities to score, getting crosses but we didn’t make enough of them unfortunately.
“There are going to be so many ups and downs this season, when we’re playing well and not playing well.
“We weren’t at our best but that was a game we would have lost last season so we remain unbeaten which is good.”
STALEMATE: Brighton's Liam Rosenior looks dejected during the game and, inset, team-mate Bobby Zamora in action with Adam Reach