John Mousinho was pleased with Portsmouth’s 1-1 draw at Bolton despite the leaders’ bid for promotion and the Sky Bet League One title put on hold.

Abu Kamara’s seventh-minute goal put the visitors in front, but Aaron Collins’ fifth goal in three games after 36 minutes ensured Pompey need a point against Barnsley at Fratton Park on Tuesday to reach the Championship.

“It keeps Bolton at arm’s length which was an important thing for us to do,” said manager Mousinho.

“We came here for the win and during the game we made substitutions to try and win it. I think though on balance, Bolton probably deserved to win it.

“I was displeased how we reacted to going a goal up. I thought we were poor.

“We made some poor decisions, slashed at a few clearances and didn’t do enough to track runners.

“It took Bolton equalising for us to click back into gear and decide we wanted to play and be more recognisable.

“We regrouped at half-time and it was a much better performance in the second half. Hopefully, now we can get the job done on Tuesday.

“There was talk in the week whether it was better to go and do it at Fratton. But we were desperate to try and get the job done here.

“Obviously we couldn’t, but going back to Fratton with the opportunity to do it in front of the long-suffering home fans and needing a point will be a fantastic occasion.”

Bolton have three games remaining, but need a slip up by Derby in order to gain automatic promotion.

Collins’ header from Nat Ogbeta’s cross after 36 minutes was his seventh since joining the club.

The Trotters could easily have become only the fifth side to beat Portsmouth this season.

Instead, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson missed an easy second-half chance, while substitute Dion Charles hit the post late on.

“It is frustrating but it hard to be too critical of the players,” said manager Ian Evatt.

“Portsmouth are top of the league for a reason and bar the first seven to 10 minutes where we conceded a poor goal in transition to their most dangerous player, I thought we dominated.

“We had opportunities to win, missed a couple of big opportunities and had 19 shots to their five.

“When you watch a game you get a feel for who is the most dominant team and then the data backs it up. That was the case.

“It was a good performance and we deserved more. Now we have to pick everyone up because we haven’t lost it.

“There can be turns left, right and centre. So, the most important for us is to win the game on Tuesday (at home to Shrewsbury) and get it back to a point (on Derby).

“But we have to pick the players up because they are disappointed. They know we should have won the game. But now is not the time to be feeling sorry for ourselves.”

Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl was disappointed with his side’s failure to win after taking the lead as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Stoke.

Liam Palmer gave the home side a 68th-minute lead before substitute Luke Cundle equalised in the 76th minute.

Rohl said: “I think today is hard to take. We dominate the whole game with so many chances. I think after 10 minutes we have to lead two or three-nil.

“At the moment a draw is not helpful for us, so it’s hard to take today. But then next week we have to go again. I have to lift my players. The good thing is it’s just one point behind.

“It’s football. I think we showed a good performance but all in all it’s about results and even at home at the moment we have just three draws and in our situation it’s not enough to make the step. Now we can try in three more games, nine points to take and this will be what we will try.

“I don’t know what Stoke thought about the game. I think they know how strong we are at home, they know how we play. We were on the front foot, we created a lot of chances. And then they have the momentum and they use one more chance.

“But now we have two ways. We can be disappointed and take it to the next week, to the next game. Or we say, no, we do it again, we lift us and we try it again and this is what we have to do.

“I know today it’s hard to say, but this is what I will do.”

Stoke boss Steven Schumacher believes the point gained by his team could be vital.

He said: “We planned to come under the cosh. Obviously we didn’t want to be under as much pressure as we were, but credit to them. They started the game really well.

“The crowd was behind them, they had loads of crosses into the box, loads of corners and we’ve defended them really well. We’ve needed the goalkeeper. Daniel (Iversen) made a brilliant save, they hit the bar as well in that spell but we got through it and got stronger as the half went on.

“At half-time we spoke about just trying to close the distances a little bit better and try and get them under a bit more pressure, which I felt we did.

