The Saints player’s momentum from the challenge outside the penalty area carried him forward as the players tangled and tumbled into the box. Referee David Coote initially awarded the visitors a free-kick but despite multiple camera angles appearing inconclusive his decision was overturned – allowing Danny Ings to score from the spot.
“It is just consistency, I don’t think there is any,” said March. “It is just random decisions that I don’t think the people who play football would give, but I don’t want to say much.”
In a statement the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said the referee review area was not used in this case as it was a “factual decision”.
Kyle Walker-Peters tangles with Solly March
Brighton’s Premier League games have produced a total of 10 penalties this season (five won, five conceded), more than any other side
Former Blackburn and Celtic forward Chris Sutton called it a “disgraceful” decision on BBC Radio 5 Live.
However, Seagulls boss Graham Potter played the incident down in his post-match comments and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said the match officials had made a “relatively clear” decision.
Brighton had impressed in the early stages of an entertaining contest and deservedly went ahead when Pascal Gross converted a penalty after a handball from Saints captain James Ward-Prowse.
Ward-Prowse made amends with a pinpoint delivery from a corner that saw Jannik Vestergaard equalise with a powerful header into the top-left corner.
Ings, returning after a month out with a knee injury and on as half-time substitute, completed Southampton’s comeback to lift them up to fifth in the table. Brighton stay 16th.