Penalty decision changed game against Burnley says Brighton boss Hughton

Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Burnley were 'given momentum' when Brighton were contentiously turned down a second half penalty, according to Chris Hughton.

Burnley eased their fears of relegation with a 3-1 victory at the Amex this evening, leaving Brighton looking over the shoulder at the wrong end of the table after seven league games without a win.

The Seagulls had two strong penalty appeals turned down with both Dwight McNeil, in the first half, and Jeff Hendrick, after the break, appearing to handle the ball.

Talking about the latter decision, which came minutes before Burnley won a penalty of their own, Albion boss Hughton said: "All I can do is talk about a decision which shouldn't need VAR.

"We have a referee who was ten yards away and a linesman who needs to help him out. For me, it wasn't a difficult one to see.

"That then does give them momentum to go up the other end. If we were to have that penalty which we should have done and score it, it's 2-1 and we are back in the game."

A number of Albion fans grew more and more frustrated as the game went on, particularly at some of the decisions that went against them.

Hughton said: "It is natural frustration. It's normal. There was frustration with the referee. They [the fans] are always very good for us."

Hughton also confirmed that Solly March was taken off in the second half due to an ankle injury he sustained towards the end of the first period.

"He had some work with the physio at half time to see if he could run it off in the second half but he wasn't able to," Hughton said.

"Hopefully it's not too bad. He is good form and we hope it is not a bad one. He is in a competitive very squad and we want as many players fit as possible."

March's injury will come as another blow to Brighton's forward options following confirmation of Florin Andone's three match suspension after appearing to elbow an opponent against West Brom in their mid-week FA Cup replay against West Brom.

"It is big blow and we appealed," Hughton revealed.

"Our feeling is that the action is something a lot of strikers to to protect themselves. He does it very regularly.

"You will see that action every weekend but unfortunately he has caught the player. We are not denying he has caught the lad and we are not saying he made a meal of it. It's there to see but we felt there was no intent."

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