Match Of The Week: Bournemouth 1-3 Southampton

At some imperceptible point, somewhere between January and March, the football season switches its rhythm. No longer can one look at the league table, work out the gap between your team and the automatic promotion places, and blithely say, “We can make that gap up”. Every match matters, even though three points won in April are, in the overall scheme of things, worth no more than those won in August. Matches between two teams near the top or bottom of the table become “six pointers”, in which a single win or loss can suddenly make the difference between a promotion race that will go to the wire or an insurmountable gap being opened up. In League One, Brighton & Hove Albion have stumbled upon that most happy of coincidences – they’re playing well and riding their luck. Last Saturday, a last minute winner netted them two extra points fromĀ  a knockabout match against Carlisle United. On Tuesday night, an own goal goal them all three points from a trip to Brentford. If they may now be considered a shoo-in for promotion at the end of the season (and something particularly horrid would have to happen to them now for them to lose the eight point gap – with two games in hand – that they have built up so far this season), attention now turns to the second automatic...

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