A farcical refereeing incident and two missed penalties helped West Bromwich Albion secure a chaotic 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday that breathed life into its fight against relegation from the Premier League.
Leading 1-0 through Kyle Bartley’s 11th-minute header, West Brom had already seen Pascal Gross strike a penalty against the crossbar when Lewis Dunk appeared to equalize for the visitors through a quickly taken free-kick that was taken a split second after referee Lee Mason blew his whistle.
However, Mason blew for a second time just as the ball was crossing the line, having seen that West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was still lining up his defensive wall and wasn’t ready for the free-kick.
Mason initially awarded no goal, then reversed his decision. As chaos ensued with players from both teams surrounding the official Mason was advised by the VAR to view the incident on the pitchside monitor and, after a lengthy delay, again disallowed the goal.
Referee Lee Mason has overturned the goal because the whistle had been blown a second time before the ball had crossed the line, a Premier League statement read within minutes of the incident.
Brighton then conspired to miss another penalty in the second half, with substitute Danny Welbeck striking his effort against the post.
It was yet another scarcely believable loss for Brighton, which was beaten by Crystal Palace 2-1 on Monday despite allowing only two touches in its penalty area for the whole game.
It leaves Graham Potters team in the thick of the relegation battle, sitting in 16th place and only four points above the bottom three. Brighton also has played a game more than Fulham, which is in third-to-last place.
West Brom, which had just 30% possession and less than half the number of shots as Brighton in the game, somehow picked up only its third win of the season and moved the next-to-last team to within eight points of safety.