Brighton matchwinner Solly March: England’s call would be an honour

Solly March remains hopeful of an England call-up after his timely goal boosted Brighton’s bid for Europe as they beat derby rivals Crystal Palace 1-0.

March scored the winning goal in the 15th minute – on March 15 – to put the Seagulls level on points with sixth-placed Liverpool with a game in hand.

March’s seventh goal of the season was also a useful reminder for Gareth Southgate, who appoints his new England squad on Thursday.

The 28-year-old also scored in the draw at Leeds last week and if he gets the nod from Southgate it would truly be the month of March.

“Every England player wants to work towards playing for their national team,” March told BBC Sport.

“It would be an honor, but I have to keep doing what I’m doing and see what happens.”

The win also made for a double celebration for Brighton chairman Tony Bloom, who flew in by helicopter after seeing his horse Energumene win the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Manager Roberto De Zerbi said: “He won twice, right? He usually calls me the day after the game, but I’m really happy for him. I think he prefers football.”

The Italian added: “I’m very happy for the players, for the result, for the fans and for the table.

“We couldn’t finish the game and suffered in added time. But we are Brighton, not Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United or Liverpool. It is important for us to win in different ways.”

However, Palace’s problems are piling up after their winless league run stretched to 11 games.

They were forced to make a pro debut for teenage goalkeeper Joe Whitworth, with regular number one Vicente Guaita and assistant Sam Johnstone both injured.

Aged 19 years and 15 days, he became the youngest goalkeeper to appear in a Premier League game since Ben Alnwick played for Sunderland in December 2005.

Whitworth got his first decent touch of the ball when he saved Kaoru Mitoma’s long-range shot.

But he was beaten moments later when Mitoma March sent a clean through to find the net with a composed finish.

Eagles boss Patrick Vieira said: “Joe has the confidence and the calm. He has shown a lot of good.

“It’s even more special because he came through the academy.”

Jason Steele was the busier goalkeeper in the early stages, although Palace haven’t had a shot on target in their last three games.

At least Wilfried Zaha made amends for this mistake early on when he tested Steele with an oblique drive.

Steele saved with his knee after Joachim Andersen’s through ball split the Brighton defense and sent Michael Olise on target before smashing Odsonne Edouard’s drive away.

“Of course you worry when you create chances but don’t take them,” added Vieira.

“Our front players have to rethink. We have to be more aggressive going forward.” Brighton matchwinner Solly March: England’s call would be an honour

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