Brighton and Charlton made to pay the price for costly defeats
It wasn’t long ago that Brighton opened an eight-point lead in League One and talk of the division rivalling the Championship in terms of tightness across the board looked a touch premature, however events this weekend have left just four points separating the top four.
Brighton showed that their 4-0 away victory against FC United in an FA Cup second round replay on Wednesday didn’t mark the end of their dodgy patch by falling to a 2-1 defeat away to inconsistent title rivals Huddersfield (9/2) in a match that they had initially led.
It was only the Seagulls’ third league loss of the campaign and the expectation remains that they will recover from it, with Gus Poyet’s side still rated the 9/4 favourites to finish first.
Helping their cause was the fact that Charlton, who had the most to gain from their setback, squandered the chance to move to within a point of the top spot on Sunday, losing 1-0 at home to bottom club Walsall, ending an 11-match unbeaten run and causing their title odds to drift to 9/1.
Second favourites to win the league Southampton (7/2) – a status they assume despite sitting outside even the play-off places – suffered a shock defeat to Brentford at St Mary’s too so it was Sheffield Wednesday who were the biggest beneficiaries of all the upsets.
The Owls triumphed 6-2 over Bristol Rovers in Milan Mandaric’s first Hillsborough appearance as chairman as they climbed to second and within three points of Brighton. Alan Irvine’s men remain 6/1 outsiders though as they’ve played a game more than the table-toppers.
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