#25: Leyton Orient 2-2 Brighton 17/11/2007

Saturday 17th November 2007 Sky 2007

LEY Titles

PRESENTER Rob Wotton GUESTS Peter Beagrie & Roberto Martinez
COMMENTATORS Ian Darke & Garry Birtles REPORTER Andy Burton
12.30pm Kick Off; Matchroom Stadium, Leyton Orient      12-2.30pm Football League Live on Sky Sports 1

Ident LEY Sponsors LEY Intro

Context of the Match: The Albion’s second season back in League One had started far better than the first. Ahead of today’s match Brighton were sitting in sixth place, in the play offs, with today’s hosts Leyton Orient in third. Dean Wilkins remained in charge hoping to improve on a disappointing yet transitional season last time. The aim is to be promoted to, or fighting for a place in, the Championship for when the new stadium in Falmer is due for completion in a couple of seasons time. Orient themselves haven’t moved stadium but the facilities were vastly improved since our last televised visit eleven years ago. Under the new name of the Matchroom Stadium, courtesy of chairman Barry Hearn’s sports company, the all-seater ground also had flats built into it as they too look to move into higher leagues. Brighton came into this game relieved to be playing someone other than Cheltenham! Having played them the previous weekend in the FA Cup 1st Round, there was a replay the midweek after this match and they also met in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy the midweek just gone. The squad has improved since we saw them Live last but the core team and the promotion of youth was still very much at the heart of it. This international break weekend for the top two tiers always puts the lower leagues in the spotlight, would we thrive or freeze under the microscope?

LEY Leyton Orient LEY Subs LEY Brighton

The Teams: Brighton added a couple of key players since last season, particularly up front where goals were a struggle. Moonwalking cult-hero Bas Savage came in on a free from Gillingham, gaining national attention for his Michael Jackson celebrations on Soccer AM. Experienced striker Nicky Forster was signed in the summer after an unsuccessful attempt to bring him in last January, costing £75,000 from Hull. Andrew Whing, signed permanently after loan spells last season, was missing today through suspension. George O’Callaghan and David Martot were loan transfers. The Dean Wilkins Youth influence is still going strong with thirteen players graduating involved in the first team this season. That includes Tommy Elphick at centre half, as well as substitutes John Sullivan and Tommy Fraser amongst others. Dean Hammond continued to skipper the side. Veteran defender Guy Butters is in his twentieth season as a professional. Matt Richards is on-loan from Championship Ipswich. Orient boss Martin Ling saw out his playing career at Brighton, whilst Dean Wilkins had a short spell at Leyton Orient during his pro days. Paul Terry is the brother of Chelsea and England captain John. Striker Wayne Gray had a loan spell with Brighton a few years ago. The impressive George Boyd was his partner up top. Tony Bates was the man in charge.

LEY Wotton  LEY Beagrie  LEY Martinez  LEY Studio

Presentation Team: This League One match was presented from a studio inside the Matchroom Stadium by Rob Wotton. We’d previously seen Wotton hosting the FA Cup Live match against Rushden and Diamonds six years earlier. In between that time he was a regular on Sky Sports News and had been promoted this season as cover for regular number one host George Gavin, who was undergoing several months recovery after a hip operation. Alongside him today were Peter Beagrie and Swansea manager Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard had been used for one-off appearances several times down the years on both ITV and Sky and is usually an interesting, thoughtful listen. Peter Beagrie had been appearing on phone-in You’re on Sky Sports alongside former Sky Football League pundit Steve Claridge but now he was their number one studio analyst, appearing most weekends from this season. Reporting pitchside for the majority of Saturday lunchtime matches this season was Andy Burton. He was better known as a Sky Sports News reporter, particularly around Transfer Deadline Day, as well as being a match commentator. He had been used on Football First 3pm broadcasts, Champions League red button on Sky as well as Football Italia on Bravo and the summer before last covered the World Cup Final Live for digital broadcaster UKTV G2 (latterly known as Dave). In the commentary box for his Brighton Live debut was Ian Darke. After launching his Sky career on Monday Night Football for the first three Premiership seasons, he became Sky’s chief big fight boxing commentator. He returned to football out of nowhere in January 2005 getting many of the big games as well as continuing with boxing, and is currently one of four commentators Sky use on their Premiership matches (with Martin Tyler, Rob Hawthorne and Alan Parry). He also provides back up to Bill Leslie on the Football League coverage, especially on international weekends when Leslie is with Scotland as Darke doesn’t cover a nation. Garry Birtles was alongside him today. Birtles remained one of three regulars used on the Leagues behind Don Goodman, who joined earlier this year as Chris Kamara moved away from co-commentary, and ahead of Tony Gale. Birtles commentary style is best described as critical.