“And then we fell behind, we showed brilliant character again, changed the shape and got our fresh legs into the game when there was a bit more space and fully deserved to get something from the game. It could be a massive point.”

Glasgow could step in with a scaled-back offering should no other host be found for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
 
Last week, Singapore joined Malaysia in ruling out a bid, after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew as host in July because of rising costs.
 
Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) say their proposal would involve "no significant ask of public funds".
 
It would include a core programme of 10 to 13 sports - down from 20 at Birmingham 2022. The last resort plan would "utilise existing venues and accommodation options" in Glasgow, where the Games were held in 2014.
 
This week the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said it was "considering multiple proposals" amid continued uncertainty over the event's long-term future.
 
"Our priority is to ensure a Games takes place in 2026 and we are encouraged by the news that the CGF are in advanced discussions with other nations. However, if an alternative solution cannot be secured within the coming weeks, we are ready to explore our concept with the CGF and key partners in greater detail, with the aim of delivering a world class-sporting event in Scotland using a model that could be replicated across the Commonwealth for future editions," CGS said.
 
"A feasibility study was commissioned in December 2023 to assess Scotland's viability as a cost-effective alternative host, following the CGF's decision to make available £100m to host nations for a 2026 Games as part of the Victoria settlement agreement.
 
"We are satisfied that the concept developed could see a refreshed format for the Games, that would see it be delivered on time and on budget, providing significant benefit to the Scottish economy and a potential blueprint for a sustainable Games model of the future," it added.
 
CGS also pointed out that additional funding for the estimated £130-150m budget would come from commercial income, including ticketing, sponsorship and broadcasting.
 
A final decision from the CGF is expected by the end of May.

Michael Skubala admitted his play-off chasing Lincoln side were “distraught” after losing 2-1 to Wigan.

The Imps had three goals disallowed as their impressive 16-game unbeaten run, which stretched back to New Year’s Day, was ended by Latics at Sincil Bank.

Jonny Smith opened the scoring before Daniel Mandroiu levelled the scoring.

But Charlie Hughes’ stoppage-time strike was a dagger into Imps’ hearts in their play-off chase.

They are now five points behind Oxford ahead of a massive clash at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night.

“We’re gutted,” said Skubala. “We’re gutted because we know we wanted to keep trying to win.

“We wanted to throw everything at them. We started really slowly. We got into the ascendancy but we couldn’t get that second goal.

“These lads give everything. There’s nothing prouder than this run. We’re creaking a little bit because we haven’t got the numbers really.

“We had somebody come and give us the Peterborough score, so we decided to give it everything. We were happy to risk it to try and get another goal.

“We’ve been hurt because we’re trying to risk it to try and win the game.

“We’re gutted. The lads are distraught, but there are nine points to play for so we’ll go to Oxford and give it everything.

“We didn’t start like ourselves. We were nervous, we were tentative. Last 20 minutes we were ourselves and aggressive.

“It was the first time I’ve seen some nerves in the group. But it’s new to us. It’s understandable.”

Latics secured a first win in five to throw a spanner in the works of Lincoln’s play-off bid, and boss Shaun Maloney said: “It was a brilliant performance, in different ways as well.

“The first 30 minutes was as high a level as we’ve shown in a game this season.

“The first goal that we scored was top class. When you watch that first goal and the talent in that move it was a real joy to watch.

“I’m trying to build this team back up. I’ve been really honest with the team. The level did drop at Blackpool, but after that we’ve been top class.

“When we had to put bodies on the line, they did it. They went to the death and there were a few players really having to dig deep there at the end.

“The first goal was started by Charlie and was an amazing start of play and with any sort of strike he’s so clean when he hits the ball.

“I really challenged the players. With the season, we’ve achieved what we will achieve, but you still want to win, so I’m really pleased.”

Boss David Wagner warned Norwich cannot let up in their bid for a Championship play-off place despite moving six points clear with a late 1-0 win at Preston.

