Brighton 2 Wigan 1: Pandemonium at the Amex as Glenn Murray and Solly March secure Premier League promotion

Alistair Tweedale
Brighton will be promoted to the Premier League for the first time - Rex Features

Brighton sealed a return to the top flight for the first time in 34 years with a comfortable 2-1 home victory over relegation candidates Wigan.

Goals in each half from leading scorer Glenn Murray and winger Solly March gave the top-of-the-table Seagulls their fifth successive win and put them on the brink of the Premier League before promotion was guaranteed when Huddersfield failed to beat Derby County later in the day.

Substitute Ryan Colclough pulled a late goal back for Wigan, who remain in the drop zone, but it could not dampen the home side's celebrations.

Brighton can make sure of the Championship title with another win at Norwich on Friday.

Glenn Murray puts Brighton ahead at the Amex Credit: rex features

Albion boss Chris Hughton made two changes, with ex-Wigan defender Gaetan Bong replacing Seb Pocognoli at left-back and Steve Sidwell giving way to Beram Kayal.

Championship player of year Anthony Knockaert tried his luck early on for the Seagulls, his low shot from 25 yards saved by Danish goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard.

Central defender Lewis Dunk went close for Brighton by putting a deflected shot wide after Haugaard dropped a Knockaert free-kick.

Dunk threatened again after 27 minutes when he rose to head a dangerous free-kick from Knockaert over the bar at the far post.

Haugaard was well positioned to hold a header from Uwe Huenemeier after Knockaert supplied a dangerous corner.

Brighton had struggled to move the ball quickly, but the breakthrough came after 37 minutes when leading marksman Murray produced a deadly finish to notch his 22nd goal of the season.

A long ball from Dunk was knocked back by Tomer Hemed into the path of Murray, who gave Haugaard no chance from 12 yards.

Former Bournemouth striker Murray had the ball in the net again five minutes later, but his far post header was ruled out because Knockaert's corner had gone out of play.

Brighton should have doubled their advantage shortly after the break when a cross from March found Hemed and his shot was cleared off the line by defender Dan Burn.

Albion's dominance also saw Knockaert put a free-kick wide before Murray fired into the side netting in front of the Wigan fans.

The pressure told on 65 minutes when March made it 2-0 with a close-range shot after Knockaert set up him up.

Murray later saw a deflected shot go over after a storming run by substitute Jamie Murphy.

Wigan denied Brighton a clean sheet five minutes from time when substitute Ryan Colclough headed in a cross from Jamie Hanson, but the hard work for the hosts was already done.

5:00PM

Full time at Portman Road

Ipswich have beaten Newcastle 3-1, and Rafa Benitez's sidemight actually mess this up... They are wobbling terribly and today's performance won't do their confidence any good at all. That was bad. Really, really bad.

4:57PM

GOOOOALLL!  Ipswich 3-1 Newcastle (Huws)

Newcastle are all over the place and do not look anything like a Premier League team here. They have been woeful and concede a third goal to keep them looking over their shoulder with Huddersfield chasing.

Sears, today's man of the match, battles through a couple of tame challenges on the right, before dinking a ball to the back stick, where Huws is arriving to slam an unstoppable volley into the net.

4:55PM

FULL TIME - BRIGHTON ARE (VERY, VERY NEARLY) PROMOTED

The final whistle blows at the Amex and fans pile onto the pitch. Brighton are back in the top flight for the first time in 34 years!!

The scene at the Amex

4:52PM

90 mins +1

Rafa shakes his head in bemusement as his Newcastle side continue to toil.

4:51PM

90 mins

Five minutes added on at Portman Road. Brighton are still holding on at the Amex.

4:50PM

89 mins

Shelvey finally finds a team-mate with a cross, but Hanley's header is easily saved.

4:49PM

88 mins

Newcastle are pushing for an equaliser but Ipswich look dangerous on the break with keen runners like Sears still full of beans. Newcastle need a goal, if only for their dwindling confidence.

4:48PM

Powell the supersub

4:47PM

87 mins

Should be 3-1 to Brighton but Akpom wastes a big, big chance. Will that matter? Surely not.

4:46PM

GOOOOAAAAL!!! Wigan pull one back through Powell!

Brighton were cruising at the Amex but there is a bit of a worry for the final six minutes. Nick Powell has come off the bench and looks like he should have been on all game. Hanson crosses and Powell gets across his man in the box to guide a header into the corner and make it Brighton 2-1 Wigan. 

4:43PM

80 mins

Newcastle need a goal and Rafa has turned to Mitrovic for the final 10 minutes. He replaces Matt Ritchie.

