MAGPIES SAVOUR MAGIC MO-MENT!
IN THESE days of tactical manoeuvring, video analysis and marginal gains, there is something managers still can’t control – Lady Luck.
And it was Brighton manager Chris Hughton who was left bewildered as a touch of good fortune helped Championship title rivals Newcastle
United turn the tables at the Amex Stadium last Tuesday.
The Seagulls were leading through a contentious Glenn Murray penalty on 14 minutes and appeared on the way to extending their advantage at the top of the table to four points.
However, it all changed nine minutes from time. Newcastle’s Christian Atsu shanked a shot from the edge of the box, the ball nicked off team-mate Daryl Murphy and then struck Mo Diame on the heel before looping high into the net.
The visitors then pressed for a winner – and were rewarded a minute from time when Atsu provided the cross for sub Ayoze Perez to coolly steer home the winner.
Instead of Brighton leading the way, the Magpies leapfrogged them to the summit, taking a two-point advantage.
A shell-shocked Hughton groaned: “The equaliser was one of those unfortunate goals. I wondered at the time how it had gone in.”
No wonder Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez was in a better mood after his side’s slice of fortune.
“We created a lot of good situations before Diame, who was lucky,” he said. “I’m really pleased with the players’ reaction.”
There were two other Championship matches on the night. New Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray made it four points from two games in charge as his side edged out misfiring Derby 1-0 at Ewood Park, courtesy of a Craig Conway penalty.
And Aston Villa made it back-to-back home wins with a 2-0 success against relegationthreatened Bristol City. After fluffing a penalty against his old side, Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia made amends by netting the opener before sub Conor Hourihane sealed the points with his first goal for the club.
In League One, pacesetters Sheffield United weren’t in action, but the chasing pack failed to take advantage. Second-placed Scunthorpe
United’s sticky patch continued as they fell to a surprise 2-1 home defeat against AFC
Dean Parrett and Dom Poleon struck in the second half to open up a two-goal lead before Josh Morris pulled one back for the Iron.
Bolton were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Bristol
Rovers. Josh Vela gave the Trotters an early lead, but Byron Moore levelled for the Pirates in the 75th minute.
Bradford also had to settle for a share of the spoils at home, drawing 2-2 with MK
Dons. The visitors twice took the lead in the first half, first through Stuart O’Keefe and then courtesy of George Williams.
However, the Bantams struck back in an actionpacked opening period with goals from Tony McMahon (pen) and Charlie Wyke.
Charlton’s Ricky Holmes netted a superb hat-trick but finished on the losing side as the Addicks went down 4-3 at
In League Two, pacesetters Doncaster Rovers raced into a three-goal at Cambridge
United but were left hanging on at the finish as the U’s struck twice late on.
Jorge Grant netted a shock first half winner for Kevin Nolan’s Notts County as they triumphed at secondplaced Plymouth. Third-placed Carlisle also suffered a 1-0 reverse, Danny Wright netting an 85thminute winner for hosts
OTHER RESULTS: League
One – Bury 2 Coventry 1; Millwall 1 Peterborough 0; Northampton 1 Oldham 2; Swindon 3 Gillingham 1.
League Two – Accrington 2 Wycombe 2; Blackpool 2 Barnet 2; Crawley 1 Exeter 2; Grimsby 1 Colchester 0; Hartlepool 4 Crewe 0; Portsmouth 1 Morecambe 1; Stevenage 4 Leyton Orient 1; Yeovil 0 Mansfield 0.
CLINICAL: Ayoze Perez tucks away Newcastle’s late winner in the top of the table clash
GOALS: Brighton’s Glenn Murray scores from the spot, left, before Newcastle midfielder Mo Diame’s lucky equaliser, right