#31: Woking 1-1 Brighton 16/11/2010

#31 WOKING 1-1 BRIGHTON (2-2 AET, BRI win 3-0 on pens) FA Cup Round One Replay
Tuesday 16th November 2010 Related image

WOK Titles

PRESENTER Ray Stubbs GUESTS Clive Walker & John Barnes
COMMENTATORS Derek Rae & Craig Burley REPORTER Darrell Currie
7.45pm Kick Off; Kingfield Stadium, Woking     7.30-10pm FA Cup Live on ESPN (Extended to 11pm)

WOK Ident WOK Bumper WOK Intro

Context of the Match: Brighton began their e-on FA Cup season as the highest ranked team in the competition thanks to their excellent start to the League One campaign. The Seagulls had topped the table since the end of September and, in a break to the marathon of the League, hosted Blue Square Bet Conference South side Woking from the sixth tier of English football with 85 League places separating the two sides. The original First Round tie at Withdean ended goalless with efforts from Gary Hart and Gary Dicker among others just narrowly missing the target. Consequently it would need a replay to decide which of Brighton and Woking would progress to Round Two and host another non-league side in FC United of Manchester. Rights holder ESPN chose our match as one of two FA Cup 1st Round Replays to be broadcast Live this midweek, owing to our good form. Woking had Cup previous though, with one of their most famous days coming in the Third Round in 1991 when Geoff Chapple’s non-league side knocked out second tier West Bromwich Albion four-two away from home. They also hold the joint-record for most FA Trophy victories with three to date. The potential was there of an upset for Gus Poyet’s League high-flyers, they needed to be on the ball if they were to progress and avoid a humiliation Live on television. The club enjoyed a run all the way to the Fourth Round last season, bowing out to Premier League Aston Villa three-two away from home and would be looking to perhaps go even further this time round. Prior to tonight’s match the Albion suffered their first League defeat since August when they lost three-one to Hartlepool at the weekend but still had a six point cushion at the top. Were nerves starting to show as the games came thick and fast?

WOK Woking WOK Brighton WOK Formation

The Teams: The headline from Brighton’s team news was the shock inclusion of assistant coach Mauricio Taricco, making his club debut at the age of 37. His last professional appearance came almost six years earlier having retired through injury after a brief stint at West Ham in 2004. Goalkeeper Peter Brezovan seems to be the designated Cup ‘keeper, having only made his first start this season in the reverse fixture. Full-back Inigo Calderon and centre-half Tommy Elphick were first team regulars in League and Cup. In all, the Albion changed five men from the original Cup tie. Skipper Gordon Greer took youngster Lewis Dunk’s place at the back, it was Marcos Painter who made way for Taricco and Elliott Bennett was an unused substitute in the goalless draw. Glenn Murray was rested so Gary Hart joined top-scorer Ashley Barnes up front. The only other difference from the last meeting saw the experience of Radostin Kishishev come in for the youthful Liam Bridcutt to sit in midfield. Options on the bench tonight came in the form of Argentinian duo Agustin Battipiedi and Cristian Baz who both joined in June on one-year contracts. Graham Baker’s Woking side included Elvis Hammond up front, a former Fulham and Leicester man. Ademola and Federico on the wings would provide pace, whilst McNerney and Doyle at the heart of the defence performed solidly at Withdean ten days ago. They made just one change to the starting XI which drew that first match; captain Mark Ricketts returned in midfield as Craig Faulconbridge dropped down to the bench. Refereeing was Roger East.

WOK Stubbs WOK Walker WOK Barnes WOK Studio

Presentation Team: ESPN’s coverage of this match was hosted on the road by Ray Stubbs. He joined ESPN in 2009 after 26 years with the BBC. Stubbs hosts their Premier League, SPL and FA Cup Live coverage, with the American-owned firm having launched in the summer of 2009 to swoop in and takeover Setanta Sports UK broadcast rights following their unfortunate demise due to debt. ESPN retained much of the Setanta personnel, including number one commentary team Jon Champion and Craig Burley, but went down their own route for presenters and pundits, which saw Stubbs join as the face under the slogan “It’s great to be here”. John Barnes was another new recruit for ESPN, currently in their second season operating in the UK. Barnes is a vastly experienced broadcaster, having worked for ITV at 1998 and 2002 World Cups as well as their Premiership highlights between 2001 and 2003 before moving to Channel 5 as, surprisingly and rather woodenly, a Live match presenter in 2003. Barnes took over from Steve Scott as the face of Football on Five, hosting UEFA Cup matches and the usual array of pre-season friendlies and qualifiers that Five could nab on a match-by-match basis. He was host for a few seasons before Colin Murray came in and Barnes was moved to lead pundit. He left to join Tranmere Rovers as manager in the summer of 2009 but was sacked after just four months and has since ended up here at ESPN. Alongside Barnes today was Clive Walker. He had connections to both clubs, having played over 100 games for Brighton at the beginning of the nineties before joining Woking in 1993 to make over 200 appearances for them in the Conference. He made his name at Chelsea as a youngster and it was his connections with the club which saw him work in the media on their club channel as co-commentator and pundit. At the end of his career he played and then managed in non-league and was subsequently signed up by Sky Sports to commentate on their Live Conference coverage when that kicked off in 2002, partnering Kevin Keatings on the gantry for the duration of the five-year contract.

