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by Marcus Bennett
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Newcastle United
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Fourth Round Proper
5.15pm, Saturday 28 January 2012
The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton & Hove Albion FC
Live on ESPN
Winning clubs will receive £90,000 from The FA prize fund
Brighton & Hove Albion advanced to the Fifth Round of The FA Cup with Budweiser for the second season running, having outfought Newcastle in a 1-0 victory at the Amex Stadium.
Alan Pardew’s men were made to pay for Leon Best not taking two good first-half chances and a third in the second half as Brighton’s Will Buckley took centre stage for the Seagulls and scored on 76 minutes via a deflection off Newcastle defender Mike Williamson.
An uneventful first half brought about very few chances with both teams reluctant to take the game to their opponent.
Newcastle edged the possession and from that it presented Best with what turned out to be the away side's clearest opportunity. The first, a ball from ex-Lille midfielder Yohan Cabaye played over the Brighton defence to the on-running striker, only for Best to skew his shot wide of the post. Then a deep cross from defender Danny Simpson into the penalty area was headed back into the six-yard box by Shola Ameobi only for the Best to nod wastefully over.
While Brighton looked comfortable on the ball, they caused the Newcastle backline very few problems, even in the absence of their influential centre back Fabricio Coloccini. Right midfielder Buckley created Brighton’s best moves and caused Newcastle's Italian left-back Davide Santon some concern.
But the north-east side men came out into the second half with some much needed tempo. Things sparked into action when Ameobi turned his defender well to lay the ball off to Best who had drifted in from the left wing. The striker timed his run well but his low shot from just inside the box was well saved by Brighton 'keeper Peter Brezovan.
Against the run of play, Brighton broke the deadlock through danger man Buckley. A Newcastle corner broke to the midfielder, who raced towards the opponents penalty area where he fired a low shot which deflected off defender Mike Williamson and looped over the helpless Tim Krul.
Best’s missed chances were now looking like they might haunt the Magpies and with the absence of Demba Ba to the African Cup of Nations, the manager was running out of options.
But with seven minutes of normal time remaining, Alan Pardew made a triple substitution in a last throw of the dice. It almost paid dividends as Newcastle pushed for an equaliser and had good grounds for a penalty when Ashley Barnes lunged at a shot from Cabaye in the penalty area and appeared to block it with both hands. Referee Lee Probert waved it away.
But Brighton held on for victory despite four minutes of added time. They will learn their fate for the Fifth Round tomorrow afternoon where they will be one of two Sussex teams left in the last 16.
Brighton & Hove Albion
1 Peter Brezovan, 14 Inigo Calderon, 3 Gordon Greer (C), 5 Lewis Dunk, 6 Adam El-Abd, 30 Will Buckley, 10 Matthew Sparrow (8 Alan Navarro, 46), 26 Liam Bridcutt, 35 Jake Forster-Caskey (17 Ryan Harley, 65), 9 Ashley Barnes, 12 Craig Mackail-Smith (7 Will Hoskins 90+1)
Substitutes not used 16 Casper Ankergren, 20 Romain Vincelot, 23 Torbjorn Agdestein, 31 Grant Hall
Manager Gus Poyet
26 Tim Krul, 5 Danny Simpson, 6 Mike Williamson, 14 James Perch, 13 Davide Santon (31 Shane Ferguson, 83), 4 Yohan Cabaye, 8 Danny Guthrie (15 Dan Gosling, 83), 10 HatemBen Arfa (16 Ryan Taylor 83), 18 Jonas Guiterrez, 20 Leon Best, 23 Shola Ameobi (C)
Substitutes not used 35 Rob Elliott, 11 Peter Lovenkrands, 25 Gabriel Obertan, 45 Tamas Kadar
Manager Alan Pardew
Referee L Probert
Assistant Referees R Ganfield and A Gowden
Fourth Official C Foy