Injury-time equaliser denies Albion victory

Lewis Dunk heads just off target in the first half. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Lewis Dunk heads just off target in the first half. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

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An injury-time equaliser denied Albion victory at home to Preston North End this afternoon.

Brighton fought back from a goal down at half-time to lead 2-1 with goals from Sam Baldock and Glenn Murray but Simon Makienok’s late leveller earned the visitors a point.

Jordan Hugill fires Preston into the lead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Jordan Hugill fires Preston into the lead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

The draw extended Albion’s unbeaten run to six games and they remain fourth in the table.

In front of 27,606 fans - the highest crowd of the season at the Amex - Albion trailed at the break after gifting Preston the lead on ten minutes.

Skipper Bruno’s lofted back pass was miscontrolled by Seagulls keeper David Stockdale and as the ball ran away from him, Jordan Hugill nipped in, skipped past the stopper and fired into the empty net.

Chances came and went for the hosts in the opening half. Lewis Dunk twice headed wide from corners and Murray was thwarted by visiting keeper Chris Maxwell after beating the offside trap.

At the other end,Preston’s John Welsh blazed over from 18 yards when a corner was only half-cleared on 25 minutes, before Brighton again threatened to draw level.

Murray headed Gaetan Bong’s corner wide at the near post, Norwood fired off target from distance, Jamie Murphy’s teasing cross dropped the wrong side of the far post and Murray blasted into the side netting from a tight angle as the visitors led at the break.

Anthony Knockaert fired well wide from Murphy’s cut back at the start of the second half but Albion levelled in the 54th minute. Norwood played Bruno in down the right and his low cross was turned home by Baldock from close range for his fourth goal of the season.

The Seagulls had penalty appeals waved away when Knockaert went down shortly afterwards, before Brighton went ahead on 66 minutes. Murphy played the ball to Murray on the edge of the penalty area and he superbly span past Alex Baptiste and then slotted home under Maxwell from six yards for his sixth goal of the season.

Albion substitute Dale Stephens fizzed an effort just over from distance on 82 minutes but the visitors, down to ten men after Welsh limped off, equalised deep in injury-time when substitute Simon Makienok met Paul Gallagher’s cross to head home into the corner from ten yards.

There was still time for Brighton to have the ball in the back of the net again after Bruno had fouled Maxwell and the match ended 2-2.

BRIGHTON: Stockdale; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Sidwell, Norwood, Murphy; Murray, Baldock (Stephens 81). Subs: Maenpaa, Skalak, Pocognoli, Goldson, Manu, Ince.

PRESTON: Maxwell; Pearson, Clarke, Humphrey (Gallagher 71), Johnson (Makienok 78), Spurr, Welsh, Huntington, Hugill, Baptiste, Robinson (Pringle 71). Subs: Lindegaard, Wright, Browne, Doyle.

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