Nightmare evening for Albion on Friday the 13th

Liam Rosenior. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
Liam Rosenior. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
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Brighton & Hove Albion had a nightmare evening on Friday the 13th as they suffered four injuries and finished the game with ten men in a 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

Connor Goldson, Tomer Hemed, Steve Sidwell and Anthony Knockaert all limped off as the Seagulls lost the first leg of the Championship play-offs. It leaves Albion with it all to do in the second leg at the Amex on Monday but central defender Lewis Dunk returns from a two-game ban.

Brighton had already been forced to line up without Dale Stephens, who was sent off in the 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Albion went close to taking the lead on nine minutes when Hemed’s header hit the bottom of Wednesday keeper Keiren Westwood’s left-hand post.

Ross Wallace flashed another effort inches wide at the other end before the game erupted in controversy in the 19th minute when Fernando Forestieri chased down a long ball from keeper Westwood and slotted past David Stockdale.

Despite extensive celebrations, referee Andre Marriner consulted with an assistant and eventually disallowed the goal on the basis that the striker had been offside when Westwood had launched the ball forward.

Hemed and Goldson then went off, before Wednesday went ahead in the last minute of the first half when Wallace drilled a low shot past Stockdale.

Daniel Pudil lashed an effort wide for Wednesday early in the second half before Brighton’s bad luck continued with Sidwell becoming the third visiting player to be replaced after pulling up.

Just before the hour-mark it went from bad to worse as Knockaert stretched for a long ball into the Wednesday box and was subsequently carried off on a stretcher, with Chris Hughton having no option but to re-structure with 10 men.

Skalak curled a free-kick just over the bar for the visitors before Wednesday doubled their lead in the 73rd minute, Forestieri threading the ball into the box for Lee to fire past Stockdale as it finished 2-0.

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