- Glenn Murray gives Albion 15th minute lead from the spot
- Maty Ryan makes some crucial stops
- Jack Stephens levels for the hosts
- Seagulls sit 15th in the Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion played out a 1-1 against Southampton on Wednesday evening at St Mary’s Stadium.
A first-half penalty from Glenn Murray gave the Seagulls a deserved lead, before Jack Stephens equalised for the hosts in the second period to mean the spoils were shared.
Chris Hughton made ten changes to the side that defeated Middlesbrough 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the Emirates FA Cup.
Dale Stephens was the only individual who kept his place in the starting eleven on the south coast as the Seagulls returned to Premier League action.
Albion began brightly and had a glorious chance to go ahead with little more than 20 seconds on the clock.
Murray flicked a long ball forward on to Pascal Gross, and as the midfielder fired the ball across goal and to the back-post, Jose Izquierdo blazed over the bar having been left unmarked.
Hughton’s men continued to look menacing in attack, with Gross and Solly March linking up well, while Davy Propper fired over the bar as the home side looked shaky in defence.
The Seagulls got their reward for a strong start on 15 minutes when they went into the lead courtesy of a penalty.
Izquierdo raced down the left and cut inside before finding March, who was equally evasive with neat footwork – drawing Wesley Hoedt into a foul. Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot leaving Murray to score his second goal in as many matches.
Lewis Dunk did well to clear a dangerous cross from the right looking for Shane Long in the centre, before Oriel Romeu fired high and wide as he latched onto a loose ball as the contest reached the halfway point of the opening period.
Albion fans then had hearts in mouths as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg chased down a back pass that put Maty Ryan under pressure. The keeper then fired his clearance against the home midfielder and the ball looped up before bouncing off the bar and fortuitously away from danger.
Hoedt picked up the game’s first booking when he clumsily brought down Ezequiel Schelotto as the Seagulls looked to counter, before Murray turned and shot low at Alex McCarthy at the home keeper’s near-post. Ryan Bertrand then volleyed over after a corner at the other end.
March saw an effort blocked in the final few moments of the half but that was the last of the action in the opening period as Albion went into the break ahead.
The home side made a double change at the interval with Romeu and Dusan Tadic being replaced by Sofiane Boufal and Guido Carrillo, and the second half began evenly with both sides squandering possession cheaply.
Stephens headed James Ward-Prowse’s cross wide eight minutes into the half but he found the equaliser just after the hour mark – turning home Ward-Prowse’s free-kick from the left to level inside a crowded penalty area.
Leo Ulloa then entered the action, replacing Murray with just under 15 minutes left, as Hughton looked to freshen things up in attack with the Seagulls coming under pressure from the hosts.
Manolo Gabbiadini was Southampton’s final change as he replaced Long up front and Beram Kayal came on in place for Gross with eight minutes left.
Ulloa was inches away from connecting with March's free-kick in the final few moments but both sides claimed a point as the referee brought an even contest to a close.
Albion line-up: Ryan; Schelotto, Dunk ©, Duffy, Bong; March, Propper, Stephens, Izquierdo; Gross (Kayal 82); Murray (Ulloa 76).
Subs not used: Krul (GK), Rosenior, Goldson, Knockaert, Baldock.
Southampton line-up: McCarthy; Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand; Hojbjerg, Romeu (Carrillo 45), Davis ©, Ward-Prowse, Tadic (Boufal 45), Long (Gabbiadini 79).
Subs not used: Forster (GK), Pied, Yoshida, Lemina.