LEY Kick Off LEY Comms LEY Sub LEY Coming Up

The Coverage: There were big changes to Sky’s Football League team this season. Saturday Night Football was re-introduced as a regular kick-off time as direct competition to newcomers to the English game – Setanta Sports – who had broken Sky’s Live monopoly on the top flight broadcasting 46 games a season with former Football League number one Ian Crocker among their regular voices. With their Saturday games kicking off at 5.30pm, Sky went all out to disrupt this by putting the main Football League Live game at 5.20pm, trying to gain that crucial head start. These games were hosted pitchside by newcomers to the coverage – David Jones and Peter Beagrie. George Gavin began the season by covering everything else from the preview and review shows to the non-Saturday Live games. However he’s a long-term absentee due to an operation and as mentioned before Rob Wotton took his place. Despite the personnel and graphics changes, the titles remained as ‘All Together Now’. The replay graphic was updated to the individual League trophies flying in from the top left towards the centre and out bottom left of the screen. This was used for all replays in the lower leagues including goals, sadly seeing the last of the 3D club crest crashing in which had survived the last four graphics sets. Other competitions did have a club badge appear for goals but this was a new design which was on a black disc, like shown in some of the screenshots above. Initially the score and clock were in the bottom left of the screen but that experiment was dropped after only a few weeks into the new season to sit in the more traditional top left. One new feature of this was the colour changing from black to white to indicate we were in additional time at the end of the half or match. Team graphics were also new and for Football League coverage only the formations were shown, with no analysis from the co-commentators anymore. This remained in the Premiership, where individual images were used for the main commentator’s intro before the co-commentator discussed the setup seeing a similar formation graphic to what we enjoyed here. In terms of the programme today, reporter Andy Burton was shown around the in-stadium flats by Barry Hearn as the key VT in the build-up, whilst the pundits picked out their key men and we heard from both managers. There were only a few seconds of post-match coverage, with Wotton talking through the updated League table without a word from his guests before handing over to a busy day of international football.

LEY Yellow LEY Stats

Story of the Match: The game began frantically with half-chances at either end of the field. Orient appeals for a penalty for shirtpulling were turned down. The game calmed down when interrupted by a streaker, or “exhibitionist” as Ian Darke described it in commentary. The first half continued to be very scrappy and tight, with neither team wanting to put a foot wrong. Consequently the teams seemed nervous and goalkeepers weren’t troubled much. The first shot on target resulted in the opening goal for Leyton Orient. Thornton and Boyd linked up nicely before setting up Wayne Gray on the edge of the area. He got the wrong side of the defence from Albion’s point of view and blasted the ball into the centre of the goal above Kuipers who had no chance against such power. Brighton started to come into the game more towards the end of the half, with danger from wide areas and corners. Irishman George O’Callaghan curled an effort towards the top right-hand corner, narrowly missing the target. On the stroke of half-time Brighton had an equaliser disallowed. Bas Savage did well on the left wing driving forward and pulling the ball back for Dean Cox to cross. It was met well by the head of Dean Hammond to direct goalwards and a bobble took it up over the ‘keeper and into the goal. Yet as he headed it, the whistle went. Quite why that was we’re still unsure. It wasn’t offside, it didn’t look like a foul so only the referee can be sure, as such it was still one-nil at the break.

