Crewe - Home, Withdean Era
Season 10 (H) 28/2/09 - 0-4
This fixture was a six-pointer and we still had to entertain d-z rivals Swindon and soon go to fellow strugglers Orient. Albion also lost services of Micky Adams as we hit the bottom four permanently after more January transfer activity (see below). The boardroom was split on his ability to turn things around and warm summer of love became cold winter of discontent. Revolution2 hit the skids big time, mainly due to shocking home form where fans were doing their collective brain week after frustrating week. But relationships change and Mr Knight (GSOH) almost employed yet another new manager. But he (Jim Gannon) declined, so DK advertised in that sit-vac section of 442 mag. Only White & Booker seemed remotely interested.
In this match deemed a must win, the sh!t hit the fan for desperate Albion. Kuipers and Hawkins were injured in the build up and Forster got crocked in warm up. Then we gave away a penalty for handball (24 min) and couldn't get into this match by fair means or foul. Elphick went off injured, replaced by Hinsh. He in turn didn't come out after half time, being subbed by Cook. Brighton were reduced to 10 men when McNulty was assisted to the doctor's room with an hour gone. Crewe won this inept contest with 3 goals in the final 10 mins. On 79 min they had space to pick a spot from a pot shot. On 84 min a quality f-k went in Ronaldo style. On 89 min a bloke went up the middle to net. Fans were flooding out to exits from a decent 6300 gate, long before the end and the only nice thing they'd say about today was the weather.
Sullivan, Whing, Elphick (Hinshelwood, Cook), El-Abd, McNulty, Birchall (Carole), Fraser, Jarrett, Cox, McLeod, Davies.
League1 P 32 . W 7 D 11 L 14 . F 35 A 50 . Pt 32 Po 22
Season 9 (H) 2/2/08 - 3-0 ~ Murray 2, Butters
Brighton hadn't beaten Crewe for many years but that was almost secondary to other happenings off the field. We had a good chance this time anyway because they were in the drop zone and seemingly headed for League2. Also Albion had just signed Glenn Murray for 300 grand from Rochdale before transfer windows closed. Mr Knight said after catastrophic defeat at home to Mansfield in FAC3 that he'd sign 5 players - guess what? We'd got Steve Thomson 25k from Scotland, Shane McFaul free from Ireland and Jonny Dixon 55k from er, up the road at Aldershot. Hammond went to Colchester for 250k, Revell to Southend for 150k and Elder to Brentford for 35k. Brighton's squad was also reduced by injuries to Lynch, Reid, Fraser and bizarrely Dixon, while Hart served a ban. Wilkins found sixteen on this day, one being Mayo from semi-retirement and young Fogden back from on-loan.
In the event two new boys played, Murray making a home debut on a half decent day with good pitch. Albion huffed and puffed but our biggest signing for decades poached a lead on 23 min. Butters notched right footed from a corner to put us two up on 41 min. Just before half-time Murray volleyed home to win 3 points and MoM accolades. During an open second period Alex had chances but missed. B'ton pushed on and might have added to three. Up front looked a revelation, midfield and inspiration and defence, well let's say some possible consternation. A play-off challenge had fallen apart since before Xmas but could the new BHA of 2008 get back on track? Btw only 4800 turned up, a record low since prior to 1999 and homecoming.
Kuipers, Whing, Elphick, Butters, Richards, Robinson (Martot), El-Abd, Thomson, Cox (McFaul), Murray (Gatting), Forster
League1 P 27 . W 10 D 8 L 9 . F 35 A 30 . Pt 38 Po 12
Season 8 (H) 27/8/06 - 1-4 ~ Cox
Sussex CCC had won the C&G Trophy on Saturday - well it was summer afterall. So, Bank Holiday Sunday lunch-time for mere footy and a lot must have been on the beach, as this crowd was less than 6000. Transfer deadline was looming and Mr McGhee was looking for a goal getter. It appeared to be a needle and haystack thing. B'ton were now developing several 'local' youngsters as pro's but Crewe had been at that game for years and seen benefits in such a policy.