Gabriel Sara struck in the 86th minute to bag a crucial victory for the Canaries against their promotion rivals on a day where fellow contenders Coventry and Middlesbrough also dropped points.

Seventh-placed Hull have a game in hand on Norwich but Wagner’s side are in pole position to secure that final spot after an excellent performance at Deepdale.

A goalkeeper masterclass from Freddie Woodman prevented Norwich from striking earlier – he made four excellent first-half saves – but Sara’s fifth goal in seven matches broke the deadlock.

“We’re a step closer [securing a play-off place] but it isn’t done,” Wagner said.

“We have some further work to do but seven points from our last three games – and three top performances – is fantastic.

“We’re all a bit exhausted but we have a couple of days off now and we can’t wait to get back to Carrow Road against Bristol City.”

In a game packed with chances, Woodman kept Preston in it. He first saved from Borja Sainz before denying Ashley Barnes from close range.

Sara went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock but again Woodman did well to collect a fizzing 25-yard volley while he then stopped Sara in first-half stoppage time.

Preston had plenty of chances of their own, with Norwich stopper Angus Gunn thwarting Jordan Storey from close range.

“We deserved the win, performance-wise we looked very mature, very calm and very composed,” Wagner added.

“Unfortunately we had to wait quite a long time [to win it] but I have the feeling we deserved the goal.

“It was important to keep cool heads and to keep the crowd on a low. How the players executed the plan was just great.

“Unfortunately we didn’t use our opportunities [in the game], even though there were not a lot of them.

“But I thought we were always in control, even though some of our final passes and final touches could have been a bit better.

“We defended super, super well. We gave them more or less nothing apart from set-pieces.

“We knew they would be a threat on set-pieces but the players were competitive and it was a top performance.

“I’m over the moon about the result and the clean sheet as well. In possession we were composed even though we didn’t execute clearcut chances but we always looked in control.”

Preston dropped to 10th and are now eight points off sixth place, although they have four games left.

“It’s mixed emotions, really,” said manager Ryan Lowe.

“Disappointed with the result, pleased and proud of the boys for everything they have given all season.

“We have fallen a little bit short. It hasn’t been for the lack of trying, effort, desire or commitment – everything I like was definitely there.

“It is that final bit, in both boxes, isn’t it? But, as I say, I am always proud of the boys.

“I thought we were the better team really, if I am being honest – especially first half, we had some good moments.

“In the second half they had the ball a bit more; we were ready to pounce and go.”

Willie Mullins said it was “game on” in his pursuit of a first British trainers’ championship as I Am Maximus provided him with a second Randox Grand National victory.

While it has taken 19 years for him to follow up his initial success with Hedgehunter, his domination of the National Hunt scene on both sides of the Irish Sea is now such that he is odds-on across the board to win a title in a country in which he does not even reside.

The prospect of emulating the legendary Vincent O’Brien – who did it in successive years in the 1950s – has loomed large ever since Mullins once again commanded the Cheltenham Festival, winning the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup in the process.

Mullins himself, though, played down the prospect, with one proviso – unless he won the £1 million National.

I Am Maximus was sent off the 7-1 favourite under Paul Townend, one of eight runners for the yard, and despite one or two hairy moments that are generally par for the course in a Grand National, he seldom looked like not winning.

With a lead of almost £40,000 over Dan Skelton, Paddy Power make Mullins the 8-15 favourite, and British racegoers certainly have not seen the last of the man from Closutton this season.

“I didn’t know we’d gone in front. You can expect to see us at Sandown, Ayr and wherever!” he said.

“We’ll have to go for it now. We needed to have a really good National and we have. It’s game on now, isn’t it.

“I’d love to win the championship. Vincent O’Brien has done it in the 1950s and it is something different to do.

“As much as I’d like to win it my owners would like me to win it and so would my staff, so now we’re in this position you have to have a real go.

“JP McManus (owner of I Am Maximus) has been telling me for the past couple of years to have a real go, but I always think just mind yourself at home rather than spread yourself too thin and leave yourself wide open to have a bad season at home.

