Hull - Away, Withdean Era
Season 7 (A) 13/8/05 - 0-2
Two things came to mind for B'ton fans about this fixture. Firstly, a huge suspension bridge across that massive expanse of the river Humber and secondly, the KC Stadium. Well possibly a third thought was topical, as it was also the constituency of J Prescott MP, who once held our permission to cross extreme boundaries at Falmer in his ex-stewards hands. Two coach-loads of Albion supporters ended up outside Hull's Labour Party Office, to deliver a friendly greetings card to Dear John. Peter Taylor also loved us being there and gesticulated to 800 B'ton fans amid 18000 under that curving roof at the KC. It really is a sight to see and a magnificent venue for mass entertainment.
McGhee went with a flexible formation, putting Knight deeper than CKR and four across midfield. Almost up to cuppa time, Albion had been involved in a stalemate and were grinding it out. Then Ref missed a foul to award us a f-k in m-f, allowed play to continue and City scored from long range. B'ton attacked toward their own fans in a 2nd forty-five min, with two subs on in a 4-3-3. We willed an equaliser but to no avail. All the endeavour went to waste as a late counter put a stalking Tiger clear and he inevitably pounced.
Henderson, Dodd, McShane, Butters, Reid, Robinson (Nicolas), Carpenter, Oatway, Hammond, Knight, Kazim-Richards, McCammon.
Champ's P 4 . W 0 D 2 L 2 . F 3 A 7 . Pt 1 Po 23
Season 2 (A) 7/10/00 - 2-0 ~ Wicks, Rogers
Division 3 football was regular fare for fans of the beautiful game at Kingston upon Hull. Since Brighton had previously been at Hove then left, to subsequently endure watching the Goldstone become a retail park, Hull had finished 17th, 22nd, 21st, 14th and were once again in lower mid-table. There was talk of a new stadium soon but don't hold your Yorkshire, Sussex or all points north of Wembley breath. This match was played on a Friday night because the national twin towers venue was actually in use on Saturday. Apparently some people were on the pitch, they thought it was all over... well, it really was!
Nearly 500 travelled up to the great wide Humber estuary to go and be herded into a tiny corner of Boothferry Park. What with developers, trading standards and now health and safety running all over old-time arenas, it was enough for another insulting chorus of, 'you fat b...' Of course, political correctness was going to change vocal responses to a mob of 5800 dirty northern bar stewards for sure.
Adams had brought Michel Kuipers in to start his er, second match in a career total of three. The Brighton boss had one defender and four forward players on the bench, so we assumed he'd got any previous 'form' issues sorted by now. Our defence did a splendid job in helping keep a clean sheet and that in itself was worth a point. Watson's free-kick was slotted home by Wicks in close, via Cullip's shiny bonce. Zamora returned from striker to provider to set up Rogers for a dig from distance. An unbeaten run continued as Albion stayed in command and City struggled to reach more than basic squad ranking. September had produced five wins and a MoM award plus champagne for Adams. Unluckily for injured goalie Cartwright, his bubble had burst, while others were also going to find it hard to make it into a winning side. The regular selected eleven looked strong across midfield and in adopting a 4-5-1 shape, had a pointed spearhead in Zamora. This was sharp enough to duly do damage before the cavalry arrived up-field - right on cue.
Kuipers, Watson, Cullip, Wicks (Crosby), Mayo, Hart, Rogers, Carpenter, Oatway, Jones (Brooker), Zamora (Steele).
