#21: Brighton 1-1 Ipswich 08/05/2005

#21 BRIGHTON 1-1 IPSWICH Championship
Sunday 8th May 2005 Image result for

Ipswich 05 Titles

PRESENTER George Gavin GUESTS Brian Little & Dave Jones
COMMENTATORS Rob Hawthorne & Tony Gale REPORTER Guy Havord
1pm Kick Off; Withdean Stadium      12pm-3.30pm Football League Live on Sky Sports 2

Ipswich 05 Ident Ipswich 05 Sponsor Ipswich 05 Intro

Context of the Match: This was the final day of the Championship season, Brighton’s first season back in the Division following the Play Off Final win a year ago. All matches were moved to a 1pm kick off on the Sunday and two of these were chosen for Live coverage on Sky Sports. The main game was Wigan v Reading, knowing that if Wigan won they would be promoted to the Premiership under Paul Jewell. For Reading, a win could see them sneak into the final Play Off spot under Steve Coppell, who was Brighton manager the previous time the Seagulls were in this League two years ago. However, if Wigan were to slip up the door would be left ajar for Ipswich to gain the second automatic promotion spot. They had to better Wigan’s result to leapfrog them. Brighton also still had something to play for, the Seagulls weren’t quite safe ahead of today’s match. A point would do to keep the Albion up, a defeat and a Crewe or Gillingham win could see them relegated on the final day; just like in 2003 at Grimsby. All in all, ten Championship teams did not know which Division they would be playing in next season at the start of this match! For Brighton to survive in a tough League with such a small budget and crowds of just 7,000 at Withdean Stadium it would be some achievement. The aim today; avoid joining Rotherham and Nottingham Forest in relegation to League One.

Ipswich 05 Brighton Ipswich 05 Ipswich Ipswich 05 Formation

The Teams: Mark McGhee’s side weren’t too different today to the team that won promotion the previous May, with eight of this line up also starting the Play Off Final. The players in question – El Abd and Hammond, both at the club at the time, and the goalkeeper. Alan Blayney played his last match of his short loan spell from Southampton, becoming the fifth different keeper for Brighton this season. After his goalscoring heroics from defence in promotion, Adam Virgo has been used as an attacker for much of this campaign; in doing so becoming the club’s top scorer and player of the year. With Leon Knight and Gary Hart up front height was not an option going forward. Knight only scored four League goals all season, the last of which was back in January. Ipswich took star midfielder Darren Currie from the Albion back in December having only joined a few months previously. Left back Richard Naylor, captain Jim Magilton and substitute James Scowcroft were amongst the leftovers from Town’s Premiership days. It’s also easy to forget they were competing in the UEFA Cup just three seasons ago, at the same time Brighton were climbing up the lower leagues. Today’s referee was Mike Jones.

Ipswich 05 Gavin Ipswich 05 Little Ipswich 05 Jones Ipswich 05 Havord Ipswich 05 Commentary Team

Presentation Team: Sky Sports Football League number one George Gavin anchored proceedings from Sky Studios. The majority of the time he is in the corner of the grounds but this being the final day, he had to watch over two Live matches. His guests this Sunday lunchtime were regular pundit Brian Little and former Wolves and Southampton manager Dave Jones. Little was on most weeks during the first season Sky regained the League rights in 2002, however was absent more recently due to becoming Tranmere Rovers boss in October 2003. He’s a warm, knowledgable and familiar face throughout the Divisions and always good to see him part of the coverage. Dave Jones knew what it took to get promotion out of this League having won the Play Offs with Wolves in 2003 and had been used as a pundit on a number of occasions. Reporting at Withdean was Guy Havord. He was a lead commentator on the Football League for ITV Sport Channel during their year of coverage. After that went bust he rejoined Sky as a reporter for Sky Sports News and second choice Football League Live games and this season commentating on the Champions League Live interactive fixtures. In the commentary box at the Withdean was Rob Hawthorne and Tony Gale. Gale was one of three co-comms regularly used on the Football League by Sky, along with Chris Kamara and Garry Birtles. With Kamara hosting Goals on Sunday this morning and Birtles on the Wigan game next to Ian Crocker, it was left for Gale to get the call up. Rob Hawthorne’s main role this season was on Monday Night Football Premiership games and back up for the Football League whenever required.

