Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Brighton all but seal promotion to Premier League with victory over Wigan

Brighton all but seal promotion to Premier League with victory over Wigan

Against Wigan, Brighton took the lead through Glenn Murray before Solly March added a second midway through the second half.

Brighton's goal difference of 37 made that win practically enough to guarantee their return to the top flight after 34 years, but Jacob Butterfield's 88th-minute equaliser for Derby against the Terriers made it mathematically certain.

Promotion means Brighton will be back in the top division of English football for the first time since their relegation from the old First Division in 1983 - the same year they lost in the FA Cup final to Manchester United in a Wembley replay.

Not only did they board a train with their endearing supporters - where Norwood crowd-surfed on a packed train, but they cheered and sang at Brighton train station and down the main road by the city centre.

Brighton can make sure of the Championship title with another win at Norwich on Friday and Seagulls manager Chris Hughton praised the club's grit and determination last summer to keep the side together. That's the first thing. The aim was to put ourselves within an opportunity to get promotion, and we've managed to do that earlier than what we thought.

Nick Powell set up a nervy finish with his fifth goal in three games but it proved to be too little, too late as Brighton held out for a crucial win despite failing to produce their best form for long periods of the game.

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The Italian scored two minutes after replacing the concussed Billy Jones, who was carried from the pitch while being given oxygen. Subs - Nordtveit 5, Calleri 5. "We were disappointed with both goals, but not disappointed generally with the play".

"I don't necessarily think that was the motivation behind what we've been able to achieve this season", he said.

But instead of a sustained Newcastle fightback, the match witnessed two more Ipswich goals instead, with David McGoldrick and Emyr Huws getting on the scoresheet. "They are more competitive and cut-throat than (second-placed) Newcastle, and I think they (would be) worthy champions".

First Lewis Grabban then John Swift beat Richard O'Donnell to seal the points with a 2-1 win.

Their playoff position was claimed by Fulham, who kept up their amusing season using a 3-1 triumph over 10-guy Aston Villa, Ryan Sessegnon again one of the goals.

Burton leapfrogged their opponents in the table after Lloyd Dyer and Lucas Akins hit the net and Zola's 22-game reign came to an end within minutes of the final whistle.

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