Ryan Saves Late Penalty To Earn Albion Point At Potters

Maty Ryan was Brighton's hero as his late penalty stop earned them a 1-1 draw at Stoke City this afternoon.

The Australian international dived the right way to save Charlie Adams' spot kick after Dale Stephens was judged to have fouled Jese in the box.

 A wonderful team goal was finished off by Jose Izquierdo just after the half hour mark, however the home side hit back through Xherdan Shaqiri's curled effort on 68 minutes.

Chris Hughton's only change for the trip to Staffordshire saw Solly March start ahead of Anthony Knockaert on the right of midfield. Club record signing Jurgen Locadia made his first appearance in the matchday squad since joining from PSV Eindhoven in January, however he will have to wait for his debut after being an unused substitute on bench.

Pressure from Albion in the final third forced the first chance of the game within two minutes, as Izquierdo was given time to cut onto his right foot and get a shot away just outside the box, however Jack Butland tipped the ball over the goal.

Both sides looked to break forward quickly in the early going and had half chances in front of goal, with Maxim Choupo-Moting firing wide from 25 yards for the home side on the quarter hour mark and Glenn Murray sending a flick-on over the bar two minutes later.

Izquierdo produced arguably Albion's goal of the season last weekend, and the Colombian put the finishing touch on arguably their best team goal of the campaign to put them in front on 32 minutes. A beautiful series of one-two passes put the winger in space to cut onto his right foot in the box and slot the ball home.

The Seagulls switched off and almost conceded an equaliser from the restart, as Badou Ndiaye fired a volley just wide of Maty Ryan's right hand post.

The Potters had all the work to do in the second half and came out of the blocks more aggressively, however they were unable to put together a chance as Albion's defence held firm in the opening ten minutes.

It was the visitors who had the first chance of the half on 56 minutes. Davy Propper should have done better in the box as he headed Gross' cross from the right over the bar.

With a record-breaking vocal home crowd behind them, the Potters continued to pen Albion into their final third of the pitch and made their pressure pay on 68 minutes for the equaliser. Shaqiri received the ball outside the box, with the Swiss international afforded too much time and space to take a touch before curling a beautiful shot out of Ryan's reach into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Albion found their footing in the game again and crafted together a good chance, as substitute Leo Ulloa knocked the ball down to Propper, whose shot on the half-volley was saved by Butland to his left on 75 minutes.

Izquierdo looked to add to his first goal with five minutes remaining as he let rip a fierce shot from outside the box, which with Butland only able to push the effort to safety.

The hosts were handed a golden opportunity to gain three crucial points when Stephens was judged to have pushed substitute Jese in the box with one minute left on the clock. The Paris Saint-Germain loanee argued with his teammates over who should take the penalty, with substitute Adam stepping up for the spot kick.

Ryan matched the shot by diving to his right and making the save, however the ball rebounded favourably in the path of the Stoke midfielder, with a last-ditch tackle from Dunk keeping the ball out of the goal, sending the away fans jubilant as the players celebrated with their goalkeeper.

That wasn't to be the last chance for the home side, who saw Mame Biram Diouf's header in added on time cleared off the line by Albion sub Knockaert.

Whilst they would have been disappointed in letting their lead slip against a relegation rival, the drama in the closing stages of the game means that for many Albion fans this will feel like a point gained rather than two dropped.

The Seagulls remain 13th in the Premier League table heading into next weekend's FA Cup Fifth round clash at home to League Two Coventry City, with their next top flight clash also at the Amex against Swansea City.

Stoke City: Butland; Bauer, Shawcross ©, Zouma, Pieters; Fletcher (Berahino 45'); Shaqiri, Allen, Badou (Adam 79'), Choupo-Moting (Jese 62'); Diouf
Unused Subs: Grant, Johnson, Cameron, Ramadan

Albion: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk ©, Bong; March (Knockaert 86'), Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo; Gross (Kayal 78'); Murray (Ulloa 70')
Unused Subs: Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Locadia

Attendance: 29,876

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