Cox got his first league goal just before half time, stabbing home a deflection which put Albion ahead but seemed long in coming. However, Alex refused to roll over and hit back twice before the break. A defensive error for their first following a f-k and Mayo sent off conceding a penalty, for a worrying second. We suppose tea cups flew in our dressing room after a disappointing 45 min. We hit a post on the re-start but Alex countered and Hendo blocked but a loose ball went in. McGhee shuffled and re-shuffled to no avail. We'd been done and even pride didn't prevent a late fourth for the jubilant northern outfit. Brighton fans gave our sad Scots boss a right bollocking at the death.
Henderson, Reid, Santos, Lynch, Mayo, Stokes (Robinson), Carpenter, Hammond, Cox, Revell (El-Adb), Hart
League 1 P 5 . W 2 D 1 L 2 . F 6 A 8 . Pt 7 Po 12
Season 7 (H) 13/8/05 - 2-2 ~ Knight, Hammond
Both clubs had survived in the Championship of '04/5 by the skin of their well worn finger tips, after hanging on to the edge of a big drop that last day of the season. Now at the beginning of another campaign, it was essential to pinch points from expected fellow relegation candidates. Following a good first day draw away at Derby, then defeat at home to Reading, Brighton fans were hopeful of getting a result against Crewe. Mr McGhee intended his team play football, where every goal would prove to be crucial. He had boosted the squad in pre-season but lost super-hero & PoY Virgo as well as Harding, although compensated by a couple of million quid. A Brighton fan had 'won' striker Kazim-Richards, in the league sponsor's competition for 250k. Ex-Saint legend Dodd also arrived plus Argentinean, Turienzo on an Agent's recommendation. A Frenchman, Carole had also come over with a view to a contract on the English Channel. Albion 'celeb' Des Lynham got a soaking from 'away fans', in a prior stunt to publicise Brighton's ongoing quest for a new stadium.
It did rain on the day of this match and a subdued crowd got well watered, apart from the very green pitch. Albion bossed the first half but only led just before the break. Sensational on-loan teenage central defender McShane, drove a ball across their box from a free kick and Knight slotted it inside an upright. He played in more of a roaming role behind a centre forward and gave us more flexibility when gaining possession. Gradi the long serving Crewe manager, certainly shook his lot up at half time. They held Albion to a single goal, then equalised and quickly after - apparently won it late in the game. Getting a second BHA goal was proving to be a problem - as future results would reveal. Meanwhile, as Brighton fans left their seats for a soggy walk to Tongdean Lane, Hammond popped home a cross that rebounded awhile around Alex's area. Albion had saved face at the proverbial, potential, if not actual death.
Henderson, Dodd, McShane, Butters, Reid, Carole (Nicolas), Oatway (Robinson), Carpenter, Hammond, Knight, Kazim-Richards (Turienzo).
Champ's P3 . W 0 D 2 L 1 . F 3 A 5 . Pt 2 Po 23
Season 6 (H) 6/11/04 - 1-3 ~ Reid
Over 1200 Seagulls' supporters had flocked to pledge donations to the value of 200k, for the Alive & Kicking appeal. Punitive costs of fighting for Falmer, combined with lack of income at small, sold-out Withdean had taken their financial toll on the club. Mark McGhee was also under pressure, as he received criticism from 'talk through your pocket' types wanting to splash cash on enhancing our small squad. Lack of atmosphere in the open-air sports complex was again under discussion. On all accounts, we just had to get over it and move on. Brighton fans had to believe in a bright future one day when everything would be, well - all right.
An old law of averages was beginning to operate at this stage of the season. Brighton appeared on a knife edge. This team was no worse than that relegated from div1 in '02/3 and realistically anticipated losing up to half of matches in a struggle for survival. Albion were finding goals hard to come by and Reid's late strike provided mere consolation in a game lost before the hour. We didn't play that badly but got beat by a better team on the day. Leaking any number of goals, through a far from water-tight defence wasn't exactly helping the cause. Home grown talent needed more appearances and an optimum blend of youth and experience had to develop to maintain Championship standards. It wouldn't happen over night. Unfortunately we'd lost John Piercy, who was forced to retire from league football due to a chronic illness. Albion were scrapping at the wrong end of the table, managing to float above the bottom three and any position towards mid-table mediocrity would do for us.