WOK Portable studio WOK Studio packed up WOK In Play Interview WOK Coming Up1

In the commentary box for tonight’s match were Scottish pairing Derek Rae and Craig Burley. Aberdeen-born Rae always had ambitions of being a commentator, even as a teenager when he would record himself at matches. His career began at the BBC working on Scottish football before relocating to the USA for the 1994 World Cup where he worked as a press officer for FIFA. He enjoyed his time over there so much he stayed commentating on MLS matches for ESPN in the States and expanded his portfolio to cover European football too, whilst also appearing as a guest on their various sports magazine programmes. After a couple of brief commentaries on ITV’s Champions League and international highlights in the 2008/09 season, he was signed up as the voice of the SPL when ESPN launched their UK arm. Rae also commentates on their Europa League and FA Cup matches as second choice behind Jon Champion. Alongside Rae tonight was Craig Burley, one of the survivors of the Setanta years. Burley was the resident pundit on pretty much every SPL broadcast Setanta had and when they gained English Premier League rights in 2007 it was he who combined his studio duties with a place on the gantry next to Champion. Since being snapped up by ESPN Burley’s forthright views continued to be heard on both English Cup and Scottish League football on a weekly basis. Completing the line-up was reporter Darrell Currie. He’s on the touchline at all 30 of ESPN’s Scottish Premier League matches as well as reporting on the FA Cup and Europa League games. He’s a relative newcomer to television broadcasting having previously worked for BBC Scotland before joining ESPN at launch.

WOK Kick Off WOK Comms  WOK Arriving WOK Mix Up

The Coverage: ESPN gained Live broadcast rights to the FA Cup following Setanta Sports collapse in June 2009. However this season would be the first that ESPN would cover the competition, with ITV holding exclusive rights in the immediate aftermath for 2009/10. ESPN prioritised buying up League football in their first year, adding Cups and internationals later. After hastily setting up a channel and personnel to go with the newly-acquired rights, the American-owned media giant would show Live matches from every round of the competition from the First to the Final, as well as up to two replays from the early stages where permitting. On Thursday they would show Ebbsfleet versus Wimbledon but first it was Woking’s Kingfield Stadium where ESPN would park up their mobile caravan studio to host from pitchside in the corner of the ground. The programme began fifteen minutes before the 7.45pm kick off, giving anchor Ray Stubbs and guests John Barnes and Clive Walker time to discuss some of the key match-ups. Their set up encompassed a desk and three small chairs within the caravan as if in their usual warm studio back in London. The foggy evening gave an eery backdrop and the loud support in the two stands either side of them did its best to drown out our guests, as their facial microphones attempted to pick out their voices over the top. The game was apparently in danger of postponement due to the heavy fog a couple of hours before kick off but had lifted significantly by the time they came on-air. Darrell Currie spoke with both managers in the build up, with Poyet discussing the return to professional football of his assistant Mauricio Taricco. When the pundits talked about the news on the back of the interview, unfortunately the director and graphics department didn’t quite seem to know who Taricco was, captioning his name over shots of Inigo Calderon warming up! They then highlighted Woking’s Elvis Hammond and Brighton’s Ashley Barnes, thankfully with the correct identification this time. Both Clive Walker and John Barnes when asked for a prediction fancied the away side’s quality to shine through. Before the advert break clips of Woking’s famous FA Cup win at West Brom in 1991 were shown to stoke the fires and when we returned it was time for Ray Stubbs to hand over to the commentary team of Derek Rae and Craig Burley. Whilst other broadcasters had phased out the tradition of the co-commentator talking us through the formations after the main commentator had given us the team news, thankfully ESPN retained this. So Rae gave us the headlines and Burley went through the action areas in a little more detail so we were all set for kick off.