Ipswich 05 Studio Ipswich 05 Reporters Ipswich 05 Kick off Ipswich 05 Commentators

The Coverage: Sky Sports gave the final day of the Football League a full programme, with an hour long build up and more than half an hour post match. Based in the Isleworth studios in order to keep across both Live matches, presenter George Gavin excitedly introduced the coverage with guests Brian Little and Dave Jones. Very little talk before the game was afforded to Brighton, with the main focus being on promotion to the Premiership; which both Wigan and Ipswich were fighting for today and Reading in contention to do so in the Play Offs. They crossed to our reporters at both Live matches, Greg Whelan at the JJB and Guy Havord at Withdean, to get a bit of pre match atmosphere and the all-important team news. The rest of the build up featured interviews with all the managers involved in the promotion picture; the likes of George Burley at Derby, Billy Davies at Preston, West Ham’s Alan Pardew and of course the ones in our two Live matches – Joe Royle of Ipswich, Paul Jewell at Wigan and Reading’s Steve Coppell. Our co-commentators, Garry Birtles at Wigan and Tony Gale at Brighton, were spoken to in-vision briefly before the match and at around 12.50pm it was decision time. Stay tuned to Sky Sports 1 for Wigan v Reading or switch to Sky Sports 2 for Brighton v Ipswich.

Ipswich 05 Infobar Ipswich 05 as it stands

At Withdean Stadium, commentators Tony Gale and Rob Hawthorne handled things whilst the studio team focussed on the main game in Wigan, which meant one of the little joys of televised football; commentators in-vision! Hawthorne particularly has never seemed much at ease in front of camera but needed to do so for the four minutes or so of highlights at half-time. Once the game finished the coverage on SS2 ended and you had to switch back to 1 for all the reaction and analysis back with our regular team. As has been the case all this season, the graphics were a slightly-less-animated version of the Premiership graphics, all based around the solid red and blue blocks of Sky Sports logo. The rotating 3D club crest had been retained from the previous set of graphics three years ago and all entrances and exits were marked with that swishing/swooshing noise. The title sequence however was not the same as at the start of the season as, for what can be the only time in Sky’s existence that I can recall, it was overhauled exactly half way through. Gone was the Into the Valley theme tune and red and black scoreboard look, in came The Farm’s classic All Together Now. The title sequence was a very nice transition between the original competition back in the early 20th Century and now – with black and white pictures getting colourised and old boots switching to the new look. The replay animation saw the middle detail of the big Championship trophy flying into vision from bottom left to top right, and from bottom right to top left coming out of the replay. For goals the club crest would crackle largely onto the screen. The broadcast covered the entire Football League so understandably Brighton didn’t feature outside of the 90 minutes too much, but the match is always the main event and that was a success. Goals from all the key games on the final day were shown just moments after they happened over on Sky Sports 1 during the main event coverage, whilst for us on 2 Hawthorne informed us of events elsewhere via the infobar at the bottom of the screen and as-it-stands table updates. After the match we rejoined George Gavin in the studio to round up the entire Division before Sky headed off to Live coverage of Arsenal v Liverpool at 3.30pm.