“Travelling horses takes it out of them, especially early in the season, which is why we don’t do it, but it’s panned out well today.”

Mullins himself is taken aback by the quantity of the quality in his yard. But even for him, winning the Champion Hurdle, Gold Cup and the National is something special.

“You might have the favourites for all those races, but you don’t for one minute think you are going to win all three,” he said.

“We can’t believe it at home. We’re gobsmacked looking at the talent we have in the yard. When I was a smaller trainer I’d be proud to have one of the barns that we have.

“I have an amazing team, I don’t think I saddled a runner at Cheltenham, I let them do it and it probably works better when I’m not involved.

“If someone had said we’d have 100 winners at the Festival you wouldn’t have thought it was possible, so we’re as amazed as anyone that it happened.”

So it could be a very different end to the season for Mullins, with Sandown and Ayr occupying his thoughts rather than Punchestown, but Townend may not be on many of them.

“We have a different programme nowadays to when Vincent won it. I find the English programme very hard to navigate, it seems to be a lot of handicaps and that is tough on horses,” Mullins said.

“I’ll let David Casey (assistant), who plans those things, get to work on it. He’ll be working overtime over the next two or three weeks!

“Paul has a title of his own to try to win so I’m not sure if he’ll be coming over, he’s got four winners to make up on Jack Kennedy.”

Emma Raducanu produced another dazzling comeback win to help Great Britain qualify for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in stunning fashion with a 3-1 win over France.

Anne Keothavong’s team were big underdogs ahead of the qualifier on clay in Le Portel and had lost to the same opponents in Coventry last year, but entered day two level at 1-1 after Raducanu’s impressive three-set victory over Caroline Garcia on Friday.

Katie Boulter put her day one disappointment behind her to produce an excellent 7-5 6-0 win over world number 44 Clara Burel for a career-best victory on clay.

It opened the door for former US Open champion Raducanu to send Britain through to the Finals later this year in Seville, but she was pushed all the way by Diane Parry in a pulsating contest that lasted two hours and 52 minutes.

Parry won the first set but Raducanu, back in the team for the first time in two years following an injury-hit 2023, fought back to clinch a tremendous 4-6 6-1 7-6 (1) victory that not only sends her country through to the November Finals, but serves notice to her rivals ahead of the clay-court season.

“To be able to put two matches like that back-to-back, three sets and on clay against really tough opponents, it’s just a testament to the work we’ve been doing,” Raducanu told the BBC.

“I knew it would pay off eventually, so I’m very pleased that this weekend it was able to show.

“On Thursday before the tie, we said how tough this would be but honestly I had a good feeling about the confidence of our team.

“We have a very strong team and I am really pleased to have been able to score two points, but it helped so much having Boults this morning lead us to go 2-1 up.

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“And obviously everyone on the bench and the support staff, they’ve been working around the clock to keep us fit and get us back on court because we finished pretty late last night.

“So, it’s a massive shout out. It’s not just me and Boults, it was everyone.”

Port Vale manager Darren Moore has urged his relegation-threatened side to put their disappointment of surrendering a two-goal lead against Exeter into their next outing.

Ethan Chislett and Baylee Dipepa both got their names on the scoresheet to put the Valiants firmly in charge at half-time, but two goals for Millenic Alli and one each for Zak Jules and Luke Harris earned the Grecians a 4-2 victory.

Moore was appointed Vale manager in February with the aim of beating the drop from League One, but his team are now three points from safety with just three games remaining – starting with the visit of Wycombe on Tuesday.

“It’s about putting all that energy and anger into Tuesday,” he said.

“I think that’s the only way really because ultimately coming against and fighting against each other, that’s not the way.

“It’s a case of sticking together and making sure that we take an opportunity to put the wrongs of the second half – and I only talk about the last 40 minutes here – right on Tuesday.”

Vale’s final two fixtures see them travel to Bolton before playing host to Cambridge on the last day of the season.