Div 3 (League 2) P 11 . W 7 D 1 L 3 . F 19 A 10 . Pt 22 Po 3
Season 1 (A) 5/2/00 - 0-2
We were going down the pan. All those warm summer days of expectation were turning into bleak mid winter with dramatic deja vu effect transferred from that '98/99 campaign. A year previously Albion went through a spell in mid season without a win that brought about arrival of Micky Adams to revitalise our club. Now we had gone seven games since a victory, including being dumped out in round 2 of AWS trophy competition to a golden goal. Brighton now slipped to 17th position, which was where Adams started 10 months earlier. At least it hadn't been as bad then, compared to Hull who came down to Priestfield and forced a nil-nil draw to stay just above any threat of future Conference football. When Albion went to Boothferry Park in November '98, Tigers were all but tamed as they rolled over to prop up the proverbial table. This term City were trying to establish like Seagulls on a higher plane, to re-launch sometime later. Their boardroom shenanigans had and would continue to be troublesome, so unlike Albion had to wait a bit yet for initial success.
Brighton had been picking up yellow cards by mega bucket load all this term and Rogers was about to get a ban now. Only Walton and Mayo of regulars escaped a booking so far. Previously Hart, Carr and Aspinall served one-match suspensions. Oatway (3 matches), Freeman twice (7), Campbell (1) and Cullip (1) had seen red earlier this season. Oatway and Crosby also missed selection here due to five yellows. Thomas (3) had been sent off in the contest at Mansfield four days earlier. Carr (3) joined Albion's long list of disciplinary disasters for a professional foul today to add to Adams worries. He btw was unceremoniously warned by a steward at Withdean for slightly over boisterous behaviour - to cap it all. Brighton lost at Hull and Alan Cork said, 'that was the worst performance since Micky and I came to the club.' Adams said, 'I'm a proud man and I am not going to hide away, likewise my players. If people think that recent results and performances don't affect players then they are wrong, they are all deeply disappointed. I will defend players when penalised for tackles and fouls related to the game. Other incidents are actions of an individual and this sort of behaviour won't be tolerated. As a team we've got to start realising we need eleven on the park to win games.'
Walton, Watson, Cullip, Carr, Culverhouse, Mayo, Freeman, Rogers, Aspinall, Hart, Cameron (Armstrong).
Div 3 (League 2) P 30 . W 9 D 9 L 12 . F 39 A 36 . Pt 36 Po 17
Hull - Home, Withdean Era
Season 7 (H) 16/12/05 - 2-1 ~ Carole, Oatway
John Prescott got along to Withdean on the traditional Friday night in December. He joined 6900 paying punters, with kids for a quid and enjoyed hospitality er, enormously. Other party MPs obviously objected, claiming an off-field incident of sorts had helped prejudice the forthcoming High Court hearing. All total nonsense of course, his diary secretary being well aware of moments of temptation and could thus make allowances for any spin. He took unrestrained applause from our stadium of political correctness and must have thought Brighton was a nice place for a dirty weekend.
Hull also turned up with Peter Taylor, who conversely nobody seemed to notice. Even he felt slightly warmer after getting a cold shoulder, when Tigers pounced inside 5 minutes. They hung on for another 10 minutes until Carole sent a simply stunning strike down their throats. Just before a chilly evening pick-me-up, Oatway completed a fantastic move with a pick your spot finish. Blayney did the biz in the second 45 minutes and ended his loan spell on a high. Hart reverted to a front man, while Mayo actually started a game. McCammon came on in a hyped role as the Beast, unfortunately he went off again injured. However, his short contribution had added to a team effort to secure a precious home victory. McGhee was a happy bunny for once, Taylor a broken man and Knight was Santa Claus arrived early. Mr Prescott was er himself - well that's John for yer, or whatever Blair allegedly said in his defence.
Blayney, Reid, El-Abd, Butters, Mayo, Carole, Hammond, Oatway, Frutos (McCammon, Robinson), Kazim-Richards, Hart.
