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Season 11 (H) 22/8/09 - 2-4 ~ Forster, Dickinson.
Do you remember those horrendous home games of '02/3 when Hinshelwood was manager at Championship level? We kept getting beat and lost a couple 2-4 to boot. Nobody could fix it and by October we were doing our brains and still had to go to Palace for a day of destiny. Well, this season had started much worse than when Micky Adams returned er, last year - so there. Anyway, hero Russell Slade had gotten a few of Stockport's old squad down here and guess what? Yeah, we were playing 'em inside four months when both clubs survived and they were docked 10pts when in administration and all. Gannon had been sacked and now County only had a squad of 20 pros. Apparently their mascot was among the match-day eighteen.
At half time it was 1-1 and nobody had a clue about forthcoming events. Albion took the lead from a Forster header (28m). But County equalised quickly on the counter (30m). During the second period Fozzy's penalty (47m) was saved. Then County went 2-1 ahead by chipping Smith (54m). Wright replaced debutant Bennett (57m). Dickinson levelled from range (59m) but things blew up in our faces for the last half hour. Elphick (62m) and Hawkins (65m) were sent off in double time. The County bloke got a hat-trick from their pen (66m). Stockport got reduced to ten for 2 yellows (84m). They pinched a fourth goal (89m) to ease pressure of 6mins additional to 90. B'fans booed at final whistle and went home to kick the cat, mother in law and that cricket fan who lives for Sussex, England and similar sporting ashes.
Smith, Virgo, Tunnicliffe, Elphick, Whing, Bennett (M Wright), Crofts, Navarro, Cox (Hawkins), Forster (Dicker), Dickinson.
League1 P 4 . W 0 D 1 L 3 . F 3 A 12 . Pt 1 Po 23
Season 10 (H) 2/5/09 - 1-0 ~ Forster
Dick Knight interviewed County boss Jim Gannon soon after Micky Adams left by mutual consent back in February. He said then, 'I think he is a very bright, up and coming manager.' At that time Stockport were 8th, in touch with p-o places while B'ton held 21st place in the drop zone. DK had previous dealings with the skint Cheshire outfit when buying McNulty for 150k in January '09. He later got Dicker in on loan for much less, when the chips were down for Albion during the run-in. But it was Slade not Gannon who got the job of keeping us up by fair means or foul. Going into this contest, BHA needed to win in order to secure a place in League1 for next term. The fixture was a W'dean sell-out, which may or may not have been appropriate to this season's form at home. County meanwhile got a 10pt penalty for going into administration. Andy Whing received PoY honours before k-o. On a beautiful afternoon, over 8600 punters made up a crowd, which was tops for a league game at W'dean this term by a country mile.
Hey, we were staying up, say we were staying up. The match was entering it's final quarter when Brighton eventually broke deadlock. The dirty northern bankrupts probably shaded the first forty five on possession and chances alone, while BHA appeared nervous and off colour. Hart was subbed inside 20 mins with hamstring trouble picked up in his previous encounter. Andrew his replacement, didn't come out for the second period following a goalmouth scramble just prior to h-t. He hit the bar with a diving header as Albion failed to nick a lead as kettles boiled over. Forster was back from long-term injury and proved an inspired selection by Slade. He hit the winner (73m) when Dicker's drive got turned aside by goalie into super-subs path. Withdean went berserk and with excellent support, Seagulls then flew up this division like seabirds soaring on afternoon thermals above northern suburbs. Slade was carried shoulder high by fans who invaded the pitch on hearing Ref's whistle. Everbody said nice things and the family stand was packed with Falmer's generation of kids, experiencing a taste of what could happen with enough belief from management, players and faithfull all pulling together. Aaahhh!
Kuipers, Whing, Virgo, Elphick, Borrowdale, Loft, Fraser, Dicker, Cox (McLeod), Hart (Andrew, Forster), Owusu.
League1 P 46 . W 13 D 13 L 20 . F 55 A 70 . Pt 52 Po 16
Season 5 (H) 23/10/03 - 0-1
The Falmer saga was in a marking-time period and some things never seemed to reach a decision. Meanwhile BHA had expanded their community affairs program and were celebrating a first year completed for the Study Support Centre. Hospitality facilities at Withdean were used as classrooms and several organisations had taken advantage and run courses and seminars. It was all part of an education and training initiative that bridged a gap between school and developing adult learning.
Bob Booker was in charge on the pitch, while Dick Knight tackled delayed appointment of yet another new manager. He said, 'from the long list of applicants, my interviewing and evaluation of the main candidates for the Albion job is almost complete and I intend to have the manager's position filled within a week.' Brighton had lost two matches away since Coppell got a pukka stadium long before anticipated. However, home form was excellent and we scored an average of two goals per game at Withdean. Our caretaker-only boss hadn't introduced squad changes, although Rodger and Oatway were missed after being injured awhile. Young players and those on fringes couldn't break into the selected eleven, so might even sit on the bench if lucky. Super-sub kid sensation Robinson had broken through but was really being kept under wraps. Booker went for an 'ain't broke' approach anyway.
Stockport came down and shut Brighton out. That wasn't a massive problem until they nicked it with only ten minutes or so to go. Silence from multitudes around the track said so much. There was an acute autumnal atmosphere as if we were all stultified by this inept performance. Albion had been accused of being a one-man outfit as in previous seasons and lack of other regular scorers was telling in all departments.
