Brighton boss Chris Hughton will consider appealing Jamie Murphy’s red card after the Sky Bet Championship leaders threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Bolton.
Murphy’s 75th-minute dismissal for a tackle on Wanderers’ opening goalscorer Neil Danns was doubly punished when Gary Madine headed the home side level in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.
“I thought we should have had 11 men on the pitch which allows us to apply pressure higher up the park,” said Hughton.
“My interpretation of dangerous play is maybe studs raised and catching somebody. But from what I have seen so far - and unless someone shows me a closer angle - he (Murphy) slipped and swept the lad’s feet away.
“We had a situation last week (against Wolves) when one of their players was sent off for what I saw was for the right reasons: studs showing and he caught (Liam) Rosenior on the shin or the ankle with feet off the ground.
“That was not anywhere near the case with Murphy. I would have been the first one to hold my hand up if I had seen studs up. But from my angle that’s not what I’ve seen.
“Now I’ve got to try and get as many angles of the incident as I can. My first impression is ‘yes, I would like to appeal.’ Once we have analysed it properly we need to make what we think is the right decision.”
Dale Stephens and Glaswegian Murphy’s first goal for the club since his move from Sheffield United put the Seagulls on the way to a sixth win of the campaign.
But Danns fired home just before the break and Madine finally netted his first goal for the club from a Liam Feeney cross.
“I thought we were the better side, though we made it tougher for ourselves by conceding the goal we did just before half-time,” added Hughton.
“But I genuinely felt we were going to hold out. I couldn’t see Bolton scoring, which makes it harder to take.”
Wanderers boss Neil Lennon said of Murphy’s dismissal: “Jamie is not that type of player. But it was a little bit late and a little bit high.”
However, Lennon was delighted Madine broke his duck to protect Bolton’s unbeaten Championship home record this season.
“I think we got what we deserved and Madine got what he deserved. He has been knocking at the door for weeks to get a goal and that is what he is capable of,” Lennon said.
“He got up brilliantly and planted a fantastic header. You could see what it meant to myself and the people in the stadium.
“We showed a bit of character, which is what we didn’t show (against Huddersfield) last week. We are a smidgeon away from being a good side at this level.
“The football, at times, is good but we just lack the quality final ball or finish which is the difference in games.”