LEY Forster LEY Table

The second half started livelier with Brighton looking more likely to trouble the goalkeeper and a defence having to throw bodies on the line. Then out of nowhere Nicky Forster levelled it up. He picked the ball up from a long pass, spun his defender and got a bit of a lucky break with a touch off another defender laying the ball back into Forster.s path. He just said ‘thankyou very much’, looked up and struck a fierce shot from more than twenty yards out at the far side of the area straight through Nelson’s outstretched arms and nestled into the inside of the net. A tremendous strike but the goalkeeper should be saving shots like that from that distance and angle. Take nothing away from Nicky Forster though, his goalscorer’s instinct and power behind the early shot foxed Stuart Nelson. Brighton were level for no more than about two minutes though. A run down the line from Melligan gave him a crossing opportunity which went all the way through in front of goal past the defence to the back post. Waiting there was Jason Demetriou unmarked and with lots of time and space. He was able to just pick the corner of the goal he wanted and expertly curled past Kuipers and two defenders on the line to restore the home side’s lead with twenty minutes remaining. A crazy seven minutes was completed when Brighton equalised for a second time. O’Callaghan and Savage combine nicely to get a crossing opportunity in towards Nicky Forster. His header hits the bar and bounces back out to Dean Cox waiting to calmly nod home from three yards out past the bodies on the line for a goal. The little man was in the right place at the right time to score his fourth this season. With ten minutes remaining Forster showed again how clever a footballer he is, manufacturing an instant chance from very little as he tried to lob the ‘keeper on the edge of the box which had Nelson scrambling across and relieved to see it land just wide. Seconds later substitute Jake Robinson shot from twenty-five yards just clipping the top of the bar. It seemed if anyone was going to win this late on it would be the away side. However with the last kick of the match Orient nearly stole it. A long ball in from Demetriou was flicked on by Terry to the back post where Gray was waiting unmarked. His half-volley was well saved with his body, legs and anything he could get to block it. Panic in the Brighton defence but the game ended all square.

Gray, Demetriou Forster, Cox

LEY Replay


EXTRAS; This season Sky Sports Football League coverage included a regular Friday night preview programme and Monday night review programme; both named The Big League Weekend. Like with the Live coverage, Rob Wotton stepped into George Gavin’s shoes whilst he was recovering this year. His guests for this week’s preview show were Coventry manager Iain Dowie and ex-pro Scott Minto (who must’ve liked what he’d seen as he would later go on to host Sky’s Live Football League coverage). The show crammed lots into the hour, with interviews, midweek goals, analysis and reports from all three Divisions all hosted from Sky Studios, complete with the usual graphics and All Together Now title sequence.

BLW1 Titles BLW Wotton

The show crammed lots into the hour, with interviews, midweek goals, analysis and reports from all three Divisions all hosted from Sky Studios, complete with the usual graphics and All Together Now title sequence. Previewing the Leyton Orient versus Brighton match, O’s defender Tamika Mkandawire was interviewed by Guy Havord about his form so far this season and Orient’s flying start.

BLW Studio BLW1 Interview

On Big League Weekend 2 on Monday evening, Wotton was joined by Walsall striker Tommy Mooney to review the weekend’s matches. He’d faced both Orient and the Albion this season and praised Brighton’s footballing abilities and possession. Dean Wilkins singled out Nicky Forster post match and the studio team here focussed on the former Reading striker’s form this season. “He knows the right areas of the pitch to be in, and he can score goals from inside and outside of the box. Every team needs that one-off goalscorer, he can certainly be that man for Brighton” said Mooney.

BLW2 Studio BLW2 Result


Long-running Saturday morning football preview show Soccer AM crossed to the stadium ahead of the game to look ahead to the match with pundit Peter Beagrie. The Live broadcast was to follow Soccer AM at noon. Hosts Andy Goldstein and Helen Chamberlain, alongside today’s guests including Billy Sharp, Andy Keogh and Mark Watson, were in the studio whilst Beagrie was on the monitor and pitchside at the Matchroom Stadium.

Soccer AM preview Titles Soccer AM preview studio

Beagrie began by correctly predicting that there would be a few goals for both teams and the majority would come later on in the game. “You can nip out, make a cup of tea, have your dinner in the first half. The second half is gonna be an absolute glut of goals! 19 out of 23 for Leyton Orient have been scored in the second half and 12 out of 19 [for Brighton.]” He did go on to say Brighton would win 2-1 though so didn’t get it all spot on.

Soccer AM preview Beagrie Soccer AM preview Table


NEXT; #26 SHREWSBURY 0-0 BRIGHTON 16/12/2008

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

2 Responses to #25: Leyton Orient 2-2 Brighton 17/11/2007

  1. Pingback: #24: Brighton 0-3 Blackpool 08/10/2006 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #26: Shrewsbury 0-0 Brighton 16/12/2008 | Mark O'MEARA

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