“We have to keep going because just when we think that we’ve figured this game out and this industry out, it can just turn its head,” Moore said.

“And that’s the thing, when we all surmise how things are going to go, football has a knack of turning things on its head, which you saw today from the first half to the second half.

“It’s just a crazy game that we work in but, again, we have to apply ourselves really because we know what we have to do on Tuesday.”

Exeter remain in 12th place, on 58 points, despite extending their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Manager Gary Caldwell was delighted with the character shown by his side to turn the game round after the break.

“The less said about the first half, the better,” the Scot said.
“The second half was probably one of our best performances of the season, the way we understood how to win the game. And there was no change, we didn’t change anything tactically.

“We obviously made a couple of personnel changes and made more throughout the second half, and I thought all the finishers were outstanding.

“But second half, the way we attacked – the speed, the physicality – we could have scored more goals. I thought we were outstanding.”

Exeter last suffered defeat in early March and Caldwell was full of praise for his team’s form since then, winning five and drawing three.

“We’ve had options from the bench so when things aren’t quite going to plan, we have people who are ready and able to come on and make an impact on the game,” he said.

“In the first half of the season we didn’t have that often enough for a number of different reasons, but in the second half of the season we have.”

Carlos Corberan was left to rue West Brom striker Brandon Thomas-Asante’s failure to manage the situation after he was handed two quick-fire yellow cards in the first half of his side’s 1-0 defeat to Sunderland at The Hawthorns.

West Brom were reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute when Thomas-Asante was booked twice in quick succession for fouls on Jack Clarke and Dan Ballard – the latter whose every touch was booed by the home fans after his challenge in the reverse fixture had ruled Josh Maja out for four months.

Albion’s situation worsened further in first half stoppage time when Pierre Ekwah struck the only goal and inflicted a first defeat in 11 matches on the hosts, who are still seeking to confirm their place in the Championship play-offs.

The Baggies were marginally the better side heading towards half-time and with the game goalless, but a dramatic few minutes saw them lose their striker and fall behind.

“The second yellow card had a massive impact. You can have desire, but when you have a yellow card, you need to increase the calm,” Corberan said.

“To concede from a set-piece after losing a player is painful.

“If the referee understood it to be a yellow card, it has been our mistake to achieve two yellow cards. It’s a lesson for Brandon and it’s a lesson for us.

“We haven’t had the experience to play with a player less since I arrived. I know for some teams how much of a disadvantage it can be.

“For me it was unfair that in the first game, they injured Maja. It was a terrible action. It was unbelievable. The player (Ballard) who scored that day injured a player and the referee didn’t send him off or give him a yellow card.

“It was ridiculous – not just because it was against us, I am talking about football. If somebody today breaks their limits with two actions, they’re two yellow cards. When you have a yellow card, you must control yourself.”

Sunderland interim manager Mike Dodds, who guided the Black Cats to only their second victory in 12 with this win, was pleased with Ballard’s application in a testing atmosphere.

The centre-half enjoyed conducting the celebrations with the travelling supporters at the final whistle.

“It can work that way,” Dodds replied, when asked whether the boos could act as a performance stimulus.

“When you have a group like ours, and the opposition fans want to give some stick, they’ll stick up for each other. It brings the group closer together, but Dan is a big boy. He’s an international, he’s a Premier League player in waiting for me. He can take it.

“I was a bit surprised. I am always respectful to the fans, but the first boo did take me by surprise.

“He’s a great kid, Dan. West Brom fans target him, that’s fine, it’s a part of the game. Dan showed today he can handle that side of the game, but I didn’t need today as confirmation.”

Derek McInnes was thrilled after his Kilmarnock side edged closer to securing European football with a confident victory over St Johnstone.

Killie deservedly took the lead midway through the first half when Joe Wright turned home Liam Polworth’s pin-point delivery – and the visitors were denied on multiple occasions to extend their advantage by the heroics of Dimitar Mitov.