Kuipers, Hinshelwood, Cullip, Butters, Mayo, Reid, Nicolas, Currie, Harding, Piercy (Hammond), Knight.
Champ's P 18 . W 5 D 4 L 9 . F 15 A 27 . Pt 19 Po 21
Crewe - Away, Withdean Era
Season 10 (A) 9/8/08 - 2-1 ~ Virgo, Forster
On that same road to Crewe again on opening day as last term and the close season hadn't exactly been stationary either. Orthodox Micky Adams came back, Dean Wilkins and 4312 went and a second revolution was in the air. Mr Knight certainly wanted Albion going places and all, what with Falmer plans almost reaching action stage. Booker also returned as 2nd 11 coach, playing Combination fixtures at Lewes. Butters and Reid were gone with six others but Hart and Mayo re-joined. Micky had 2 years to get us into the Championship and got five free men in. Virgo came home, Hawkins, McLeod and Livermore signed up and Richards returned on loan. Adams had a full squad to chose from, bar Hinshelwood whose knee was undergoing yet more treatment. Everyone was up for it and seemingly a promotion push was on from day1. Only time would tell, especially using 442 with wide men. It was a wet journey but mostly dry and cloudy during this fixture, which made us look nicer in all light-blue kit. Appropriately new shirt sponsors were IT first. Mr Knight wanted it to coincide with more knowledge eventually at a higher technical level - tier two!
Crewe set the pace and went close early on and it was all very lower league stuff. Then Albion began to string moves together using both wings and rained in crosses. On 36 min Virgo out-jumped red shirts from McLeod's cross and we've gone one up. Forster had a real pile-driver saved as Brighton surged forward to dominate first half play. Honestly, we murdered 'em but couldn't add goals. Alex were under the cosh again second period and twice Albion struck woodwork. Murray had a header cleared off the line as Seagulls bossed day1 pecking order. Adams resisted making changes to flanking moves as the Railwaymen altered their rota. The home unit hung in there, somewhat getting better because on 85 min Alex smashed our o-s trap and grabbed a leveller - it wasn't fair but it was true. We appeared a tad deflated but when almost to time added, nicked a winner. A punt upfield got nutted ahead by Murray. Forster (90) was off like a whippet and buried the ball, signalling scenes of utter jubilation from a half decent Brighton turn-out. We stood as one, cheered, chanted and clapped, Micky gave us a little wave and everybody kept the faith. There was a God and we'd need all the help going, including fickle finger of fate to get near that dreaded P word in a tough div.
Kuipers, Whing, Elphick, Hawkins, Richards, Cox, Thomson, Virgo, McLeod, Forster, Murray.
League1 P 1 . W 1 D 0 L 0 . F 2 A 1 . Pt 3 Po 7th
Season 9 (A) 11/8/07 - 1-2 ~ Cox
Brighton fans had been given good news in pre-season in that Falmer finally got a green light bar any late appeals. It was so long in waiting, celebrations were a tad muted and of the 'I won't believe it until it happens' variety. Wilkins had signed Whing and Forster (75k from Hull) in preparation for a much better campaign this term. Dick Knight wanted top ten at least and you know his reaction to failing managers!
Albion went ahead on 14 min when Cox slotted home a neat move deep into Alex box. We should have been three up but for hitting woodwork and one straight at their keeper. Then things fell apart from 22 min as Ref decided on a penalty via Lino's flagging. Brighton failed to convert on superior play and tactics and paid the ultimate price. Ten minutes from time Alex snatched a winner as we watched, waited and reacted too late. Old problems with supply to front men reappeared and we tired as Crewe ended with their tails up. Ref denied us a late pen appeal but things were on a downward spiral from the time Fraser hit a post early in the second half. Back to the drawing board then.
Kuipers, Whing, Butters, Lynch, Mayo, Fraser (Reid), El-Abd (Savage), Hammond, Cox, Revell (Elder), Forster.
