Hughton felt 'fortuitous goal' gave Newcastle momentum, but insists Albion did not deserve to lose

Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Pics
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

A disappointed Chris Hughton felt that Brighton & Hove Albion did not deserve to suffer a heartbreaking late defeat in their top-of-the-table clash with Newcastle United.

A bizarre equaliser from Mohamed Diame and late winner from substitute Ayoze Perez, both in the final ten minutes, helped The Magpies leapfrog Albion at the top of the Championship.

The hosts led through Glenn Murray's 14th-minute penalty and looked as though they would be heading four points clear at the top of the table until the dramatic late turnaround from the visitors.

Christian Atsu's wayward shot took a deflection and then came off Diame's heel and flicked up into the roof of the net on 81 minutes, before Perez struck the winner a minute from time.

Hughton said: "I do not think over 90 minutes it is a result we deserved and I genuinely felt up until the equaliser that they threatened and at times we didn't do ourselves any favours, but I felt we would go on and win the game.

"We worked hard enough and for the quality they have got, we restricted the chances they had. In these type of games, it is who gets those breaks. We got the first with the penalty and they got the second with the fortuitous goal and then it's about who gets those other bits.

"Anthony Knockaert, I felt, had a couple of really good opportunities, they did as well and it is about who puts them away. Unfortunately for us, it was Newcastle.

"It's the difficulty of the game and the difficulty of the opposition. They are a very, very good side. Irrespective of some recent results, they have by far the best squad in the division and they can show that at times. Certainly the winning goal was of real quality."

Hughton denied his team lacked concentration in the closing stages, but said Newcastle's bizarre equaliser gave them crucial momentum in the final moments.

He added: "From our point of view it's one of them really unfortunate goals, they happen in the game, I wondered at the time how it had gone in. What that does do, that give a very strong Newcastle team a bit of momentum and lift going into that period.

"I did not think we were at our best, bet genuinely felt we would hold on and get a result. It's normal, it's a little bit of momentum and a quality goal that gives them the winner. They do not have that one we stick it down and the game finishes as a draw."