The game was settled with nine minutes remaining after Marley Watkins tapped home his 13th goal of the season.

Kilmarnock have extended their advantage in fourth place to eight points, with just five games remaining.

“I thought first half we were very good,” McInnes said.

“Coming away from home, we tried to impose ourselves. We spoke throughout the week about the importance of matching their motivation.

“We knew we were up against a team with so much riding on the game, we had to match that and a bit more.

“I was bemoaning the fact we didn’t get that second goal, which we maybe merited for our first half dominance as an away team – to have that control was really pleasing.

“We never got started in first 20 minutes of the second half but thankfully we got the second.

“It’s not easy winning games in this league, especially away from home – we did a lot right and credit to our players.”

Despite moving one step closer to returning to Europe for the first time since 2019, the Rugby Park boss insists there is still work to do.

Kilmarnock have lost just one of their 11 Premiership encounters since returning from the winter break in January.

He added: “There’s still work to be done and hopefully a few more special days to have.”

Craig Levein felt his team failed to hit the heights of recent performance during a lacklustre showing.

Saints were unable to build on their excellent victory against Hibernian at Easter Road as they slumped to defeat at McDiarmid Park.

St Johnstone remain 10th in the table and look set for a battle to avoid the play-off position in their post-split fixtures.

“The rollercoaster is back in operation. It was a hell of a frustrating afternoon,” Levein said.

“After the last two games I’ve been talking fairly confidently about continuing at that level.

“We didn’t play with the confidence I thought we should’ve done because of our previous performances.

“Individually we didn’t have that many players who played anywhere near their best.

“Kilmarnock didn’t batter us by any stretch of the imagination and we had some good chances.”

Head coach Martin Paterson praised Burton’s character after a 2-1 victory against Stevenage moved his team three points clear of the League One relegation zone.

Mark Helm and Tom Hamer scored either side of the break while Stevenage were forced to play with 10 men for 30 minutes after Dan Butler lashed out at Helm.

Kane Hemmings scored with two minutes left but ultimately the Brewers managed to put an end to their 10-game winless run and gain a slight advantage over 21st-placed Port Vale with a valiant victory.

Paterson said: “I am so pleased with the group because of the effort. It took humility and hard work and when the chances came from the back of that framework the freedom came.

“We have got character and we have been pushing really hard for a performance like that. We have been through a bit of a dip and we always knew we had the character to get out of that.

“There have been so many opportunities and heartbreaks along this road in terms of games but most importantly now we have put a small marker down is the players recover and live right.

“As a group we have been working on a lot of things to promote things in terms of confidence and awareness of taking a little bit more time.

“But that is what happens when you are in there and you are fighting every week for status. I don’t necessarily care about the name on the back, it is about working as a collective and we have to be unified now.”

As much as it was a galvanising victory for Burton, for Stevenage they have now seen any chance of promotion almost slip from their grasp as they sit six points away from the play-off spots with two games left.

Manager Steve Evans said: “It has been an incredible effort and we have come up a bit short over the season but we will try to go to Oxford and be competitive.

“I think a lot of people would take fifth from bottom, where the likes of Burton are, but it has been an incredible amount of hard work.

“I can only applaud them, I can’t do that today because we lacked a lot. But I am not a manager to throw them in the river because there has been some really bright days.

“We are asking a lot of the players to play at the highest they have played and there hasn’t been a game since I have been here that has not had something resting on it, including today.

“We have gone to the well but found it a bit dry over the past few weeks.”

Burnley assistant manager Craig Bellamy refused to pin any blame on Aro Muric after a horrible mistake from the goalkeeper cost the relegation-battling Clarets in a 1-1 Premier League draw with Brighton.

Five minutes after Josh Brownhill’s opportunistic goal had given Burnley a late lead, Muric let a routine back pass from Sander Berge slip under his foot and in.

Muric has spent most of this season on the bench after Vincent Kompany signed James Trafford in the summer, but the Kosovan, a key part of Burnley’s promotion-winning side last term, dislodged the England Under-21 keeper in March, coinciding with an improvement in Burnley’s form.