League1 P 1 . W 0 D 0 L 1 . F 1 A 2 . Pt 0 Po 17
Season 8 (A) 3/3/07 - 1-1 ~ Savage
What a difference a year makes, we both had mid-table mediocrity now as an equivalent status quo. It was actually an enthralling contest with two earlyish first half goals and Albion striving to come from behind. A mistake had let Alex lead, although Albion had plenty of possession and exerted pressure. Savage stabbed an equaliser after half an hour following a ruck at a corner, when Hammond's headed effort got blocked. Both players could have converted further first half chances to make it 9 wins on the long road north. Still, 45 mins to go and hope yet for Wilkins 'diamond' (4132) formation to flourish. We didn't draw many and this was kinda on a knife edge.
Brighton fans just didn't only think we wuz all over 'em second period because a warm low sun was getting in our eyes constantly - as opposed to before changing over. How Albion didn't score is probably something to do with unbelievable footy stats, fate in a northern railway town, or even the true meaning of life. Robinson came closest by hitting an upright from outside their area in those final desperate moments. Flinders was a hero as he made at least two last gasp blocks to deny Crewe a winner on the break. We'd deserved to edge it but could not find a way through as that sun slowly sank at 4.50pm - except for Alex. B'ton were entertaining great travelling support with play-off style form away anyway. If only at Withdean...
Flinders, El-Abd, Butters, Lynch, Mayo, Cox, Bertin, Robinson, Hammond, Revell (Hart), Savage.
League1 P 36 . W 13 D 7 L 16 . F 42 A 47 . Pt 46 Po 14
Season 7 (A) 25/2/06 - 1-2 ~ Kazim-Richards
It was very chilly in the wind at Gresty Road - well, it was up north in February. There was also a cold blow around the 'McGhee out' threads on this and other websites. Things were also beginning to look a bit bleak for holding down a Championship place for '06/7. Alex were bottom and Albion becoming entrenched in the drop zone. Only one from four would survive based on current stats, as in that dramatic '02/3 season climax. McGhee said, 'only if we stick together can we prevail'.
In a true 6 pointer, Brighton scored first on 11 min when CKR headed in a Gatting lob on the line. Over 700 away supporters were fairly happy to get to half time still leading. A killer second goal was required, immediately after coffee break. Crewe got back into this contest with a freak cross cum shot after an hour. A point would do then. Five minutes later Alex netted a winner from a corner, to set the place alight. Er, well sort of slightly smouldering. Albion heads dropped and vocal encouragement had little if any affect. Brighton had scored their 5000th goal - nobody gave a toss.
Henderson, El-Abd, Hinshelwood, Butters, Lynch, Hart (Carole), Carpenter, Mayo, Frutos (Hammond), Kazim-Richards, Gatting (McPhee).
Champ's P 36 . W 5 D 14 L 20 . F 32 A 57 . Pt 29 Po 23
Season 6 (A) 16/10/04 - 1-3 ~ Jarrett
Nearly one thousand happy Brighton fans found their way to Gresty Road, which isn't hard because the M6 is nearby and main line station just around the corner. However, a red mist descended while Albion were dumped like travel bags oop north in some grim railway town in Cheshire. It was a case of Palookaville dark blues as yellow whistle and flag officials steamed through and missed vital connections. They stoked fires of away fans wrath by an express display of wrong signals that resulted in points failure. Even at two down before tea break it looked like Seagulls could get back on board to stop at Alex. Second half was pressure from Brighton as a 'homey' assisted mob went off the rails. We unfortunately became disconnected, lost up the junction and derailed, when a third crossed the line at Crewe. Jarrett then shunted a ball into their net on a rebound. But had Brighton therefore hit the buffers badly? Fatboy Slim could probably make a song out of all that tired emotional baggage we carried.
Kuipers, Reid, Hinshelwood, Mayo, Harding, Hammond (Jarrett), Oatway (Carpenter), Nicolas, Currie, Virgo, Knight (Robinson).
Champ's P 13 . W 4 D 3 L 6 . F 12 A 18 . Pt 15 Po 18