The agony and the ecstasy of injury-time goals

Injury-time goals are exactly like Marmite.

Saturday, 3rd October 2015, 6:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:32 pm

Injury-time goals are exactly like Marmite (and other similar yeast-based products): You either love them or hate them.

As a football fan, there is nothing better than snatching a draw or win in the final moments of a match. Likewise, it leaves you feeling despondent when your team concedes late on to drop points.

Sadly, it was the latter for Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion when Bolton Wanderers struck four minutes into injury-time to snatch a 2-2 draw.

Still - to quote a favourite managerial saying - 'It's swings and roundabouts". And the Albion have already scored two injury-time winners this season.

Away to Southend in the League Cup, Kazenga LuaLua struck three minutes into stoppage time to seal Brighton's progress. Albion then won their following game 2-1 at Fulham in the league, with a goal four minutes over the allotted 90 minutes, when Tomer Hemed scored from the penalty spot.

Late goals are something Seagulls fans have become accustomed to in recent seasons.

The best Albion injury-time goal?

That surely has to be from the opening league game at the Amex in August, 2011.

After 14 years without a permanent stadium, Will Buckley broke through eight minutes into injury-time to side-foot home and give Brighton a 2-1 win at home to Doncaster Rovers on an emotional and memorable day for all involved with the club.

That is closely followed by Leonardo Ulloa's injury-time header at Nottingham Forest in stoppage time in 2014, which grabbed a 2-1 victory and sparked scenes of wild jubilation as it sealed a Championship play-off place.

Brighton lost 6-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals to Derby, who were then beaten in the final by QPR. The QPR winner came in the 90th minute - through a certain Bobby Zamora.

Of course, there have been other memorable late Albion goals as well. Adam Virgo headed home in injury-time at the end of extra-time to take Brighton to a penalty shoot-out, which they won, in the Division Two play-off semi-final with Swindon in 2004.

The Albion defeated Bristol City 1-0 in the final at the Millenium Stadium through a Leon Knight penalty - not quite in injury-time but there was only seven minutes left.

In 2002, Lee Steele stole all three points for Brighton against Bristol City when the Albion had, pretty much, been battered for the whole game. The Seagulls went on to win the league title that season.

Prior to that, Dean Wilkins's free kick in the 1990-91 season grabbed the Albion a play-off place - although they ended up losing the final to Notts County at Wembley.

There have been several occasions when Brighton have lost in injury-time as well. But, when it really matters, the Albion seem to come up trumps in added time.

If the Seagulls do not seal a top-two place this season, who would argue against a Zamora injury-time winner in the play-off final at Wembley in May?