Lee Mason meltdown heaps misery on wasteful Brighton

Lee Mason meltdown heaps misery on wasteful Brighton who failed to score against fellow relegation candidates West Brom despite having 15 shots and TWO penalties at the Hawthorns

  • Lee Mason was at the centre of attention in Brighton’s 1-0 loss at West Brom 
  • The referee ruled out Lewis Dunk’s quick free-kick as he blew his whistle twice
  • Mason ruled out the goal, then gave it, then chalked it off again in bizarre scenes
  • Graham Potter’s Brighton had 15 shots at West Brom and missed two penalties 

Three games, 66 shots, two missed penalties, one goal and one point. That’s all Brighton have to show for a wasteful last two weeks — and when they did find the net at the Hawthorns, referee Lee Mason said they hadn’t. Or maybe they had. And then they definitely hadn’t.

But Mason’s moment of madness, U-turning without caution or care on the half-hour mark as he tried to remember whether he had used his whistle before Lewis Dunk’s quick free-kick crossed the line, merely papered over the cracks in Brighton’s forward line.

Their failures in front of goal continued in farcical style, becoming the first team to hit the woodwork rather than the net from two penalties in the same Premier League game, thanks to Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck either side of half-time.

Referee Lee Mason was at the centre of attention during West Brom’s 1-0 win over Brighton

The official ruled out Lewis Dunk’s free-kick as he blew twice after the defender took it quickly

Brighton made their feelings known to the Premier League and PGMOL regarding Mason’s meltdown but his removal from fourth-official duties at Bramall Lane last night won’t turn any of their 15 shots here into a belated equaliser.

The referee standing down was likely an enforced change anyway, after he picked up an apparent leg injury in the final five minutes.

‘I see the guys every day, I see their quality, I know their quality,’ said Brighton boss Graham Potter. ‘It’s the hardest bit of the game, to put the ball in the net at this level. We have to keep believing in each other.’

Kyle Bartley’s (right) early goal gave Sam Allardyce’s struggling West Brom a major boost

It was a frustrating afternoon for Graham Potter and Brighton – who had 15 shots on goal

It is now five goals in the last nine league games and Potter can feel Fulham creeping closer. It doesn’t help that Brighton are handing out points to the teams around them, with only two wins against the bottom half this season. 

Crystal Palace were the beneficiaries last Monday and West Brom gleefully accepted a first win in eight thanks to Kyle Bartley’s early header. Special nights at Anfield and beating Tottenham will not save Brighton if this barren run continues.

‘You have to zoom out, put it into perspective,’ Potter added. ‘The competition can deliver highs, and can deliver massive lows.

Brighton missed two penalties – including one from Danny Welbeck (right) – at the Hawthorns

‘We’re suffering at the moment, we’ve had a hard week. But there’s enough character in the team, enough personality in the team, to take this tough week and use it as a positive, use it as a way to go forward. 

‘In the end, things will turn around for you.’

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