Brighton vs Crystal Palace: final score, score and report as Solly March gives the Seagulls a vital win

Solly March’s timely goal boosted Brighton’s bid for Europe as they beat derby rivals Crystal Palace 1-0 in the Premier League.

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.

It was also a double celebration for Brighton Chairman Tony Bloom after his horse Energumene won the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

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

They were forced to give teenage goalkeeper Joe Whitworth a pro debut as regular No. 1 Vicente Guaita and assistant Sam Johnstone were both injured.

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

The former Palace ball boy started nervously with an unconvincing header release outside the box but Brighton failed to punish him.

But Jason Steele was the busier goalkeeper in the early stages, despite Palace not scoring 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.

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.

Solly March put the game to bed

(PA wire)

Palace could have equalized before half-time but Andersen deflected Olise’s free-kick over and wide.

They could also have been down to 10 men after Cheick Doucoure, who was back from suspension and already had a booking, knocked down Moises Caicedo when he was about to break through but somehow escaped another yellow card.

Understandably, the Palace midfielder did not appear in the second half when Patrick Vieira sent on Eberechi Eze in his place.

The second half was postponed after a floodlight failure briefly plunged the stadium into darkness and referee Peter Bankes then stopped play, apparently because his headset was no longer working.

As play resumed, Whitworth underscored his potential with a stunning reaction save to parry Alexis Mac Allister’s header from a corner.

Mac Allister added nearly a second with a labyrinthine run and a shot that went just wide but in the end Brighton were held on to March’s goal for nine minutes in added time.

Seagulls manager Roberto De Zerbi believes the in-form winger deserves a call-up for England, so March’s seventh goal of the season was a useful reminder for Gareth Southgate, who names his new 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. Brighton vs Crystal Palace: final score, score and report as Solly March gives the Seagulls a vital win

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