Chris Hughton’s Brighton & Hove Albion are on course to earn promotion to the Premier League as they continue to tot up win after win, causing head-aches for Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United.
The Seagulls’ impressive form in the Championship has been built on a solid defensive foundation, with the pairing of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy frustrating strikers across England. The Brighton defence has conceded the least amount of goals in the division and they kept yet another clean sheet on Saturday against Jaap Stam’s play-off hopefuls Reading.
READ MORE: O’Neill rules out Leicester City return
Republic of Ireland international Duffy was instrumental in ensuring David Stockdale’s goal was not breached, making a crucial intervention to clear a certain goal off the line early in the second half.
The former Everton and Blackburn Rovers stopper recovered well from a slip in midfield to get back in time to preserve the integrity of his side’s narrow lead with an important clearance.
“It’s a pivotal moment because if they had of got that one, they’d have been back in the game and wouldn’t have needed to keep pushing,” Hughton told the club’s official website about Duffy’s intervention.
“Them pushing to get back into the game allowed us to get the second and third goals, so it was certainly a very important moment.”
Get in there lads great result tonight ! One game at a time now on to another big one Tuesday, fantastic support once again @OfficialBHAFC
— Shane Duffy (@ShaneDuffy34) February 25, 2017
Brighton went on to beat Stam’s men 3-0 at the Amex, with Duffy’s compatriot Paul McShane suffering a nightmare evening.
Duffy broke into the Ireland team prior to Euro 2016, featuring at the tournament, and he will be keen to add to his caps tally when the Boys in Green face Gareth Bale’s Wales in March.
Watch Duffy’s clearance in the highlights video above (from 1 min 17 seconds).