Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 Walsall: Referee Prevents Cleansheet

Sam RickmanContributor IAugust 29, 2010

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10 : Adam El-Abd of Brighton & Hove Albion in action during the Carling Cup first round match between Northampton Town and Brighton & Hove Albion at Sixfields Stadium on August 10, 2010 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Pete Norton/Getty Images

Brighton 2
Barnes (68), Murray (81)

Walsall 1
Macken (90) - Assisted by the referee

That is a fair and accurate representation of the scoreboard. However, often "assisted by the referee" implies some shoddy decision. This wasn't a shoddy decision such as a bad penalty decision or a shock red card (although Walsall had received one on 72 minutes for an off the ball incident - it wasn't a bad decision).

The referee got in the way of Kishishev's pass towards either Painter or Dicker and deflected the ball in to the path of Walsall. 

Credit to Macken who, although unfairly gifted the ball just outside our box, scored a well-taken goal. 

I said in my last report Walsall were our bogey team. In the first half, despite poor football from both sides Walsall probably had the edge with a few more clear chances than us. It was a pretty poor affair though for the first 45 without a doubt.

However, the second half, Brighton came out and Walsall...well...didn't. The Walsall that had Brighton panicking at times at the back were no where to be seen. 

The Brighton that I saw at the end of last season, with fluid, attractive and attacking football did come out and was capped by a 68 minute Barnes goal, scored from about six yards out after a very good bit of play and a cross by Glenn Murray.

The red card was missed by many but a gesture by the referee to other players indicated and elbow by Nicholls. Straight red. 

Painter scored another crossed goal with his head, to make it 2-0 and with only nine minutes to play, Brighton looked comfortable

The the referee, clearly not satisfied with judging the match, decided to get involved in the play.

What happened was a bit of a blur, but the ball was passed by Kishishev with the referee running in the path of the pass and subsequently to the feet of the former Albion loanee Matt Richards. 

Richards slotted the ball to Macken who finished a good, if a little bit artificial move. 

Over all a good performance by Brighton, and with the international break meaning Plymouth are able to call our game off for having three players away, a chance to rest and recover before League business continues.