Champ's P 24 . W 3 D 13 L 8 . F 24 A 36 . Pt 22 Po 21
Season 2 (H) 10/3/01 - 3-0 ~ Watson, Melton, Stant
Football clubs were often in crisis, it sort of went with the territory. Hull were in the mix with other current down and outs and Brighton fans had every sympathy with fellow victims. Dick Knight would sometimes say he didn't take over the Albion, it took him over. The problem at Boothferry Park was that the owner was in constant dispute with club directors. Administrators came in and the FA had also investigated. It supposedly ended in court when a member of their board went down for fraud. During intervening years, Kingston council became progressively more involved in a project to build a new stadium within city limits. Shortly before Hull visited Brighton, creditors had accepted the very latest rescue package to save this 97 year old club and hope, like Albion to reach a ripe old age of one hundred. Off the field there was chaos but on it Hull had better results and were on the verge of play-off places.
Meanwhile back at a small field without even a ranch house let alone a stadium, a war of words was waged by planning applicant BHA against 'landlord' Sussex and Brighton universities. They had been dragging academic feet in reaching approval of proposals that the club could then forward to Brighton & Hove city council. Dick Knight said, 'it will take leadership, courage and imagination. By all the parties working together we will create something valuable and lasting for the whole community.' Senior men of learning began posturing toward the Albion's PR wizard, who they now recognised as significant but only by degrees.
Many of that 6800 audience assembled on a bleak early spring afternoon, remember Phil Stant making a home-debut substitute appearance and scoring. He was old, had just been sacked as Lincoln boss and needed two goals for a career double hundred. The ball came in, he dived and his peroxide hairstyle stayed in place as goalie was beaten in dazzling fashion. Watson and Melton, with his first of the season previously got the other two goals. Adams was ecstatic at this result, where Zamora had one disallowed and even fluffed a penalty kick. Adams wanted another character around to help with added pressure during the run-in and it looked like he'd actually got one. Onward and hopefully upward.
Kuipers, Watson, Cullip, Crosby, Mayo, Hart (Freeman), Rogers, Carpenter, Melton, Brooker (Jones), Zamora (Stant).
Div 3 (League 2) P 34 . W 21 D 4 L 9 . F 53 A 27 . Pt 67 Po 2
Season 1 (H) 31/8/99 - 3-0 ~ Watson, Freeman, Crosby
Bank Holiday Monday was a no-no due to residue of an outdated policy regarding seaside towns and hooliganism. So it was Tuesday evening for this fixture but pleasant enough at the time of year. In fact increasing darkness and concentrated floodlight tended to create an artificial roof over Tongdean Lane bowl. A certain feel-good factor percolated that helped with atmosphere, especially for south-standers high up above a pitch next to a nature reserve. Withdean was still a bit of a novelty and true effects as yet apparent of having an open-air stadium, would need a full seasons experience to fine-tune reality. After all it was strictly only a temporary venue and not one Brighton fans were going to call home with any sincerity or sentiment. But time would inevitably tell.
Our visitors for this first league 'alfresco supper' kick-off were Hull, from an expanse of water not officially classified as a football-delinquent coast. They had looked booked for the Conference last term, partly due to turmoil at club's board and management levels. A new regime had eventually turned things around and they finished twenty-first. There was even talk of a new stadium but Brighton was well ahead on that front. On the pitch Albion also took a lead when Watson of all people was forward in a role reversal with Wilder and latched on to a loose ball. Goalie came out and got down but our Sussex man had scored his first homecoming goal. Another local boy, Freeman added to his opening day hat-trick as Tigers were tamed with an element of er, reserve. Big northern lad Crosby got up from the back to power in a third, while surrounded by amber and black stripes lacking bite. Micky Adams was something of a motivator and in attempting to assemble a side fit to substantially improve on recent exiled seasons, he had got two massive home wins and a defeat down to definite bad luck. Basis of a team able to score goals was essential, so if he could continue to fill gaps in the squad with players who had experienced success at other clubs we would well be whopping winners.
Walton, Watson, McPherson, Crosby, Campbell, Wilder, Rogers, Oatway, Thomas (Arnott), Freeman (Newhouse), Hart.
Div 3 (League 2) P 5 . W 3 D 1 L 1 . F 10 A 3 . Pt 10 Po 6