Brighton certainly seemed to have one eye on their summer holidays on Friday night.

Chris Hughton’s team nowhere near their best after winning automatic promotion on Monday.

The Brighton boss was back at Norwich City who sacked him back in April 2014 when the Canaries were five points clear of relegation, only to then pick up one point from their final five games and go down.

Whilst the Seagulls appeared to have their minds on other things, Norwich managed to win 2-0 despite not having a single shot on target!

PFA Championship goalkeeper of the year, David Stockdale, was credited with both goals, with two strikes by Alex Pritchard striking  bar and post respectively, then rebounding off the Brighton keeper and into the back of the net.

The 18th and 39th minute goals have meant that remarkably, if Newcastle win their next two games (see below) then when Brighton next play in eight days time (Sat 29 April) against Bristol City, their lead will be only one point at the top.

Whilst promotion is the only target for Newcastle this season, with the over the top criticism of Newcastle potentially ‘only’ finishing second, it would be amusing if the MAgpies ended up top.

Though there again, no doubt they would say it was Brighton throwing it away rather than Newcastle winning it.

The equation now is that for Newcastle to guarantee automatic promotion they need five points from their last three games – but if Huddersfield fail to beat Fulham on Saturday, Newcastle would go up automatically if they beat Preston on Monday.

For Newcastle to guarantee finishing ahead of Reading, the Magpies need three points from their final three games.

As for finishing top, Newcastle would need to at least win two and draw one, then have Brighton lose their final two games, or win all three and then Brighton would need to get no more than two draws in their last two games.

The Championship table after Brighton’s defeat on Friday night:



Saturday 22 April

Forest v Reading (3pm)

Huddersfield v Fulham (3pm)

Monday 24 April

Newcastle v Preston (7.45pm)

Tuesday 25 April

Wolves v Huddersfield (7.45pm)

Friday 28 April

Cardiff v Newcastle (7.45pm)

Saturday 29 April

Birmingham v Huddersfield (3pm)

Reading v Wigan (3pm)

Brighton v Bristol City (5.30pm)

Sunday 7 May

Aston Villa v Brighton (12 noon)

Burton v Reading (12 noon)

Huddersfield v Cardiff (12 noon)

Newcastle v Barnsley (12 noon)

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    It’s not quite a forgone conclusion… win against PNE & Cardiff then game on for championship title. Promotion would be good but big investment from Ashley would be unbelievable!

    • Jezza

      Unbelievable as in impossible to believe is correct. I certainly don’t believe there’ll be a big investment from Ashley or any investment for that matter.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        And you and Leazes would be spot on

    • Leazes Ender

      Ashley has never invested a penny into the club…. on the contrary…. the club has been allowed to spend what it earns …..minus the advertising revenue (circa £5m per annum)…. and that has been the case for ten years now.

      • Lord

        To be pedantic Mike’s initial purchase of the club was an investment in the club; it was his money and it’s giving him a return. It’s what he’s done since then is the dispiriting thing.

        Like him or not, he’s obviously a canny man so it continually strikes me as odd that he hasn’t done obvious things to make his investment grow more. There’s no good reason we shouldn’t be doing as well as Spurs right now if we’d had good stewardship over the last ten years and Mike’s ‘investment’ would have been worth a heck of a lot more.

        • Leazes Ender

          No…. he hasn’t invested into the club…

  • gallowgate26

    We’ve about as much chance of winning the title as I have of winning a bet. Nice to see Stockdale fall flat on his face after his recent comments though… “who’s bottled it now”

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      My bets are all down as well

  • Leazes Ender

    Do you really believe what you are writing Graham?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    the spin merchants are if full overdrive here & on the chron, promotion is the only target they report whilst only weeks ago the had us as good as crowned champions
    even if Brighton lost their remaining games our lot would blow it
    Fake News !

    • Wor Lass

      We`ll probably beat Preston and Cardiff, get everyone excited about winning the title then lose at home to Barnsley! Classic Toon!

  • Wor Lass

    Can`t disappoint the Moose – we will go up and that will be job done for Rafa. I said on another thread that in the disappointment of flagging performances we`ve forgotten what a mess we were in a year ago. Rafa has started to turn this club around and stage 1 is almost completed. Get us out of this league and decent players will come. My only concern is whether Rafa will be the one welcoming them. Peter Mandelson wrote that post for me!

  • Lord

    Bit of a wierd match but what must Norwich fans be thinking having beaten Brighton and thrashed Reading a few weeks back. They should have been fighting for an auto promotion spot.

    Shows how what a grind a Championship season is; Norwich never seemed to recover from that 4:3 game which seems an age ago now.

    On another note, I see there is the same gap between us and Brighton as there is between us and Huddersfield, albeit the games left make a difference. I wonder if Huddersfield fans are as dismissive of their chances catching us as we are on catching Brighton – their form isn’t much to write home about at the moment.

  • wowski13

    Slim chance but a chance. I’d like to go into the Barnsley game with something to play for. It’ll be a strange atmosphere otherwise.

  • Andy Mac

    Let’s face it we dont deserve to be Champions. Hoot’s team are just that, A team. We’re extremely hit and miss and lacking in belief. So let’s just go up and try to sort out the problems before next season begins ?