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Newcastle regain control of promotion race after late comeback

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 - Newcastle United2

By Andy Sims

Newcastle came from behind to stun Brighton with two late goals to reclaim top spot in the Championship. The Seagulls were leading through Glenn Murray's controversial penalty until a fluked effort from Mo Diame nine minutes from time hauled Newcastle level.

Then, with a minute to go, substitute Ayoze Perez secured a 2-1 victory and lifted Rafael Benitez's Magpies back above Brighton at the summit.

Both teams are looking over their shoulders with third-placed Huddersfield building up a head of steam, and it is the Toon who will be breathing easier after moving eight points clear of the Terriers.

Brighton, having regained top spot at the weekend after Newcastle stuttered at home to Bristol City, went at their visitors from the start. The breakthrough came in the 14th minute when Ciaran Clark and Murray tangled in the area as they awaited a corner.

If anything the pair were wrestling each other, but top-flight ref Bobby Madley ruled in Murray's favour and the striker coolly stroked home from the spot for his 17th league goal of the season.

Newcastle began to find their feet and Matt Ritchie's cross hit the crossbar before Yoan Gouffran robbed Lewis Dunk only to see his shot saved by David Stockdale.

The visitors should have equalised in first-half stoppage time when DeAndre Yedlin's cross was met by Christian Atsu eight yards out, but he placed his shot too close to Stockdale.

Newcastle were roared on by an impressive 2,600 fans and poured forward in the second half but Stockdale denied Gouffran and kept out Daryl Murphy's header.

However, with the clock running down, Stockdale punched a corner to the feet of Atsu.

He mis-hit his shot and it was hurtling yards wide. However, the ball spun off Diame and looped into the air, eluding Stockdale and finding the top right corner.

And there was an even later sting in the tail when Atsu got clear down the left and crossed for Perez to sidefoot a dramatic winner and put Newcastle back in control of the promotion race.


Belfast Telegraph


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