WOK Dressing Room WOK Coming Up2 WOK Analysis WOK Axis

ESPN’s theme tune was not a recognised song for their FA Cup coverage, instead using a specially composed untitled piece. The title sequence showed everybody going about their usual business from the groundsman to the fans and the players before culminating in an overlaying graphic on Wembley Stadium denoting the stage of the competition. The action replay transition consisted of the ESPN logo flying in from the right and zooming in to fill the screen, all quick as a flash. The rest of their graphics were red and black with square block based animations, all based on the colours of the channel logo. There were very slight similarities in principle to the ones used on the ITV Sport Channel almost a decade earlier, with their sleek, simple design. During the match, the co-commentator would occasionally highlight a tactical plan or theme being explored using arrows and circles. This channel branded this as the ‘ESPN Axis’ and allowed Craig Burley a few seconds to show something which is more commonplace during the highlights shows or post match analysis. Indeed the Axis was used during half and full-time by the pundits. This sort of thing began with Andy Gray on Sky and has influenced many a broadcaster since. One of the innovations that predecessors Setanta brought in to their coverage was the in-game interviews as part of their ‘Access All Areas’ coverage of the Conference. ESPN have incorporated that into their FA Cup broadcasts when covering a non-league team, with cameras in their dressing room (but not usually the League clubs) and Darrell Currie speaking with Woking boss Graham Baker in-play. Like with most channels now, when it came to injury time the number of minutes was permanently displayed next to the clock. The half time analysis focussed on some of the half-chances seen so far as well as a quick chat with the FC United of Manchester assistant manager, as his side would play tonight’s winners. He insisted he “didn’t care” which of the two prevailed. During the match the ticker at the bottom of the screen kept us up to date with the scores from the other replays whilst we waited for a winner at Kingfield. As the second half was near to starting, we saw the mobile studio had already been packed up in the corner, a requirement during the game. When the match finished level after ninety minutes we had a quick ad break before Extra Time began, which saw our pundits milling around next to their positions as the caravan had to remain folded away. We did eavesdrop on the Woking team talk and Darrell Currie grabbed another quick word with Graham Baker before the additional half an hour could get underway. A red-background graphic stating E.T. was added next to the clock. When the red card was issued a little red rectangle was added underneath Brighton’s name on the ever-increasing scoreboard. The pundits filled in the gaps at half-time in Extra Time and between that conclusion til the penalty shoot-out, giving us another chance to see the goals. Once the shoot-out was over and Brighton had gone through, Darrell Currie got immediate reaction from Matt Sparrow on the pitch followed by the Cards captain Mark Ricketts. After the final break Currie spoke to the Woking manager and Stubbs, Barnes and Walker continued their analysis for around ten minutes or so before Gus Poyet made his way across to the caravan to join the pundits for the final five of the programme. They came off-air at the delayed time of just before 11pm.

WOK Ashley Barnes WOK Subs WOK Red Card WOK Sparrow

Story of the Match: An early chance fell Woking’s way after good play from Elvis Hammond who fizzed a low drive right across the face of goal to the back post where Federico was waiting under pressure from Calderon. The Spaniard did enough to put him off as the shot flew high over the stands. Hammond was causing more problems on fifteen minutes when his shot had to be blocked for a corner, the resulting set piece nearly resulting in a scrambled goal from that man again. Brezovan stood firm. Brighton’s first real chance went the way of an outstretched Bennett, as Matt Sparrow’s pullback wasn’t quite connected with as sweetly as the winger would have liked. Moments later Radostin Kishishev rolled back the years to link up with Sparrow who played the ball over the top of the defence for the Bulgarian to volley just wide. A highlight of any match is the linesman taking a tumble, check out the 34th minute for that. With seven minutes to go before the break Matt Sparrow was again involved in the Woking area, curling a low shot from the corner of the box into the goalkeeper’s arms. Right on half-time the referee had a decision to make which, for Woking fans and commentator Craig Burley, it looked like he made the incorrect one. A ball through to Moses Ademola caused Greer to swing a leg and seemingly take him out in the penalty area however nothing was given. The teams went in all-square at half time. It took the Albion a little over eleven minutes in the second half to finally break that long deadlock. A cross in from the far touchline by Taricco was beautifully headed down behind the last defender by Barnes where Matt Sparrow was running on to it. He beat the defender to the ball and his first-time finish from seven yards out gave Andy Little no chance. The Barnes header was so good; it had just enough on it to fall between both the goalkeeper and defender, perfectly in the path of Sparrow. The breakthrough signalled a double substitution for Poyet; bringing on Murray and Battipiedi. Brighton were pushing for a second in the next few minutes but nothing quite happened, Sparrow again going closest dragging a shot narrowly wide. Then with nineteen minutes remaining the home side were right back in the tie. A throw-in on the near touchline corner in front of the now-packed up studio was taken to Hammond in the box. He managed to spin Elphick to reach the byline before putting it into the danger zone. His cross ricocheted off Gordon Greer for an own-goal in amongst a load of bodies, the ball going past Brezovan who could only stand and watch it nestle into the far corner for one-one. Game on again. Woking were buoyant and went close with a header a few minutes later. Their quick wingers caused further problems for Taricco who went into the book for a late challenge. Brighton were panicked. There was even an almighty swing-and-a-miss air-shot from Battipiedi in a rare, late foray forward with five minutes remaining as his attempt at a shot caused more damage to the grass than the ball. With two minutes to go Matt Sparrow was presented with a golden chance to win it. A free-kick was floated in the box, the header across from Murray found Sparrow unmarked ten yards out. The ball was bouncing up high and he took the shot when it was on the up rather than on the way down and his volley sailed over; the usual composure eluding him at the crucial moment. Not to be outdone, the final chance of the ninety belonged to Hammond, who perhaps didn’t know too much about it as a cutback seemed to fall into his running stride and the ball flew off his foot and wide from just a few yards out. We would need Extra Time, at the least, to separate these two, as it ended one-one after 180 minutes of Cup football.