Kuipers, Watson, Cullip, Butters, Mayo, Hart, Carpenter, Rehman, Jones (Piercy), Knight (Wilkinson), McPhee.
Div 2 (League 1) P 16 . W 8 D 3 L 5 . F 24 A 16 . Pt 27 Po 2
Stockport - Away
Season 11 (A) 26/1/10 - 1-1 ~ Crofts
Brighton went here three days after being beat by Aston Villa 3-2 up at theirs in FA Cup round4. We'd put up a reasonable performance against Prem big boys and had hopes to continue a useful run of away form. The big freeze had affected a lot of league games recently, although this particular lg1 fixture got rescheduled due to FAC3 footy-on-ice at Torquay on Jan2. So, we're back at waterlogged Edgeley Park, on a cold Tuesday nite out in the open again. Certainly a bit different to Villa Park with 39k punters in a pukka stad. Gus Poyet was trying to extract BHA from relegation danger, while County already appeared doomed to lg2 - actually having worse home stats than Albion! Nearly 300 B'fans got there to support BHA away again. Oh, the pitch was a pile of crap - sanded to give a somewhat strange surface.
Well in the event, what happened was Stockport had got some loan players in from MKD and weren't gonna roll over for anyone. They went off at 100mph and threatened to upset Albion pdq. Gradually Seagulls took off but by h-t honours were still even steven at nil all. Approaching the hour mark, alarms started to ring when Blues netted an absolute screamer into our top corner (58min). Gus Poyet quickly subbed m-f for a striker (64m) and went 433. But apparently to no avail, so he replaced a f-b for a playmaker (74m). Brighton pushed up field, leaving themselves open to counter like at Villa. It was a bit like a cup tie at the death too. Both keepers kept out hot shots and on targets. Going into stoppage, Crofts had a go and the ball bounced up over the diving goalie. Brighton had grabbed a dramatic draw to gain a valuable point.
Kuipers, Calderon (Carole), Virgo, Elphick, Painter, Bennett, Crofts, Navarro, Dicker (Dickinson), Murray, Forster.
League1 P 26 . W 7 D 7 L 12 . F 34 A 45 . Pt 28 Po 20
Season 10 (A) 25/11/08 - 0-2
This fixture was another in a continuous string of trips up north, previously going to Northampton, Leeds, Peterboro and even Hartlepool twice. But we were now on the M6 constantly, having done Carlisle with Oldham and Tranmere still to come before Xmas. What with LC, JPT (Shrewsbury) and FAC rounds to boot, it had been a busy schedule. Fortunately we'd next got a blank Saturday to recover from a surfeit of footy. The team had been having all sorts of fun and games in cup competitions (Man C & Derby) but had slipped down the league. We were off the boil, hadn't won away for three months and couldn't get a run together. Micky Adams was having sleepless nights and what with this match being midweek, so were we. It was bloody cold too but no wind chill to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. Talk about labour of love, nearly 300 got there from all points and by any means.
Brighton played in away colours (dark blue) but wore yellow shorts and looked lightweight against a bigger County outfit. Following a corner Stockport went ahead (33m) when lashing one in from 12 yards after a mad scramble. Albion tried to play football but nothing came off and luck was out yet again. The home side increased their advantage from a penalty (65m). There was a mighty melee in front of home support, who all yelled in unison for handball. Brighton enjoyed late possession, hit each post and fooked and farted about to no avail. We never really got hold of this game enough to influence the result. Our strikers can score but the rest can't. Division of responsibility was out of line with service provided or understanding of team play. We want to score the perfect goal but hey, this is League1 - get in there!
Kuipers, Virgo, Elphick, Hawkins, Richards, Fleetwood (Cox), Thomson, Johnson, Thornton, Murray, Forster.
League1 P 18 . W 4 D 7 L 7 . F 21 A 26 . Pt 19 Po 19
Season 5 (A) 28/2/04 - 1-1 ~ Virgo
Mark McGhee said, 'on the whole I was still not fully satisfied with the level of performance. There is still plenty of room for improvement. We must find extra sharpness and add a little more cutting edge on our trips away from home. Having said that I did feel we worked very hard in the second half in very difficult conditions. We showed a lot of character to get ourselves back into the game. I was equally pleased that we then continued in the same vein and tried to win the game.'
Stockport were struggling in a drop zone position and badly needed points like Brighton. This division was a mixed bag and one week we could beat anyone, the next lose in similar company. Albion had lost five of six away previously, four by the odd goal. Some defeats had been like watching paint dry, while others were edge of the seat affairs. To date we'd not recorded a double win or lose and that trend largely continued. On reaching 50 points it was assumed Brighton were at least safe from relegation! Kids and reserves were beginning to get a look-in so things seemed ok for our mutual future.
Edgeley Park cut up a bit on a cold winter afternoon. Battle was joined in footy fashion on a typical rugby pitch and we nearly got to handling halftime cups goal-less. County went ahead with a free header across the mud before break for hot beverages. Virgo got up high at a corner to power a header home soon after the restart. It was his first league goal in wearing, er, yellow. For some reason a lot of clubs also wore blue and that meant we constantly turned out in that dazzling but often defeated strip. McGhee was groping forward in the dark on travels and hoping to see the light soon to get BHA much needed points to back up good home form.
Roberts, Virgo, Cullip, Butters, Harding, Hart, Oatway, Carpenter, Jones, Benjamin (Robinson), McPhee (Lee).
Div 2 (League 1) P 33 . W 14 D 8 L 11 . F 47 A 36 . Pt 50 Po 7