MAG­PIES SAVOUR MAGIC MO-MENT!

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By John Lyons

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

Wim­ble­don.

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

Shrews­bury.

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

Chel­tenham.

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.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

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

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