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17:45 14th March 2015

Close Coastal Contest

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (Saltor 70)

Wolves 1 (van La Parra 74)

After David Stockdale had gifted Wolves an equalising goal, the Brighton keeper pulled off a stunning save in stoppage time to turn away Bakary Sako’s shot and deny the Molineux men victory.

A draw looked to be a fair enough result, however, with both sides intent on victory in an end to end affair.

With Sako’s red card from the Watford game rightfully rescinded, Wolves were unchanged for the contest with the Seagulls.

Wanderers kicked-off defending the end of the ground that housed over 2,000 supporters that had travelled down to the south coast.

Inside two minutes a cross from Danny Holla was headed straight at Tomasz Kuszczak by Craig Mackail-Smith.

James Henry’s long-range attempt was blocked and the loose ball was played upfield to Joao Teixeira who dragged a shot well wide from 20-yards.

Wolves were twice close to going ahead in the ninth minute. Lewis Dunk slipped and fell on the ball and despite the Brighton man handling it, Benik Afobe grabbed possession and hit a shot was saved by Stockdale.

The ball ran to Sako and from some 25-yards out, he hit a low drive that was cleared off the line by Gordon Greer. At the next break in play, Dunk was shown a retrospective yellow card.

The ball ran off the outstretched foot of Sako on the edge of the area and ran to Mackail-Smith He was left with just Kuszczak to beat but he fired well wide of the mark.

Matt Doherty broke from defence and played the ball down the line to Rajiv van La Parra who hit a low driven cross that was cut out by Stockdale.

The home keeper made a fine save in the 27th minute turning aside an angled drive from Afobe who had taken a return pass from Kortney Hause.

Then Sako curled the ball goalwards from the right-hand corner of the home area. Stockdale smothered the ball at the feet of Afobe who was lying in wait for any slip.

On 39 minutes Kevin McDonald picked the ball up in midfield and rode two tackles before letting fly from 25-yards with an effort that was only just wide.

Afobe turned Greer and was away on the touchline before he was hauled down by the Brighton skipper who was booked for his troubles.

Half-Time: Brighton 0 Wolves 0

The second-half opened with a speculative shot from Sako from fully 30-yards that was wide and way too high.

In the 52nd minute van La Parra played Doherty in and the defender took the ball to the by-line before hitting a cross that was booted clear at the near post by Greer for the first of two Sako corners that were cleared by the home defence.

There was a near thing for the visitors in the 59th minute after Kuszczak had failed to hold on to Teixeira’s low shot. The ball fell to Mackail-Smith who converted from close quarters but the home cheers were soon stifled by the offside flag.

Teixeira blazed wildly over the bar from the edge of the box shortly before Nouha Dicko went on in place of Henry.

Brighton had the ball in the net again in the 70th minute and this time it counted. Richard Stearman blocked a shot from Teixeira but the ball ran to Bruno Saltor whose low, angled drive flew into the corner of the net.

But the Seagull’s lead lasted for just four minutes as Wolves pulled level in bizarre circumstances. There didn’t seem to be any danger as Stockdale went to claim a van La Parra shot from the tightest of angles. But with no-one near him the keeper succeeded only in helping the ball into the net at his near post.

Dicko accidently caught Dale Stephens with a high challenge and much to the ire of the home fans, the referee didn’t punish the striker other than to award the free-kick.

Doherty was booked for fouling home substitute Kazenga LuaLua and when Stephens tripped Afobe to the left of the home area, Sako’s low free-kick bounced to safety off the wall.

It was all Wolves in the five minutes of added time and Sako must have thought he had won it just before the end but his shot from the edge of the area was brilliantly saved by Stockdale.

The last action came in the form of two Sako corners. From the first Danny Batth’s shot from the heart of a crowded area was deflected behind, and the second saw Afobe sending a powerful header inches over the bar.  

Brighton: Stockdale, Saltor, Greer (capt), Dunk, Stephens, Mackail-Smith (O’Grady 75), Calderon, Teixeira (Ledesna 86), Holla (LuaLua 77), Kayal, Bennett.

Unused subs: Walton, Hughes, Best, Halford.

Bookings: Dunk (10 – handling), Greer (42 – foul).

Wolves: Kuszczak, Doherty, Hause, Henry (Dicko 62), Batth (capt), Stearman, van La Parra, McDonald, Afobe, Price, Sako.

Unused subs: McCarey, Golbourne, Edwards, Evans, Doyle, Ebanks-Landell.

Booking: Doherty (87 – foul).

Referee: T. Kettle.

Attendance: 27,019 (2,111 away supporters).

Wolves Academy Under 18s 3 (Ennis 3) Derby County 0


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.