Brighton deny Bournemouth

Defender Stephen Ward rescued a point for Brighton with an 89th-minute leveller to deny Bournemouth a third consecutive away league victory in a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

Last Updated: 02/01/14 at 10:38 Post Comment

Stephen Ward celebrates winner at the AmEx Stadium

Stephen Ward celebrates winner at the AmEx Stadium

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Cherries had led since the 14th minute after Lewis Grabban converted from the penalty spot, but Ward nodded in a last-minute equaliser following a cross by Rohan Ince.

Victory would have given Eddie Howe's men a club-record third consecutive Sky Bet Championship away win - and the point means inconsistent Brighton keep in touch with the play-off hunting pack.

Andrew Crofts struck the post with a long-range drive in the opening 10 minutes and striker Leonardo Ulloa should have pulled the trigger when clean through on goal as the Seagulls made a positive start.

Oscar Garcia's men had won just two of their previous seven home matches and the Spanish boss had vowed that his players would start brightly to avoid another sluggish home display.

But it was the Cherries, who have now lost just one of their last six matches, who went ahead in the 14th minute courtesy of Grabban's coolly converted spot-kick.

Referee Simon Hooper sparked fury on the Brighton bench after pointing to the spot when Inigo Calderon appeared to win possession following a clean, last-ditch tackle on Marc Pugh.

Striker Grabban kept his nerve, however, and netted his 10th league goal of the season with an accurate finish into the bottom-right corner of Tomasz Kuszczak's goal.

Ulloa fluffed a clear opening to bring the Seagulls level in first-half added time following a pinpoint cross from Welsh midfielder Crofts.

Lee Camp, on loan from West Brom, sprung out of goal in an otherwise quiet half to deny the Argentinian frontman from six yards.

Liam Bridcutt, whose future at the Amex has been the subject of speculation following interest from Sunderland, offered another example of why his services are so sought after.

The 24-year-old was at his best, closing down opponents, spraying passes to the wings from the centre of midfield and providing energy and creativity to an otherwise lacklustre Brighton.

The Seagulls are hoping to mount another push for the play-offs following last season's semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace, but erratic home form, including defeat to league back-markers Barnsley last month has left them playing catch-up.

The Amex club have had particular difficulty breaking opponents down - and stubborn Bournemouth went close to doubling their advantage in the 48th minute when Grabban forced Kuszczak into a sprawling stop at the near post.

Kazenga LuaLua sent a 56th-minute rocket crashing onto the crossbar and Bridcutt shot wide as the Seagulls resorted to long-range efforts.

Garcia brought on attacking threats Kemy Agustien and Ashley Barnes in search of a leveller but hard-working Bournemouth, led by the energetic Grabban, snuffed out any openings the home side had.

Bournemouth's stern resistance eventually gave way, however, when Ward made a nuisance of himself in the box and headed past Camp following Ince's cross to grab the Seagulls a point.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho already targeting more success after 'hard-earned' Chelsea title

Jose Mourinho insisted Chelsea were deserved Premier League champions - and then declared himself hungry for more.

Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace: Eden Hazard the hero as Blues secure Premier League title with nervy win

Chelsea secured their first Premier League title in five years after a nervy 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Tottenham 0-1 Man City: Sergio Aguero goal all but secures Champions League spot

Sergio Aguero’s first-half strike was enough to hand Manchester City a 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Mail Box

Shouldn't We Give Players Time?

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bathwater every single summer? We also have a Man United fan who wants massive investment. And more...

Liverpool: No Greater Than Aston Villa

It's fair to say that Raúl H. Garcia from the morning mailbox has got something of a kicking on Thursday afternoon. Oh and the Neviller is wrong for once...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company