4:36PM

75 mins

Atsu beats his man but his cross is poor and is cleared for a corner. Yet another poor Shelvey delivery is rather easily cleared. He has been woeful.

4:33PM

72 mins

4:32PM

GOOOOALLL! Ipswich 2-1 Newcastle (McGoldrick)

What was I saying? Newcastle HAD looked the more likely to score, but then they have also been awful (for the most part) today, and they have only gone and messed things up by conceding again.

A long ball up to McGoldrick, and he brings it down well, before Lawrence and Sears exchange passes. Sears gets into the box and drills a low ball across the box for McGoldrick to tap in and restore Ipswich's lead.

4:29PM

67 mins

Newcastle look the more likely to score now. Gouffran again involved as he gets into a good position inside the box but fires wide.

4:26PM

GOOOOOALLLL!!! Brighton go 2-0 up

Good work down the right from the brilliant Anthony Knockaert, as as he tries to dart between two defenders the ball break to Solly March who, cool as you like, throws a dummy in the box to create himself a yard, before drilling through Haugard's legs.

4:24PM

GOOOOOAAALLL! Newcastle are level! Murphy scores!

Atsu goes clear down the left and whips a low ball into the box. Gouffran, just off the bench, throws himself at the ball but can't quite score with his first touch. It evades him but it matters not, with Murphy waiting at the back post to tap in an equaliser. It's Ipswich 1-1 Newcastle.

4:21PM

60 mins

Yoann Gouffran replaces Isaac Hayden. A long overdue change for the visitors. 

4:20PM

58 mins

A Yedlin foul on the edge of the box gives Lawrence the chance to fire an effort at goal, but he doesn't keep it down.

4:18PM

56 mins

Ritchie wins a header in the box but he doesn't connect. An increasingly desperate Newcastle team appeal meekly for a penalty but play goes on.

4:15PM

54 mins

Off the post! Knockaert has hit the woodwork with a well struck effort before Murray can't direct the follow-up on target. It's all Brighton at the Amex.

4:12PM

50 mins

Mo Diame powers forwards and is sent tumbling to win a free kick 30 yards from goal. Shelvey lines one up but fires straight into the wall. It's hit Huws in the head and the referee stops for a head injury. Unsurprisingly, he is fine.

4:09PM

47 mins

A worry for Ipswich with dangerman Tom Lawrence staying down after a strong challenge from Matt Ritchie. 

He hobbles off the pitch but his team have a free kick in a decent position. It's whipped into the box and flicked towards goal but the effort sails wide and out for a goal kick.

4:05PM

We're back underway at the Amex

And the players are on their way out at Portman Road. Can Newcastle turn this match around?

3:59PM

Rafa: must do better

3:50PM

Half time at both grounds

And the scores are:

Brighton 1-0 Wigan

Ipswich 1-0 Newcastle

3:49PM

44 mins

Ipswich are rampant now. Sears charges down the right and finds McGoldrick with a good ball into the box. He takes a couple of failed touches before getting the ball under control, before his fierce effort is deflected over the crossbar.

3:47PM

GOOOOOOAALLLL Ipswich 1-0 Newcastle (Sears)

Matt Ritchie wastes a golden opportunity for Newcastle and Ipswich charge up the other end to punish them. Tom Lawrence runs at goal, with the Newcastle defenders backing off, further and further with no challenge forthcoming. He wanders into the box all too easily before laying off for Sears who slams the ball home! 

3:45PM

Disallowed goal for Brighton!

Murray has the ball in the Wigan net again, but the linesman says the Knockaert's corner swung out of play before coming back in. No goal.

3:43PM

40 mins

Another sluggish, overhit Shelvey pass down the right. You would struggle to guess which team was chasing promotion here.

3:41PM

GOOOOOAALLL!! Brighton 1-0 Wigan (Murray)

Good build up play from Brighton down the left and a Hemed squares for Murray. His strike takes a big deflection and leaves Huagaard completely helpless in the Wigan goal. Brighton take a big step towards promotion.

3:39PM

36 mins 

Diame does well down the left and wins Newcastle a corner. Another chance for Shelvey...

3:38PM

33 mins

Shelvey is wandering around the pitch very much like a player overly complacent in his belief that his team will be going up this season. He has had a few set-piece opportunities that he has failed to deliver at, and just played a bit of a hospital pass to Yedlin in midfield.

3:33PM

28 mins

There are goals going in all around the Championship but neither of these games have really got going yet. Nerves playing a part, perhaps?

3:28PM

24 mins

Brighton come again with a couple of waves of attack but Wigan are very organised and defending well. No way through for the hosts so far.