Ipswich 05 one nil Ipswich 05 Virgo Ipswich 05 yellow card Ipswich 05 Sub

Story of the Match: Brighton got off to the worst possible start on what was already a very nervy match all around Withdean. Jim Magilton poked the ball forward from the half-way line which went through Adam Virgo. Shefki Kuqi was in the clear as a result, dribbled the ball towards the area and fired a shot low and hard into Alan Blayney’s bottom right-hand corner from seventeen yards out to get the all-important breakthrough just four minutes in. However, Virgo was quick to make amends when he equalised in the tenth minute with a half-volley. A long punt upfield from Guy Butters gave Leon Knight a fighting chance against Fabian Wilnis. The defender fouled Knight and from the resulting free kick swung in from the near touchline by Carpenter, Kelvin Davis was forced into a great reactionary save from Butters’ header and the rebound fell to Virgo to smash home for one-all. Suddenly Brighton were safe and Ipswich had tumbled out of the automatic promotion places. And by twenty minutes the situations in both the Live games were pretty much done and dusted. Wigan scored two goals in quick succession to take an early big advantage, and with Ipswich drawing that would be enough to send the Latics up into the Premiership for the first time. Brighton had the point they needed to survive and this was emphasised further when Micky Adams, now in charge of Coventry but led the Seagulls to the Division Three title in 2001, did the club a favour with his team leading against Crewe. Back in this match, not a great deal more went on. Ipswich were given advantage rather than a penalty when Darren Bent was upended after half an hour and Kuqi’s shot was subsequently blocked. And that’s how things remained for the rest of the afternoon concerning the two Live games, more or less. Wigan beat Reading and Brighton got the draw they needed to stay in the Championship. Next season then would be the first time Brighton would spend consecutive seasons in the same division since 2000/01! There was a twist in the tale elsewhere at the bottom though. With fifteen minutes to go Gillingham and Crewe were winning which meant Brighton were looking over their shoulders nervously, just five minutes later though the Gills conceded an equaliser. That’s how things stayed which forced them into the drop zone and out of the League. Thus the season ended on a positive for the Albion, survival and the highest League finish for fourteen years.

Ipswich 05 Pitch invasion  Ipswich 05 McGhee Ipswich 05 Table top  Ipswich 05 Table bottom

Virgo Kuqi

Ipswich 05 Replay Ipswich 05 Replay2 Ipswich 05 Goal

EXTRA; Sunday morning review and chat show Goals on Sunday aired immediately before the coverage began at noon on Sky Sports 1, and hosts Chris Kamara and Rob McCaffrey crossed Live to Withdean to briefly preview the match with co-commentator Tony Gale.

IPS Promo Ipswich 05 GOS 2way Ipswich 05 GOS Gale

When asked for his match prediction, Gale believed that Ipswich would win the game but it wouldn’t be enough for promotion as he thought Wigan would also win. He also said Brighton would be safe and likened the Withdean Stadium setting to that of a Scandinavian team with the leafy surroundings and running track.

Ipswich 05 Goals on Sunday studio Ipswich 05 GOS promo

HIGHLIGHTS; ITV held the terrestrial highlights rights to the Football League and from this season introduced a networked programme called The Championship; showing all the goals from the newly-named Division each and every Sunday morning. In addition to this, the ITV regions each had their own half hour Soccer Night highlights on Thursday nights. On this final day special, broadcast late Sunday, Meridian Soccer Night brought the best of the South coast teams action. These programmes replaced Football League Extra and the regional Soccer Sunday shows of the past few years.

Ipswich 05 Soccer Night Ipswich 05 Steggall Ipswich 05 ITV score Ipswich 05 ITV McGhee

Andy Steggall hosted the show from around Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium, who would be in Premiership action the following weekend battling to survive on the final day. He was joined by regular Jimmy Case, formerly of Southampton and of course Brighton. Reporters Jeremy Pearse and Andy Ford rounded up the action from the key games affecting Brighton, Reading, Gillingham, Bournemouth, Swindon and Southend. This was followed by the Meridian Goal of the Season competition. Adam Virgo’s winner in the Live game at Leicester back in August was Brighton’s nominated contender, losing out to Dani Rodrigues of Bournemouth.

Ipswich 05 Case & Steggall



About Mark O'MEARA
I am Mark O'MEARA.

4 Responses to #21: Brighton 1-1 Ipswich 08/05/2005

  1. Pingback: #22: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Brighton 24/10/2005 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #20: Brighton 0-1 Reading 21/03/2005 | Mark O'MEARA

  3. Pingback: Small Screen Seagulls; FA Cup Away at the Big Boys | Mark O'MEARA

  4. Pingback: Withdean on Screen; Milestone Matches part one | Mark O'MEARA

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