And Bellamy, taking the place of Kompany who was serving a touchline ban, said the team had to take responsibility for the mistake because of the way they choose to play out from the back.

“It’s us,” Bellamy said. “It’s not his mistake, it’s our mistake. Do we call it a mistake? I don’t know. It’s how we play. It ain’t going to change. He’s scored goals for us, doing what he does. It’s one of those, it’s not an issue.

“It’s how we play football. It might not please everyone. We’re not here to please everyone, but we believe in this way of football. It might be naive, I don’t know.

“I have a three-year-old girl who still believes in rainbows and unicorns. That might be me. I honestly believe we’re going to get out of this situation, I believe we’re going to stay up. Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I’m the one believing in rainbows and unicorns and it’s actually got to my head.

“But at the same time, I’ve no issue with it. Aro is top. Get the ball again, look for the pass again. You see the save he makes in the last minute. Top. That to me is a goalkeeper. We all make mistakes, it’s how you respond from it. So I’ve got nothing but praise for him, even more.”

Burnley’s goal also came from a back pass, with Carlos Baleba under-hitting a ball to Bart Verbruggen and Brownhill racing after it, with the keeper’s clearance rebounding off him and into the net.

But the bigger frustration was with the chances Burnley missed earlier in the game, with opportunities for Jacob Bruun Larsen and David Fofana going begging – moments that would cost them by the end.

“We played well, especially in the first half,” Bellamy said. “We had good opportunities and should have scored. Coming in from the first half we were a little bit disappointed we weren’t 1-0 or 2-0 up, but that can be football.”

While Burnley rued two lost points, it was yet another draw for injury-hit Brighton – their 11th of the campaign, more than any other side.

Roberto De Zerbi began with the day without nine players through injury and lost Pervis Estupinan only 13 minutes in, leaving the manager to admit their hopes of returning to Europe next season are in peril as they sit 10th in the table.

“It was a fair result,” the Italian said. “For me, we didn’t deserve to win the game, but I think we didn’t deserve to lose the game. We suffered especially in the first 20 minutes, we suffered badly, but after that time, in the last 70 minutes we played a good game but not a great game.

“We are not in the right condition to play great games. In these moments we are suffering, we are spending tough moments, but we have to fight how we did, with pride, with our qualities.

“It is a tough moment, we have a lot of injuries. We are too many points from the high positions to reach our European target. I don’t know. Maybe it can happen.”

Southampton boss Russell Martin was left frustrated about his side’s “nonsense” performance despite a dramatic last-gasp 3-2 victory over Watford.

Leicester and Leeds lost this weekend, while Ipswich dropped points to give Saints renewed hope of an automatic promotion spot and an immediate return to the Premier League.

They needed a stoppage-time winner from Flynn Downes to beat the Hornets after throwing away a two-goal lead.

And Martin said: “It’s a good day for us in the end with the results elsewhere as well, but we can only focus on ourselves and I’m pleased we got over the line.

“I’m frustrated with how long it took and what it took, but I’m really pleased we won. We played some brilliant football with plenty of running and energy.

“The feeling at the end is amazing, but it just shouldn’t be that. Watford were good, and they’re playing with freedom and they’re running so hard for Tom.

“We have five games now where we just can’t afford to play like that. Unfortunately for us, we’re not in the top two and having a nice time. We’re fighting and chasing for everything we have.

“I’m frustrated about some of it but really pleased with some of it. I’m delighted with the character and the grit and the willingness to win.

“You can’t concede two goals again at home after being two up – we have to stop that nonsense.

“I’ve never stopped believing in the group of players that we have. I think they’ve shown they believe so much in what they’re doing with the late winner today and the fight.”

Saints were in cruise control after Will Smallbone had headed in their fastest goal of the season after 57 seconds and Che Adams had doubled the lead by tapping in David Brooks’ cross.

