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Maupay’s acrobatics earn Brighton late reprieve as West Ham fluff their lines

WEST HAM 1-1 BRIGHTON: The Hammers looked set to continue their strong start to the campaign, but Maupay’s fantastic late finish earned Graham Potter’s side a share of the spoils at the London Stadium

Neal Maupay of Brighton & Hove Albion celebrates

Neal Maupay finally ended Brighton’s wretched run of form with a dramatic late equaliser.

The French forward powered in a close range effort to cap an incredible show of character after Graham Potter lost two players to injury in the first half and saw his side placed under sustained pressure.

In fact, for long periods in this contest, the Brighton boss was as frustrated as his fans with his men continuing their poor run in front of goal.

Tomas Soucek’s near-post header put West Ham in front from a corner after just five minutes.

Seagulls midfielder Jakob Moder should have equalized shortly before the break but allowed Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski to turn it into touch.

Still Potters’ men hung in there, despite being dominated by Moyes.

Neal Maupay’s late acrobatics earned Brighton a point
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Javier Garcia/REX/Shutterstock)

It was Pablo Fornals who had floated in the corner from which Soucek scored. Potter’s luck then appeared to go from bad to awful.

Jeremy Sarmiento went down injured under no challenge after 12 minutes and had to be replaced by Solly March.

Defender Adam Webster was also replaced, a victim of his troublesome calf, by Shane Duffy 10 minutes before the break.

Tomas Soucek of West Ham United celebrates after scoring their opener
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Getty Images)

So it was to Brighton’s immense credit that they were able to make a game of this. Fornals should have scored with his 27th-minute volley but smashed his effort against the crossbar.

And Jarrod Bowen was inches away from connecting with a 33rd-minute diving header.

But Brighton stuck at it with Lewis Dunk directing a header wide, six minutes before the break, after towering over the Hammers defence from a corner.

VAR Jarrod Gillett kept the game alive when he controversially ruled out what looked to be a legitimate own goal from Duffy, suggesting Michail Antonio was offside in a decision that looked neither clear nor obvious.

Then Bowen blew yet another chance to double West Ham’s lead when his 65th-minute, angled drive flew wide.

Adam Lallana should have made them pay three minutes later but spooned his shot wide with Fabianski beaten.

But still this game remained alive and when substitute Tariq Lamptey crossed from the right, Maupay pounced to send the away fans into raptures.

Sanchez pulled off an excellent, one-handed save from Declan Rice and followed up with stops from Antonio and Bowen. Left-back Marc Cucurella then cleared off the line from Kurt Zouma’s header to preserve the point.

After the night the Seagulls endured here in London, it was the least they deserved.

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