SEAGULLS SOAR TO CLUB RECORD
Brighton level on points at summit
BRIGHTON made it 17 games unbeaten to set a club record with a tasty win against MK Dons, but Chris Hughton admits the run has to continue if the Seagulls want to soar into the Premier League.
Wing duo Solly March and Jamie Murphy set up yet another match without a loss for the south coasters with fine strikes – although Nicky Maynard gave them a worry.
Brighton kept the pressure on Hull by staying level on points with the leaders – but Hughton knows he has a tough fixture with Burnley waiting after the international break.
He said: “It is a wonderful achievement for the club, players and staff.You only have to look at the Championship and see what a tough task it is to go that far undefeated.
“We are all very proud of it and no-one can say we haven’t deserved it.
“We don’t just want to extend the run next time but beat one of the best teams in the division.
“We are all very proud of it but we know the next game against Burnley is something different and trying to win.
“We don’t want to just prolong the record but beat one of the better teams in the division. We need to stay in the area of the table we want to be.”
The 100th game at the AMEX opened up with one of the best goals the beautiful young stadium would have seen.
March sweetly smashed a loose ball on the edge of the area into the top corner to wish the four-and-half-year-old stadium a happy century. March’s tail was up, and three minutes later he left Dean Lewington watching the grass but his shot ended up high in the stand.
A Brighton attack down the left, led by Liam Rosenior and Murphy, finally reached Tomer Hemed, who headed wide as the hosts dominated.
Murphy netted his second in a week as the Dons defence fell asleep to allow the Seagulls to stroke the ball around before the winger tapped in Sam Baldock’s mishit shot.
March almost grabbed a second but shot straight at David Martin, before Hemed acrobatically flicked over from under the bar as Brighton couldn’t extend their advantage. Then out of nothing, Maynard turned Lewis Dunk 20 yards from goal and thumped a low shot past David Stockdale.
At the other end, Hemed rattled the post with a rasping strike on the turn, after enterprising build-up from March, and the Israeli failed to put a header on target moments later.
Dons were denied what seemed a clear penalty decision when Samir Carruthers was taken out in the box by Dunk – Karl Robinson furious on the touchline when a corner was awarded instead.
And Robinson was still apoplectic with the decision after the match as his side dropped to within a point of the relegation zone.
He said: “That refereeing decision was terrible, his decision was terrible, the assistant referee’s decision was terrible.
“If we lose football matches my job is on the line or players’ careers are in jeopardy. How can they get that wrong? Not one person but two people.
“The referee should have a long look at that and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited need to look at what his role should be next week.
“I’ll probably get done for it but I am sick to death of managers getting questioned for what we say afterwards.”
MURPHY’S MOBBED: Jamie Murphy nets Brighton’s second and celebrates, inset