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Noble relieved with a point against ‘bogey team’ Brighton

Chris Hughton’s side had won the previous four Premier League meetings.


Mark Noble, left, had a hand in both West Ham goals (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mark Noble, left, had a hand in both West Ham goals (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mark Noble, left, had a hand in both West Ham goals (Victoria Jones/PA)

West Ham captain Mark Noble was relieved to end the busy festive period on a positive note.

The Hammers, playing their eighth match since the start of December, came from two goals down to draw 2-2 against “bogey team” Brighton.

West Ham were staring at a fourth loss in four meetings with the Seagulls since they were promoted after goals from Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy put the visitors in charge.

But two goals in two minutes from Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic lifted the hoodoo as West Ham snatched a point and climbed into the top 10.

“Over the Christmas period we’ve had two away games, been in hotels a lot and been at  Burnley and Southampton,” said Noble.

“I don’t know if that plays a part, but we’ve changed the team with three or four players.

“From where we were, 2-0 down, to get two goals, it’s a positive.”

Stephens and Duffy struck within two minutes of each other from corners to put Brighton in charge shortly after half-time.

But Noble and Michail Antonio came on as substitutes and changed the course of the match, setting up another two-minute salvo from Arnautovic.

“It’s a different game from the sidelines,” added Noble. “You sit and watch, and I thought we just weren’t playing enough balls into Marko. We weren’t playing to his strengths.

“Brighton are a fantastically set up team. They are a bit of a bogey team for us, but the way to hurt them was over the top with Marko’s pace and strength.

“As soon as I come on I thought, as soon as I got the chance, that I was going to put the ball over the top to him for him to run on to.

“Luckily enough he got his goal, and then the same with Michail. I played the ball to him out wide, he got to the byline and cut one back.

“It’s disappointing because we wanted to play much better than that at home, but it’s two set plays and silly goals that cost us.”

Brighton remain a healthy 10 points clear of the relegation zone after adding a point to the four they collected against Everton and Arsenal over Christmas.

Manager Chris Hughton said: “We have to be pleased with our recent run, but we’ve got some very big games coming up that will continue to test us.”

PA Media