3:25PM

22 mins

3:23PM

20 mins

Paul Dummett is lurking on the edge of the box at a Jonjo Shelvey corner, and when it is cleared he fires a decently struck effort towards goal, but he drags it slightly and it goes wide.

3:21PM

17 mins

Ipswich certainly look the more likely to score early on. Freddie Sears battles his way through a couple of tame challenges in the Newcastle defence, before the ball falls towards McGoldrick, but Darlow is off his line quickly to smother.

3:20PM

The Newcastle fans are in typically fine voice

Credit: Rex Features

3:18PM

15 mins

"Crystal Palace, we're coming for you" sing the Brighton fans. 

3:17PM

13 mins

Disallowed goal for Ipswich and it looks like Newcastle have escaped fortunately there. The ball is whipped in from the left side by Tom Lawrence and it skids off the turf and all the way through a crowd of bodies into the far corner, but the referee blows up for holding in the box. A let off for Rafa Benitez's side.

3:14PM

12 mins

Huge chance for Brighton and it falls to Glenn Murray but he can't keep his header down.

3:12PM

9 mins

Great last ditch block by Dan Burn as Brighton start to grow into the match.

3:09PM

6 mins

Good run down the left from Ipswich's Tom Lawrence, but his ball into the box lands in the arms of Karl Darlow.

3:08PM

5 mins

Tehe returning DeAndre Yedlin makes good ground down the Newcastle right, but his ball into the box eludes Daryl Murphy.

3:06PM

4 mins

Bright start by Wigan at the Amex, who have already put a few good balls into the Brighton box.

3:01PM

Kick off

We're underway at the Amex and Portman Road. Here we go.

2:53PM

Less than 10 minutes until kick off

As Brighton look to end the day in the Premier League. A huge day for the club.

2:29PM

Permutations

Sky Sports have summed up the possible permutations at each end in the Championship nicely:

Credit: Sky sports

2:19PM

Meanwhile at Portman Road

There's no place for Mitrovic in the Newcastle team:

Here's how Ipswich line up:

Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers, Berra, Kenlock, Skuse, Ward, Huws, Lawrence, McGoldrick, Sears.

2:17PM

Team news from Brighton

Bong and Kayal return to the Brighton lineup:

Brighton: Stockdale, Bruno, Huenemeier, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, March, Murray, Hemed.

And here's the Wigan team:

Haugaard, Buxton, Perkins, Power, Obertan, MacDonald, Jacobs, Tunnicliffe, Warnock, Hanson, Burn.

2:12PM

Preamble

What's happening?

The race for promotion from the Championship to the Premier League is nearing its conclusion, and there is a full schedule of Bank Holiday Monday fixtures to feast on.

Who's playing?

Well, everyone, but we'll be concentrating on Brighton vs Wigan and Ipswich vs Newcastle, with Brighton top of the league and on the brink of promotion and Newcastle in second place.

What time is kick off?

Both games start at 3pm.

What TV channel are the matches on?

Neither match is on TV in the UK, so you'll be best off returning to this page for live updates from both.

Newcastle drew 1-1 with Leeds on Friday Credit: Getty images

What's the situation?

Brighton are 12 points clear of third-placed Huddersfield, having played a game more. A win would make the gap 15 points, with Huddersfield still to play five matches, but Brighton's goal difference is much, much better. Victory over Wigan, therefore, will effectively - but not quite mathematically - secure promotion. Wigan are fighting relegation themselves so still have a great deal to play for.

Newcastle are stuttering towards the finish line, winning only two of their last seven matches to make it to 85 points with four games remaining. They can move 11 points clear of Huddersfield with a win today, but Ipswich have lost only four home games all season so, considering Newcastle's current form, that may be easier said than done. 

Huddersfield face Derby in the late kick off.

What is the team news?

Newcastle remain without Dwight Gayle, so Aleksandar Mitrovic could lead the line. DeAndre Yedlin could make his first start in six weeks having returned to action against Leeds on Friday. Ciaran Clark and Rolando Aarons remain absent.

Brighton have no new injury worries, though Sam Baldock is a doubt and Shane Duffy and Connor Goldson both remain missing. Gaetan Bong, Liam Rosenior and Beram Kayal could all return after two games out.

Brighton have won six of their last seven matches Credit: PA

What are the odds?

Brighton vs Wigan:

Brighton win - 1/2 Draw - 10/3 Wigan win - 7/1

Ipswich vs Newcastle:

Ipswich win - 17/4 Draw - 11/4 Newcastle win - 3/4

What's our prediction?

Brighton to win 3-1 and Newcastle to draw 2-2.

RegisterLog incommenting policy

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes