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Walcott nets late winner

Daily Mail
Monday, January 28, 2013

Theo Walcott came off the bench to score a late winner that sent Arsenal through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after an enthralling encounter at the Amex Stadium.

Never, in what Brighton might style the Nomad Years, when they had to call Gillingham a home or play at Steve Ovett's track, could the club have imagined a day like this.

Having 27,000 fans in the stylish Amex Stadium is one thing; going head to head with Arsenal and pushing them to their last reserves is quite another.

Brighton confirmed what has become increasingly apparent in the past few years: they are not just a team on the rise but a club in the ascendancy under Gus Poyet and owner Tony Bloom.

That Arsenal had to reach out to Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Keiran Gibbs in the final quarter, despite an excellent display from Olivier Giroud, told its own story.

"I was worried about the last half an hour," admitted Poyet. "I knew that if we were still in the game they were coming in. Our players had been fighting for their lives for 70 minutes and then Wilshere is coming, nice and fresh, and Theo Walcott starts sprinting on the side. We're lucky that Santi Cazorla didn't come on as well. I would have shot him from the side!"

Brighton had heroes aplenty, notably Ashley Barnes, Liam Bridcutt and Argentine debutant Leo Ulloa. They did more than battle; at times they passed as well as Arsenal do. All they lacked was a result at the end of it all.