Dunk devastated as Albion miss out on title

Lewis Dunk. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Lewis Dunk. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Lewis Dunk said he was devastated after a late Aston Villa equaliser denied Albion the Championship title this afternoon.

The Seagulls went into the game knowing they would be crowned champions with a win. They took the lead on the hour when Nathan Baker was sent off for a foul on Sam Baldock and Glenn Murray scored the resulting penalty.

However, the hosts equalised two minutes from time when Jack Grealish's shot squirmed under Albion keeper David Stockdale.

Newcastle recorded a 3-0 win at home to Barnsley, so pipped Brighton to the title by a point.

Dunk said afterwards: "It's devastating, we've worked so hard for 46 games and to miss out in the 88th, 89th minute is devastating but I'm proud of all the boys.

"It's disappointing and devastating now for us but what an achievement we've done, we're in the Premier League so that was our main aim. It would have been a dream to win the Championship but it wasn't meant to be.

"We'll have a good summer now, will come back fit, work hard and look forward to the Premier League."

Dunk said no blame was attached to Stockdale for the goal and said: "We don't blame anyone, we win and lose as a team and these things happen in football.

"One week it can be someone, another week it can be someone else. He saw it late and these things happen, so we'll lift each other up and look forward to next year.

"At that late stage in the game it's hard to take, with them being down to ten men as well. It was an unlucky goal to concede but we have to pick ourselves up now. We're all so disappointed but we go again next season.

"The disappointment of last season is completely different to this as we've achieved what we wanted to achieve. This was the dream and it would have been amazing to win the Championship, so the disappointment is there but last year was devastating. To come back as we did this year and get 93 points is amazing so we've got to pat ourselves on the back, every single player.

"People have played 40-odd games, two, ten, 20, zero, everyone has worked so hard in training and in games and we've done it together so we've got to be proud of each other.

"It would have been nice to go into the break with a trophy but we're walking away in second place and in the Premier League, so we're still proud of ourselves."

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