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Albion denied by late equaliser
Albion must try again against Hull City after a late equaliser denied them victory in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The Seagulls were on course for an upset thanks to Leonardo Ulloa’s third goal in as many games.
But Yannick Sagbo’s equaliser four minutes from time ensured it finished 1-1 at the Amex and the teams face a replay next Monday for the right to host Sunderland in the quarter-final.
Oscar Garcia made seven changes to the team that beat Leeds 1-0 a week earlier.
Among those to return to the starting line-up were Will Buckley, Kazenga LuaLua, Keith Andrews and Jake Forster-Caskey.
Ulloa retained his place up front after scoring matchwinners in his previous two appearances but Tomasz Kuszczak, Stephen Ward and Andrea Orlandi were rested while skipper Gordon Greer was on the bench.
Hull picked a strong team including Curtis Davies, Tom Huddleston and Jake Livermore, who were all expected to be rested with Premier League survival a priority.
The hosts made a bright start and threatened first on 18 minutes when Jake Forster-Caskey acrobatically hooked Inigo Calderon’s cross past the target.
Hull responded with Sagbo volleying against the crossbar from close range on 27 minutes and they seemed to be in the ascendancy when Albion went ahead on the half-hour mark.
Ulloa exchanged a classy one-two with Buckley before racing clear to beat Allan McGregor with a neat finish.
The lead was almost shortlived as Hull hit Albion’s crossbar for a second time on 32 minutes, Davies meeting Huddlestone’s corner with a powerful header, then Sagbo’s follow-up struck Matthew Upson and rebounded into the arms of a grateful Brezovan on the line.
Ulloa should have doubled the advantage in first-half stoppage time. Keith Andrews’ superb ball released Buckley down the right and his cross found Ulloa ghosting in only to put his header wide of the far post.
Buckley was replaced by Solly March at half-time, giving Albion an even more youthful look for the second half.
Hull probed a bit more at the start of the second half and Huddlestone’s driven free-kick into the danger area had to be cleared behind by Andrews.
The visitors made an adventurous double change midway through the second half, taking off a defender and throwing on an extra forward.
Moments later March burst from midfield and fired left-footed over the bar.
March then teed up Calderon who fired high over the crossbar.
Albion threatened a second on the break in the closing stages but Forster-Caskey did not have the legs to beat the last defender and moments later Hull were level.
There were four minutes left on the clock when Aluko crossed from the right and Sagbo produced a quality finish.
Hull almost snatched victory deep into stoppage time but Forster-Caskey cleared off the line from substitute David Meyler’s header.
Albion: Brezovan; Calderon, Dunk, Upson, Chicksen; Ince, Andrews, Forster-Caskey; Buckley (sub March 46), Ulloa (sub Obika 78), LuaLua (sub Rodriguez 90). Subs not used: Bruno, Greer, Lopez, Ankergren.
Hull: McGregor; Elmohamady, Davies, Faye (sub Boyd 66), Figueroa; Koren, Livermore (sub Meyler 82), Huddlestone, Quinn (sub Fryatt 66); Aluko, Sagbo. Subs not used: Bruce, Chester, Henderson, Harper.