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Title-chasing Brighton rocked by freakish own goals

22 April 2017, 01:26 | Anna Nguyen

Title-chasing Brighton rocked by freakish own goals

Norwich City caretaker manager Alan Irvine before the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Barnsley at Carrow Road Norwich England on 18 March 2017

Norwich will certainly have their work cut out as they face a Brighton side that has simply steamrolled opponents in recent weeks in their charge towards the title and automatic promotion.

While it is fair to say the majority of the Carrow Road crowd had turned against Hughton, there were some who thought he might have saved them - it is irrelevant really, as the Canaries got relegated anyway.

However, it won't be easy for Brighton against a Norwich side that sit eighth in the Championship table, and beat a decent Preston team 3-1 on Easter Monday.

The hosts had the best early chance, though, when Jonny Howson's low delivery nearly picked out Nelson Oliveira at the back post only for the Portuguese striker to fall just short of getting enough on the ball.

Stockdale will nearly certainly get the official credit/blame for an own goal, but it's hard to really fault him for it.

Ironically, Pritchard nearly joined Brighton from Tottenham Hotspur a year ago before deciding to sign for Norwich on the eve of the season.

It arrived in nearly identical fashion to the first too, with another Pritchard strike this time striking the post before bouncing back against Stockdale and over the line once again.

Brighton's influential Anthony Knockaert clashed with Graham Dorrans in the build up both were booked after going head to head.

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"We want to win this game and we want to win it for us, rather than to stop Brighton achieving what they want to achieve", Irvine said on Norwich City TV.

Yes we haven't exactly excelled this season, but Maddison is unfortunate in the sense he plays in a position where City, with the likes of Wes Hoolahan and Alex Pritchard, have genuine talent.

In an unbelievable twist, Pritchard hit a side-footed curling shot from 20 yards after taking another pass from Murphy, the effort hit a post and rebounded back off Stockdale and into the net for yet another own goal.

Then Brighton thought they should have been awarded a penalty after Jamie Murphy was brought down in the box, but the appeals were waved away by Tim Robinson.

It was City who had to do most of the defending again, with Howson clearing off the line, twice in quick succession, to deny Glenn Murray.

Brighton need to win this game to win the Championship title, and with the first half in the books (at press time) and the Seagulls down 2-0, things aren't looking great. We had a wonderful result against Norwich earlier in the season (5-0).

The defender clocked up his 300th appearance for the club to move into 23rd place in the club's all-time appearance makers.

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