WOK Penalties WOK Poyet

Brighton’s final substitution was made five minutes into the additional period. Cristian Baz replaced Gary Hart for some fresh legs up front, aiming to secure the game without having to go all the way to penalties. And for a short time it looked like they wouldn’t be needed, as in the twelfth minute Woking took the lead. The corner was swung in from the far side to an unmarked Ola Sogbanmu who was able to head the ball home centre of goal six yards out. The substitute was completely ignored by the Albion defence and it was the simplest of headers to give the non-league side the lead for the first time. Thankfully though the perfect response came almost immediately. Gordon Greer chipped a deflected pass forward to Murray who neatly touched it off the edge of the box for Elliott Bennett. He struck it first time on the half-volley from inside the D, driving the ball low past Little for the equaliser before half-time. The drama wasn’t quite over yet as assistant manager, and emergency left-back re-registered for tonight’s game, Mauricio Taricco received his marching orders for petulant dissent. Although it took the referee around a minute to realise a red was required after issuing him with just a yellow for arguing over a decision, the kick was taken and then when play stopped Roger East went back to issue the red card having clearly realised he’d booked the Argentinian twice. It was all getting slightly farcical and worryingly for the Seagulls, the game was far from secure. The closest anyone came to taking the initiative in the second period of Extra Time was a deflected shot from Matt Sparrow from the edge of the area, landing inches wide of the post. And so, for the third successive Live televised Cup tie for the Seagulls, it would take a penalty shoot-out to decide who would progress. We eavesdropped in on the Woking boss talking his team through the penalty preparations giving three clear instructions; place the ball properly, have a proper run up and choose your corner and don’t change your mind. Simple stuff really. Unfortunately none of their players took that advice as Woking missed all three of their penalties; Sogbanmu hit the post, Faulconbridge blazed over and Hammond saw his comfortably saved. Glenn Murray took Brighton’s first, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. Goalscorer Matt Sparrow did the same, sending his high into our top left-hand corner. There was a glimmer of hope for Woking when Battipiedi smashed his against the crossbar but that was short-lived. So it was left to Cristian Baz to secure the winner with the cheekiest of kicks, stopping his run-up dead to calmly stab the ball trickling past the already-committed goalkeeper. His composure didn’t match how uncomfortable it was for the Albion, with Woking putting in an incredible effort over both matches. Next up in Round Two it was FC United of Manchester at Withdean, hopefully learning from tonight’s match not to take non-league teams for granted.

WOK Draw

Greer (Own Goal). Sogbanmu Sparrow. Bennett. Brighton win 3-0 on penalties.

WOK Replay1 WOK Replay



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

3 Responses to #31: Woking 1-1 Brighton 16/11/2010

  1. Pingback: #30: Brighton 1-1 Bournemouth 09/10/2010 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #32: FC United of Manchester 0-4 Brighton 08/12/2010 | Mark O'MEARA

  3. Pingback: Small Screen Seagulls; FC United of Manchester (H) 27/11/2010 | Mark O'MEARA

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