Murray Strike Secures Seagulls Cup Win Against Palace

Brighton have booked their place in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup after a 2-1 victory over arch rivals Crystal Palace on Monday night.

The Seagulls' win over Roy Hodgson's side at the Amex sets up an away tie at Championship side Middlesbrough in the next stage of the competition.

Albion made eight changes for the clash from their draw with Bournemouth on New Years Day, as Tim Krul, Connor Goldson, Uwe Hunemeier, Gaetan Bong, Solly March, Beram Kayal, Izzy Brown and Tomer Hemed all came in to the starting line-up.

Chris Hughton was forced into an enforced change six minutes into the game, as Brown was unable to recover from an early clash with Eagles Left back Jeffrey Schlupp. He was replaced by Sam Baldock, making his first team appearance of the season. 

The Seagulls were the better side in the early going on, and made that cunt 25 minutes into the game through Dale Stephens. The midfielder darted into space on the right side of the box and shot low at Wayne Hennessey's near post, with the ball deflecting in off the Palace Goalkeeper's arm to give Albin the lead.

Albion took their slender lead into half time, however a piece of brilliance from Bakary Sakho saw the visitors draw level with just over 20 minutes remaining in the contest. The 29-year old won possession of the ball on the left of the field and sent a thunderous shot from 25 yards out in off the post past a helpless Krul for he equaliser.

The Seagulls' responded with Baldock hit the woodwork minutes later as they looked to restore their lead. Other chances saw Kayal send the ball high into the stands from eight yards out, with Baldock also wasting a glorious one-on-one chance against Hennessey.

Brighton's winner came three minutes from time, as substitute and former Palace striker Glenn Murray ghosted in at the far post to bundle home Hunemeier's knock-on from a Solly March free kick.

The visitors protested that the goal went in off the 34-year old's hand, however the Video Assistant Referee system - being trialled for the first time in an English club match at the Amex - confirmed that it went in off the forward's knee.

Having seen off Palace in their first game of this year's competition, Brighton's Fourth Round contest will see them make the long trip to Teeside on the weekend of January 27th, for their first meeting with Middlesbrough since the sides battled for automatic promotion on the final day of the 2015-16 Championship season at the Riverside Stadium.

Albion are next in action away to West Brom in the Premier League this coming Saturday afternoon.

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