Ryan Porteous pulled one back for the Hornets before the break before they thought they had earned a fifth straight draw when Ismael Kone coolly slotted in an 85th-minute equaliser.

But West Ham loanee Downes bundled in at the back post with the last kick of the game to send St Mary’s into chaos.

Watford interim boss Tom Cleverley said: “The red card incident on Porteous, genuine mistake. The handball, his line of sight might have been obscured, genuine mistake.

“The fact that the corner gets delivered after the 98th minute after seven added on is a worry.

“For me, our season is sort of mid-table and it’s not affected the way our campaign ends so much, but when there’s hundreds of millions of pounds on the line for Leeds, Ipswich and Leicester.

“I think they could be arguing that the top referees should be in charge of these games for when the stakes are so big.

“I will never, ever have a go for genuine mistakes. I’m disappointed the corner was taken. There was no subs, no goals in injury time.

“It’s a really difficult one to take. But for the first time we’ve been behind in my stint as manager and we showed real character to come back.

“It feels a really, really bitter pill to swallow that we’ve come out with no points. We’re feeling really hard done by now.”

Brendan Rodgers feels Celtic are coming alive at the right time after an impressive second-half display against St Mirren gave them a 3-0 win which sends them four points clear in the cinch Premiership.

The champions struggled to create chances in a ponderous first-half display which saw St Mirren create the better openings.

But Celtic upped their intensity at the start of the second half and Reo Hatate produced a classy finish with the outside of his boot in the 52nd minute.

Kyogo Furuhashi and substitute Adam Idah both headed home to complete a 3-0 victory which keeps the destiny of the title in their hands as well as Rangers, who are due to play twice before the split.

Rodgers, whose team face Aberdeen in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-finals next weekend, said: “I really look forward to this period, this is when Celtic comes alive. Five games to go, trophies at stake, Scottish Cup at stake, so bring it on.”

Rodgers, whose side led for the vast majority of last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Rangers, added: “We’re in a really good position and when you know that everything is with you – and you decide what your destiny is.

“That’s why the result at Ibrox was huge for us, as well as the performance. We played really well last week and when we had to bite down on the gum-shield, we were tough and (have) seen it through in a difficult environment.

“That bodes well for us. We know we can play football, play with speed, and we can score goals. We’ve also shown a steeliness which will be important in the run-in.”

Although Celtic have lost Daizen Maeda to a hamstring problem, the return to fitness of Hatate and Callum McGregor has been a major boost.

On Hatate, Rodgers said: “We are trying to build him up and he was outstanding at Ibrox. When he went off, we lost a wee bit in midfield.

“But he’s had a really good week’s training and he got his goal, which will be great for his confidence. He’s a huge player for us.

“Reo had come back a few times and broke down while away with the Japanese squad. He was devastated at that.

“We have to be careful with all the players. We have to manage him and Callum, who was more like himself and had a fantastic cameo .

“But with Reo, or any top player, you try to have the right plan for him which allows him to peak at the right time.”

On Maeda, Rodgers said: “I’m not sure Daizen will feature too much, it’s such a small window now. I’m not sure if he will feature before the end of the season.”

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson bemoaned the injuries which disrupted his side’s positive first-half display. Elvis Bwomono went off following a head knock midway through the opening half and others would soon follow.

“We were excellent for 45 minutes and then we can get undone by two excellent goals,” Robinson said.

“Kyogo’s movement for the second goal was fantastic and the delivery as well. And the first goal was a super finish. That’s the difference in levels. The first one wasn’t a clear opportunity but they made the best of it.

“The two injuries before and at half-time stopped a bit of our momentum. It takes players time to get into the rhythm and the shape. Scott Tanser and Elvis going off seemed to stop our rhythm and then Greg Kiltie and Richard Taylor have to come off too.

“We maybe had five enforced changes that we didn’t want to have to make. Sometimes Lady Luck isn’t shining on you.

“Credit to Celtic for the quality they showed when they needed to. That’s the difference in levels.”

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