Hughton admits Albion weren't at their best against Stoke, but bemoans penalty decision

Chris Hughton admitted his Brighton & Hove Albion side weren't at their best in their 2-2 draw with Stoke City this evening, but was baffled as to why they weren't awarded a first-half penalty.

Monday, 20th November 2017, 10:57 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:18 am
Chris Hughton and Mark Hughes shake hands pre-match at the Amex. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

The Seagulls trailed 1-0 to Maxim Choupo-Moting's opening goal when Glenn Murray was clearly fouled in the box by Ryan Shawcross - but Lee Mason and his officials decided not to awarded Albion a spot kick.

Despite that and in the face of a hostile Amex, Pascal Gross did soon level before the break. But the Potters hit back on the stroke of half-time to lead 2-1 as Kurt Zouma headed home as a result of slack defending from a corner.

The home side then hit back in the second half as Jose Izqueirdo's goal, finished at the second attempt, pulled them level on the hour mark which led to the two sides sharing the spoils.

It extended Albion's unbeaten run to five matches keeping them ninth in the table, but sees Stoke climb up to tenth, level on 15 points with the Seagulls.

Starting off with the controversial first-half talking point, Hughton said: "If you are asking me was it a penalty then my thoughts have not changed. From where I was standing my first impression was absolutely it was a penalty. I was really just waiting for the referee to give it.

"It's hugely disappointing and I was surprised it was not given, particularly when it's the same side as the linesman. Sometimes when the linesman is on the far side then the decisions are difficult to make.

"You have to be realistic, I did not think we were at our best today. We made a couple of errors, particularly for their goals which is a little bit uncharacteristic for us, these things will happen against good teams.

"I am probably more disappointed with the second goal, having worked really hard to get back in the game and then so quickly, almost from their kick-off to get a corner and score from it was more disappointing than the first goal."

The Albion was also keen to praise their visitors and added: "You had a Stoke team that came and were at times very happy to defend their own half, they have really good quality when they break, but at times were happy to defend.

"We have learnt a fair bit today, we were up against a good solid Premier League team. A very manly team, that capitalised on the strengths they have got."