Thursday, April 25, 2024

Lewis Dunk’s last-gasp leveller earns 10-man Brighton draw with Everton

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Feb 2024

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Lewis Dunk denied Everton a crucial win with a stoppage-time equaliser as 10-man Brighton rescued a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls captain, on his 400th league appearance for his boyhood club, nodded in a corner from Pascal Gross in the 95th minute.

His goal cancelled out a stunning strike from another centre-half, Jarrod Branthwaite, and stretched Everton’s winless run to nine matches.

Sean Dyche’s side did at least edge a point clear of the relegation zone, but this will feel like a horrible two points dropped against a Brighton side who were at that stage a man light after Billy Gilmour’s red card.

Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi invited some of his players to his house for dinner this week, but in the early stages he was left frustrated at how they made a meal of taking their chances.

Danny Welbeck passed up three opportunities in the opening 20 minutes, first seeing a shot deflected wide by James Tarkowski.

Welbeck then raced on to Facundo Buonanotte’s through-ball and knocked it past Jordan Pickford, who had come charging out of his area, but the striker’s touch was too heavy.

Moments later the former England forward played a neat one-two with Buonanotte, but Ben Godfrey got a foot in to send his shot wide.

Simon Adingra, an Africa Cup of Nations winner with Ivory Coast, was next to try his luck with a mazy run and a shot which flew narrowly over.

Everton created only one chance in a one-sided first half, yet it was probably the best of the lot.

A cross from Vitalii Mykolenko looked destined for the head of Dominic Calvert-Lewin in front of goal until Dunk intervened and glanced the ball behind.

After the break a fired-up De Zerbi was shown his now increasingly-regular yellow card after protesting too vociferously that Tarkowski deserved a second booking for a foul on Welbeck.

Brighton then had a huge let-off when Dwight McNeil’s cross was volleyed goalward by Abdoulaye Doucoure, with Tariq Lamptey, the shortest player on the pitch, heading it clear from underneath the crossbar.

But Everton made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute through the unlikely figure of Branthwaite.

Pickford launched a free-kick into the area and Evan Ferguson’s attempted clearance fell to the young centre-half.

Branthwaite took one touch with his right foot and then lashed a powerful, angled drive past a startled Bart Verbruggen and into the top corner.

Ten minutes from time Scotland midfielder Gilmour was dismissed after catching Amadou Onana with his studs.

But Brighton kept knocking at the door and Dunk prised it open with a towering header to snatch a point and leave Dyche frustrated.

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