Sunday 18 November 2018

Murray proves too taxing for Boro

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 1

Brighton's Glenn Murray (right) and Middlesbrough's Ryan Shotton battle for the ball in the air during their FA Cup clash. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA
Brighton's Glenn Murray (right) and Middlesbrough's Ryan Shotton battle for the ball in the air during their FA Cup clash. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Brighton boss Chris Hughton had no qualms about casting Glenn Murray in the role of FA Cup hero despite his arrest as part of a £1.1million tax probe.

The striker came off the bench to fire the Premier League Seagulls into the fifth round at the death to end a difficult week in style.

Asked if he had any hesitation in including Murray in his match-day squad, Hughton said: "No hesitation at all. He's been focused as normal and I had no hesitation in bringing him off the bench.

"With all strikers, what you want is them to be in there, to anticipate. It was a very good cross in the first place and Glenn did what he does."

Brighton's Sam Baldock in action with Middlesbrough's Adam Clayton. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters
Brighton's Sam Baldock in action with Middlesbrough's Adam Clayton. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

If Murray was Brighton's match-winner, he did not know a great deal about it. It came as he and George Friend closed on Markus Suttner's 90th-minute cross with the defender getting there first, but blasting the ball against the striker and looking on in horror as it cannoned into his own net.

It was hard luck on Boro, who had hit the post through Adama Traore during an impressive first-half display, although the visitors were much-improved after the break.

Hughton, who made seven changes ahead of Wednesday night's league trip to Southampton, said: "We have found goals hard to come by and probably there were periods where that showed.

"Today it was probably going to take a little bit of a special goal, a strike from outside the box or somebody to make a mistake or a little bit of luck, and we certainly got that little bit of fortune with the goal."

Boro boss Tony Pulis was left to bemoan his lack of fortune for the second successive home game after seeing Fulham snatch a league victory a fortnight ago with a stoppage-time penalty.

He said: "It was very similar to the last home game where we created chances, especially in the first half, and didn't take the chances and then Lady Luck has not shone on our side in the last couple of minutes of the game.

Middlesbrough's Adama Traore battles with Brighton's Sam Baldock. Photo: Scott Heppell/Reuters
Middlesbrough's Adama Traore battles with Brighton's Sam Baldock. Photo: Scott Heppell/Reuters

"There were a lot of positives and there was a lot of good play. You can't fault the players for the effort and commitment.

"But we are playing with players on the pitch who the club have invested a lot of money in to score goals and if you are going to do that, then you have got to give them the ammunition to score those goals."

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