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Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 17:28 GMT
Sheffield Wed 1-1 Brighton

Substitute Shefki Kuqi's last-gasp strike kept Sheffield Wednesday off the foot of the table following a basement battle at Hillsborough.

Gary Hart's 20th-minute header had looked set to condemn the Owls to another embarrassing defeat and earn Brighton only their fourth win of the season.

But in the 90th minute, Finnish striker Kuqi broke free in the box to slip the ball beyond Michels Kuipers.

It was rough justice on Steve Coppell's side, who appeared to be holding on comfortably until Kuqi's late intervention ensured they stay bottom.

The first-half pace was frenetic but there were few openings until Hart delivered his early blow for Coppell's side in the 20th minute.

The visitors swept forward with purpose and when Steve Sidwell fired in a low cross the Brighton number nine stooped to head the south coast side into a deserved lead.

Last-gasp goal

Wednesday pressed in the second-half and on the hour, Lloyd Owusu's goalbound effort from 20 yards was intercepted by Danny Cullip.

By then Turner had seen enough and he threw on Gerald Sibon and Kuqi for Owusu and Knight.

Wednesday lifted themselves again in a bid to get on terms, Geary sending over four dangerous crosses in quick succession that were all scrambled clear.

Kuipers was booked for time wasting with 11 minutes left, but although Craig Armstrong volleyed wide Wednesday rarely worked a clear opening on goal.

But right at the death Kuqi seized his chance, keeping a level head to steer the ball beyond Kuipers when finding himself with just enough time and space in the box.


Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman, Geary, Crane, Green, Soltvedt, Burrows, Armstrong, Haslam, McLaren, Knight, Owusu. Subs: Stringer, Bromby, Sibon, Kuqi, Hamshaw.

Brighton: Kuipers, Watson, Pethick, Cullip, Mayo, Carpenter, Rodger, Sidwell, Jones, Zamora, Hart. Subs: Packham, Oatway, Brooker, Hinshelwood, Barrett.

Referee: C Webster (Tyne & Wear)

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Sheff Wed boss Chris Turner
"Nobody can knock the players' commitment"

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