- Albion secure their first away win of the season
- Beram Kayal scores the decisive goal
- Glenn Murray stretchered off after 15 minutes
- The Seagulls are back in action at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers next Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion claimed their first away win of the season after a grinding out a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Beram Kayal’s close-range strike was enough to give the Seagulls three crucial points and secure a first league victory on the road in almost a year, but it wasn’t all good news, with Glenn Murray stretchered off early in the game following a clash of heads with Federico Fernandez.
Thankfully it was later confirmed that the striker's injury wasn't serious, after he was taken for a precautionary scan at Newcastle Hospital.
Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that beat West Ham United before the international break, as Dale Stephens replaced the injured Davy Propper, while Jose Izquierdo came in for Anthony Knockaert.
Newcastle had a golden opportunity to take the lead inside the opening five minutes after Ayoze Perez took advantage of a defensive lapse in concentration and Maty Ryan made a fine one-handed save.
Murray then went down with 15 minutes played following a clash with Fernandez, before being stretchered off and replaced by Jurgen Locadia.
The Seagulls frontman received a warm round of applause from all sections of St James’ Park.
Locadia made his first contribution of the game when he flicked the ball on and drove into space, only to see his resulting effort go wide of Martin Dubravka’s near post.
But the deadlock was broken in Albion’s favour just shy of the half-hour mark when Jose Izquierdo latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the box and saw his shot turned home by Kayal.
The Colombian wheeled away in celebration, but the final decisive touch appeared to come from Kayal.
The hosts responded with two golden chances of their own, as Matt Ritchie headed wide from close range, before Yoshinori Muto did the same after Jonjo Shelvey’s initial effort was saved by Ryan.
The Seagulls went in at the break a goal to the good, but more importantly, news filtered through that Murray was awake in hospital after being taken in for a precautionary scan.
Newcastle began the second half in the ascendancy and Shelvey tested Ryan from distance within two minutes of the re-start, which the Australian palmed away with a fine save.
Lewis Dunk was called into action moments later to make a fine block inside the area from Perez’s strike.
Solly March had Albion’s first chance following the re-start as he took aim with his left foot, only to see his curling shot go over the bar.
Newcastle still had the majority of possession though, with Ritchie a constant threat, as he sent a close-range attempt over the bar.
Kenedy was next to come close with two attempts, the second of which was a back-heeled attempt that sailed over the target.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh had a chance to punish the hosts for their missed opportunities when he took advantage of a Newcastle defensive error, but his resulting strike drifted harmlessly wide.
Shelvey then went close in the final quarter of an hour, but his deflected free kick was brilliantly kept out by Mat Ryan.
Yves Bissouma slid a chance just wide on the break in the dying moments of the contest, but the Seagulls held on for three crucial points.
ALBION: Ryan; Bruno (Bernardo 68), Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Izquierdo (Bissouma 80), Stephens, Kayal, March; Jahanbakhsh; Murray (Locadia 15).
SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Balogun, Knockaert, Andone.