Brighton & Hove Albion increased their unbeaten run in the Championship to 11 games thanks to a sensational Glenn Murray equaliser last night.
The all important goal came around in the 44th minute after Murray exchanged a beautiful one-two with team-mate Sam Baldock, before firing into the bottom right corner to earn Albion a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
Seagulls manager Chris Hughton said: “Murray’s goal was superb, and I thought at that stage if there was one team to go on to win it, it was us."
After initially going 1-0 down to a Nathan Baker header in just the 19th minute, Hughton emphasised how his side “showed good character to get back in the game”, which as anyone knows, is a vital characteristic of a side that is hopeful of winning the title.
“The game may have been different if we scored first, but I was delighted when we grabbed the equaliser, we deserved it” added Hughton.
However, after Brighton’s much deserved goal, control soon slipped away from the Seagulls. Piling pressure from Villa in the second half saw the crossbar of David Stockdale shake twice, in addition to the stopper being forced into a number of fine athletic saves.
“We had to defend really well”, said Hughton. “We had to deal with many crosses and corners and they showed that they are a very good side. They showed their quality today.”
While Chris Hughton and Brighton fans will be relieved that they were able to once again avoid defeat, they will be disappointed to lose assistant manager Colin Calderwood to Villa.
Hughton said: “I’m very disappointed and surprised to lose Colin Calderwood at this stage of the season. But these things happen and I now have to think long and hard. The club tried very hard to persuade him to stay, but that wasn't enough. He made his decision.
“In our game, you get used to people coming and going. Its part and parcel of the game. What you have to do now is look forward, and we will take the time to find our replacement, but our concentrations are now very much on Saturday's game.”
Villa boss Steve Bruce said: “I was delighted with our performance but a tad disappointed that we didn’t see it through.
“It’s easily the best performance we’ve produced, especially considering who we were up against.
“Today showed exactly what they’re capable of, which is good to see."