Referee’s reception, Cucurella the fourth official, respectful ovation from the away fans - three things you might’ve missed from Brighton and Hove Albion v Norwich City

Brighton and Hove Albion and Norwich City both stopped the rot of six consecutive defeats as they took home a point each from the AMEX following a goalless draw.

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The two sides went into this fixture with zero points from a possible 36 between them but the away side will definitely feel better about the point rather than the hosts.

Age old troubles for Albion couldn’t be buried as the hosts fired 31 shots at Tim Krul’s goal but the former-Albion stopper was only pressed into two challenging stops despite the pressure.

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Joel Veltman’s point-blank header was incredibly kept out by Krul and Neal Maupay put his penalty into the travelling fans as Brighton yet again failed to score their first home goal since January.

Marc Cucurella in action against Norwich CityMarc Cucurella in action against Norwich City
Marc Cucurella in action against Norwich City

The action on the pitch had us gripped until the final whistle, but here are three things you might have missed:

Referee’s second-half reception

As the players made their way back onto the pitch after a goalless first half, both sides and sets of fans would’ve wanted to get play underway as quickly as possible.

But for those returning from the concourse following the half-time break, they’d be forgiven for being hit with confusion when seeing 22 players on the pitch set for the restart but no referee.

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Simon Hooper, who was officiating only his 12th Premier League game of his career, was then shown on the screens around the ground to be changing his communications box in the tunnel, with a failure halting the second-half.

After a couple of minutes the referee returned to a classically sarcastic reception of cheers and claps for his emergence from the tunnel.

In good taste Hooper raised his arms and clapped all four corners of the ground, even having a joke with a couple of the players who he’d kept waiting.

A refreshing sight to see a referee seeing the lighter side of things rather than a cold robotic reaction you see from other officials.

Cucurella plays fourth official

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Solly March had been heavily involved in Brighton’s attacking pressure, linking up with Marc Cucurella down the left as they pinned Sam Byram on numerous occasions.

However, it had been a fruitless afternoon for March who was unable to help Albion break the deadlock despite his involvement.

With the clock ticking down and Albion defending a free-kick, March’s number went up on the substitution board with Jakub Moder set to come on in the 83rd minute. The number 20 was seemingly the only person in the ground to not see the board go up.

As Cucurella turned to tell March what he must’ve thought was instructions on defending the set-piece, he was pointed round to the touchline by the Spaniard before suddenly realising it was him who was set to be withdrawn.

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March jogged down to the touchline to a good reception from the home fans who appreciated the effort he’d put in.

Norwich fans clap Moder

As March was withdrawn, Graham Potter sent on Polish midfielder Moder in his place.

The Pole is a popular figure amongst Brighton fans with his new song proving the level of admiration with the crowd singing his name before he even came on.

Unfortunately, only minutes after coming on, Moder was robbed in possession just inside the Albion half by Teemu Pukki, leaving the substitute in an awkward pile on the floor.

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After the Norwich attack finished play was stopped with Moder in obvious discomfort, he was comforted on the pitch by his teammates and was eventually taken off unable to walk after injuring his knee.

All three stands of the AMEX stood to applaud him off but as he was carried around the back of the goal in front of the away end, he was put on a stretcher with the travelling fans behind him also giving him a standing ovation in support.

Football fans can show a great deal of empathy for a potentially seriously injured player and it was brilliant to see the reception Moder got in front of the Norwich fans as everyone involved awaits the extend of the injury.

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