Brighton booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round after substitute Glenn Murray scored a contentious winner in the first game a video assistant referee was used in a competitive match in English football.

Referee Andre Marriner did not see the need to refer to VAR as Murray steered the ball in from close range despite Palace’s calls for handball after Bakary Sako had cancelled out Dale Stephens’ first-half opener.

Yohan Cabaye led the protests at the full-time whistle with replays showing the ball may have brushed Murray’s arm after hitting his knee on its way into the net. Brighton progress to face Championship side Middlesbrough at the Riverside in the next round.

Brighton made eight changes to the side that drew with Bournemouth in their last Premier League outing, but they were forced into an early substitution as Izzy Brown jarred his knee in a challenge with Jeffrey Schlupp.

Schlupp was also forced off in an uneventful opening, but it was Chris Hughton’s side who deservedly took advantage of Palace’s lack of ambition going forward as captain Stephens fired the hosts ahead.

The former Charlton midfielder collected Ezequiel Schelotto pass on the right and glided beyond Cabaye before firing past Wayne Hennessey at his near post with no sign of a Palace challenge.

Palace, who were without Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke, had lacked an attacking threat, but Roy Hodgson brought on Sullay Kaikai for Andros Townsend at the interval to provide Sako with greater support.

The visitors were rewarded as Sako wriggled free from Davy Propper to fire an unstoppable shot in off the post with 21 minutes remaining. Brighton came close to regaining their lead as Sam Baldock struck the post from Solly March’s cross before Beram Kayal blazed over when well placed on the edge of the box.

It appeared as though both sides faced the prospect of an unwanted replay, but substitute Murray came on to sink his former club as he was on hand to guide Uwe Hunemeier’s header back across goal into the net.


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