Championship
Brighton1Watford1

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Watford

Watford striker Fernando Forestieri on the attack at the Amex

A superb Andrew Crofts strike saved Brighton a point after Watford were controversially denied a goal.

Watford were ahead after four minutes as Sean Murray's 20-yard shot deflected into the bottom corner off the head of Brighton defender Stephen Ward.

Shortly after the interval, Fernando Forestieri's shot looked to have crossed the line but was not given.

Brighton capitalised as Crofts hooked a loose ball into the top corner, while a Forestieri header hit a post late on.

Kick-off was delayed because of traffic problems but Watford wasted little time in the pursuit of a victory that would have taken them into the play-off places.

They hustled their hosts from the outset and, after Murray's effort squirmed in, might have extended their lead when Brighton were caught in possession, but Lewis McGugan curled narrowly wide of the post.

However Brighton, who had scored only twice in a run of four games without a win, generally looked the more dangerous, with winger Will Buckley influential on the right flank against his former club.

His cut-back was met powerfully by the head of Ashley Barnes but Hornets goalkeeper Manuel Almunia clawed the ball out acrobatically.

Another teasing Buckley cross found Craig Conway but he could not direct his header on target.

The early stages of the second period proved crucial, with Watford convinced they had secured a two-goal cushion when diminutive striker Forestieri ghosted through.

Brighton keeper Tomasz Kuszczak could not keep out his shot and it appeared to trickle over the line before defender Gordon Greer could scramble the ball away. But with no goalline technology in the Championship, the goal was not awarded.

To compound Watford's frustration, Crofts equalised when a corner was not properly cleared, thundering the ball into the net from 12 yards.

Both sides introduced attacking options in the closing stages, which produced an exciting finale.

Forestieri rose above the defenders to head back across goal but the ball drifted against the upright and was cleared.

At the other end, a sweetly-struck Crofts effort from just inside the area was smartly turned around the post by a diving Almunia as honours deservedly finished even on the south coast.

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola on the Forestieri 'no goal':

"There's no doubt about it, it was definitely a goal.

"Everyone has seen it apart from the referee and the officials. That is the disappointing part, the goal did not happen in a crowded area, there was only the player, the ball and the line and it has not been seen.

"I am disappointed because it would have given us three points. In a league in which so much money is involved - they say it's £120m for the teams that go up - it (technology) would help the officials keep everything under control.

"If it is something we can use to make the game better why not? After today I would like it to be at least considered."

Brighton manager Oscar Garcia:

Oscar Garcia

Media playback is not supported on this device

Oscar Garcia: Brighton head coach after Watford draw

"We played well in the first half and deserved more than to go in 1-0 down.

"In the second half, they had chances and so did we.

"It's not the first time the opposition has scored with a deflection against us this season, but I'm happy with the reaction of my players and how they played against one of the best teams in the Championship."

On the Forestieri incident: "From my position it was impossible to see. I didn't ask Gordon [Greer] about it."

Line-ups

Brighton

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 2BrunoBooked at 22mins
  • 17WardSubstituted forCalderónat 89'minutes
  • 18Forster-Caskey
  • 3Greer
  • 20Upson
  • 8Crofts
  • 4Andrews
  • 9Barnes
  • 30Buckley
  • 23ConwaySubstituted forLitaat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6El-Abd
  • 14Calderón
  • 16Ankergren
  • 21D. López
  • 27March
  • 38Ince
  • 44Lita

Watford

  • 1Almunia
  • 19Faraoni
  • 18Pudil
  • 6EkstrandBooked at 45minsSubstituted forFabbriniat 79'minutes
  • 4Angella
  • 12Doyley
  • 16Murray
  • 8McEachran
  • 9Deeney
  • 11ForestieriBooked at 25mins
  • 10McGuganBooked at 32mins

Substitutes

  • 7Battocchio
  • 15Acuña
  • 20Fabbrini
  • 21Anya
  • 23Iriney
  • 27Cassetti
  • 30Bond
Referee:
Keith Hill
Attendance:
27,657

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home11
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home7
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Watford 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Watford 1.

Attempt missed. Gabriele Angella (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Fernando Forestieri with a cross.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Bruno.

Gabriele Angella (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Íñigo Calderón replaces Stephen Ward because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Manuel Almunia.

Attempt saved. Andrew Crofts (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by William Buckley.

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) hits the right post with a header from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Marco Davide Faraoni with a cross.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Ashley Barnes tries a through ball, but Leroy Lita is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marco Davide Faraoni with a cross.

Attempt saved. William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stephen Ward.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Andrew Crofts tries a through ball, but Stephen Ward is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Diego Fabbrini replaces Joel Ekstrand.

Attempt missed. William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ashley Barnes.

Joel Ekstrand (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Leroy Lita (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Bruno.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Keith Andrews.

Attempt blocked. Daniel Pudil (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernando Forestieri.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leroy Lita replaces Craig Conway.

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

Ashley Barnes (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Watford. Sean Murray tries a through ball, but Marco Davide Faraoni is caught offside.

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Andrew Crofts tries a through ball, but Craig Conway is caught offside.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Bruno.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Stephen Ward.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Tomasz Kuszczak.

Attempt saved. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top left corner.

Foul by Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Daniel Pudil (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Burnley1310211732
2Leicester13922829
3QPR12831827
4Blackpool13661524
5Reading13652823
6Nottm Forest13652623
7Watford136431022
8Derby13544419
9Huddersfield13454317
10Leeds13526017
11Bournemouth13526-717
12Blackburn13445316
13Ipswich13445216
14Wigan11434315
15Middlesbrough13364215
16Brighton13364-115
17Millwall13346-1113
18Doncaster12336-912
19Charlton12255-511
20Birmingham13328-611
21Bolton13175-910
22Yeovil13238-109
23Barnsley13238-159
24Sheff Wed12084-68
View full Championship table

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