NEWCASTLE UNITED’S run of Premier League defeats finally came to an end as Brighton ended any lingering fears of relegation at the Amex Stadium.

However, there were no winners on a desperate evening that saw both sides struggle to get out of first gear amid the south-coast sunshine. On this evidence, it is just as well that the season will finally end on Sunday afternoon.

Brighton controlled possession against the Magpies, but neither side seriously threatened to break the deadlock during a dour encounter which had a distinctly end-of-season feel.

The Seagulls have been well placed to extend their top-flight adventure to a fourth campaign for a number of weeks, although manager Graham Potter had steadfastly refused to celebrate survival until it was mathematically certain.

Last night’s stalemate moved Potter’s men seven points clear of 18th-placed Aston Villa - who have two fixtures remaining - to end a run of three successive home losses. For Newcastle, the result ended a run of three straight defeats and means Steve Bruce’s side are guaranteed to finish in either 13th or 14th position.

Leandro Trossard and Adam Webster went closest to a breakthrough for the hosts, while Dwight Gayle and substitute Andy Carroll wasted Newcastle’s best opportunities by each heading off target from corners.

Brighton were back at the Amex Stadium following resounding home defeats to Manchester City, champions Liverpool, and Manchester United in which they conceded 11 times in total.

There was little sign of their defence being breached during an uneventful first half in the Sussex sunshine.

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka produced routine saves from Albion captain Lewis Dunk and Belgian winger Trossard, while Albion keeper Mathew Ryan remained untested.

The Magpies had been targeting a top-half finish less than three weeks ago.

But they have endured an unwelcome late-season slump amid mounting injury problems, prolonged takeover uncertainty, and continued speculation about the future of manager Bruce.

After winning 1-0 at Southampton just before lockdown and thumping struggling Bournemouth 4-1 at the start of the month, the visitors were hoping a return to the south coast would prompt an upturn in their ailing fortunes.

Striker Gayle had Newcastle’s only chance of the opening 45 minutes, heading on to the roof of the net from a Jonjo Shelvey corner in added time before the interval.

Ryan was finally forced into action six minutes after the restart when he turned away a low effort from Miguel Almiron, although the Paraguayan was stretching which meant he was unable to get much purchase on the ball.

Brighton were unbeaten in the previous five Premier League meetings with their opponents, and in truth, Newcastle never really looked like ending that sequence.

The hosts had to wait until the 76th minute for another sight of goal when Webster’s thumping drive from distance was acrobatically tipped over the crossbar by Dubravka. It was easily the Slovakian’s best moment of the game, indeed it was really the only time he was seriously tested.

Newcastle could have snatched victory four minutes from time but, after rising above Shane Duffy from Matt Ritchie’s corner, former England striker Carroll directed his close-range header wide of the left post as the disappointing contest ended all-square.

The Magpies finish their season on Sunday against champions Liverpool.