A 90'+4 penalty from Tomer Hemed sent Bettinelli in the other direction, leading us to lose our first home game of this season. Is there anything else wor- okay, never mind.
Marcus Bettinelli started off in goal today, after signing a brand new four-year (!!!!!!) deal, while Ryan Tunniclife was still benched, serving his two-game ban for aggravated misconduct. Our lovable goalie was almost instantly forced into action, saving a low strike from Beram Kayal, while Hemed's diving header just two minutes later dinged the crossbar and flew out. We didn't really get any chances in for a while as Brighton kept applying pressure, but a great slide from Hutchinson dispossessed Hemed while he approached goal in the 14th minute.
We regained control around the half hour mark when Tom Cairney tested our former keeper, David Stockdale, with a 20 yard shot that unfortunately went over the bar. The visitors capitalised on this failure when right back Bruno's cross met Sam Baldock, who sat unmarked and flicked a shot into the back of the net. A couple of minutes later, Shawn Hutchinson almost turned a Kazenga LuaLua cross into his own net.
The pressure began to ramp up for us when a shot by Cairney was blocked on the 40 minute mark, while Matt Smith couldn't capitalise on a corner by Ben Pringle, instead just heading the ball over the bar. Then we leveled. A one-two effort from the midfielder and Lasse Vigen Christensen ended with a beautiful left-footed cross which hit the far corner of the away side's net. 1-1. We almost instantly made it 2-1 afterwards when Jamie OHara's free-kick found the head of Matt Smith, who headed straight into the post.
Brighton responded at the start of the second half with even more pressure, Solly March's cross meeting both Nikolay Bodurov and Baldock, the latter forcing a save from bettinelli. Bodurov found himself booked in the 52th minute for fouling Baldock, as Ben Pringle came off to be replaced by Alexander Kacaniklic. A quiet few minutes were ended in the 65th when LuaLua sent a shot just thinly over the bar, while Smith was denied by Stockdale at the other end. Another O'Hara free kick found the head of Hutchinson, who then met a volley by Smith, which somehow was parried over the bar by the former Fulham goalie. Bodurov headed just wide from the following corner. Ross Mccormack flopped a shot which went sailing into Stockdale's arms, while LuaLua saw a yellow card for a foul on Jazz Richards. Hemed followed, getting himself booked for tugging on Christensen.
Gaetan Bong allegedly handballed, but the shouts fell on deaf ears as we ramped up the pressure for the last 15 minutes of the game. A cross from Richards found Smith, who headed straight at goal, but Stockdale was there to save it. Christensen's cross to Smith was nodded wide of the post, before he was replaced by Moussa Dembele with 8 minutes left to go.
Then - we let it go. Hutchinson needlessly fouled LuaLua in our box, and Hemed converted the penalty into a goal, winning it for Brightson, sending them into 1st place, while we shot down to 18th. Hopefully we can come back from this on Wednesday, when we face Hull City at the KC stadium.