#32: FC United of Manchester 0-4 Brighton 08/12/2010

#32 FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 0-4 BRIGHTON FA Cup Round Two Replay
Wednesday 8th December 2010 Related image

FCUM Titles

PRESENTER Ray Stubbs GUESTS Steve Cotterill & Dion Dublin
COMMENTATORS Jon Champion & Craig Burley REPORTER Darrell Currie
7.45pm Kick Off; Gigg Lane, Bury     7.30-10pm FA Cup Live on ESPN

FCUM Ident FCUM Bumper FCUM Intro

Context of the Match: After their penalty shoot-out victory at Woking in the FA Cup First Round Replay, Brighton were handed another favourable match in Round Two; at home to FC United of Manchester. They were a semi-professional club founded in 2005 by Manchester United supporters (hence the name) in protest at American businessman Malcolm Glazer’s takeover at Old Trafford. They used Bury’s stadium to play their matches and after three promotions in their opening three seasons were competing in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division; the seventh tier of English football. Brighton had been top of League One since September and were currently the highest placed team in the competition, the tie at Withdean should have been a routine victory for the Albion. As tonight’s match is a Replay, you can see that was not the case eleven days prior. Nicky Platt gave the part-timers a surprise lead in the first half on the South Coast, against the run of play. United were holding on until Scott McManus had an off-the-ball altercation with Gary Hart to earn him a straight red card. They managed to keep Brighton out until the 83rd minute when a scrambled equaliser came about; Mauricio Taricco’s header got the final touch of substitute striker Fran Sandaza. The Albion really went for it in the final few minutes, with Ashley Barnes seeing his shot blocked on the line and then, in stoppage time, Sandaza was bundled over in the area for a penalty. Given how the Seagulls had reached this stage it was somewhat ironic that the spot-kick was missed here. Or, to put it more accurately, Elliott Bennett’s penalty was brilliantly saved by the ‘keeper to remain level and force tonight’s rematch. Manchester shouldn’t have been underestimated, to reach Round Two they had already won through four rounds of qualifying matches then knocked out Rochdale of League One with a last-minute winner, who were 95 places above them at kick off. Whilst this Replay was Albion’s fourth FA Cup match of the season, would it be lucky number seven for the hosts?

FCUM Manchester FCUM Brighton FCUM Formation

The Teams: With the previous Saturday’s League One match at home to Colchester postponed due to the weather, Poyet was able to choose a strong side here. Only six survive from the original tie; Cup goalkeeper Peter Brezovan, Marcos Painter at the back, Glenn Murray up top and the midfield trio of Bennett, Kishishev and former Chelsea youth captain Liam Bridcutt, who joined in August. This allowed Fran Sandaza, signed from Dundee United on a one-year contract at the end of August, to come in for Ashley Barnes. Man of the Match in the First Round Replay at Woking, Matt Sparrow, returned to the midfield. And in defence Inigo Calderon returned at right-back with Adam El-Abd and captain Gordon Greer in the centre for a much more experienced back line. They replaced assistant boss Mauricio Taricco and youth team graduates Tommy Elphick and Lewis Dunk, who both dropped down to the bench. Other substitute options should we need them included long-serving Gary Hart, Argentinians Battipiedi and Baz and young ‘keeper Michael Poke who joined in the summer from Southampton but never featured for the Albion. 21-year-old Jamie Smith was also a sub but despite the surname was nothing to do with Albion ’83 Cup scorer Gordon. Karl Marginson’s FC United of Manchester side made two changes from the one-all draw at Withdean. Scott McManus, sent off in the first game, and Jerome Wright were suspended, so in came Martin Parker and Ludovic Quistin. The latter being an international for Guadalupe no less. Nicky Platt has scored in both the last two Cup matches. Jake Cottrell was voted the Player of the Round after scoring in victory at Rochdale and was last season’s Player of the Year for the club. Sam Ashton was the late hero in-goal saving Bennett’s penalty to take us to this Replay. Refereeing at Gigg Lane was Eddie Ilderton.

FCUM Stubbs FCUM Cotterill FCUM Dublin FCUM Beer

Presentation Team: This FA Cup Replay was hosted from Gigg Lane by Ray Stubbs. He joined ESPN ahead of their launch last year, leaving his 26 year career with the BBC. Immediately before joined he was hosting BBC’s Final Score programme, bringing news of all the goals as they happened from around the country. He had hosted that since 2004. In addition he was the BBC’s England reporter from 2008 and stood-in for Gary Lineker and Adrian Chiles on the Match of the Day programmes, as well as secondary Live matches at tournaments and Cups. His pundits tonight were Steve Cotterill and Dion Dublin. We’ve already seen Dublin on a Live Albion match this season when he was working for Sky Sports on the League clash at home to Bournemouth. Whilst he was signed as a full-time Sky pundit back in May 2008, he didn’t feature all too prominently in the subsequent seasons and by now was working freelance. He has a friendly, engaging manner if a little light on individual player knowledge and preparation but he’s affable and seems to understand the mechanics of broadcasting well. He played for the ‘other’ United, Manchester United, back in the early 90s before enjoying successful spells at Coventry and Aston Villa in the Premiership. He also made four appearances in an England shirt around the 1998 World Cup but narrowly missed out on the tournament squad despite finishing joint-top scorer in the League. Steve Cotterill was the Portsmouth manager and he was on a scouting mission as the winner tonight would host his side in Round Three. Cotterill is no stranger to the television studio, frequently popping up on Sky’s Football League coverage amongst other things. He also had a brief loan spell playing for the Albion in 1992, in which the striker scored four goals in eleven matches. Before Gus Poyet got the job just over a year ago, Steve Cotterill was linked with the vacant position having been out of management for two years. In the commentary box was Jon Champion alongside Craig Burley. This was Champion’s first Live outing on a Brighton match and was a welcome addition. He started his television career at BBC Sport, joining Match of the Day in 1995 as cover during John Motson’s sabbatical, before moving full-time the following season when Clive Tyldesley left for ITV. He went to the World Cup in 1998 and famously called Michael Owen’s wonder-goal against Argentina for the BBC highlights programme; a very high-profile gig for such a young commentator. Since joining ESPN at launch in 2009 he has been their number one covering all the Premier League and biggest FA Cup matches, as well as Europa League games. Champion was at Withdean for the original tie, calling it for the ITV highlights programme. Craig Burley regularly worked alongside Champion at Setanta on their Premier League matches and enjoyed a reunion at ESPN during their Cup coverage. He also is their Scottish Premiership co-commentator next to Derek Rae, with that pairing doing our last Live match at Woking a few weeks ago. Also covering that was reporter Darrell Currie, who was also on the touchline tonight. His Scottish football role is the usual pre and post match interviews with players and managers, whilst he gets to be heard and seen a little bit more on the FA Cup broadcasts when the non-league teams allow him to chat in-game with managers in the ‘Access All Areas’ coverage.

FCUM Dressing Room FCUM Bennett Preview FCUM Kick Off FCUM Comms

The Coverage: New to the FA Cup this season, ESPN broadcast two Live matches from Rounds One and Two before the big teams joined, as well as up to two Replays from each stage. Brighton were picked in the First Round Replay, going all the way with Woking before emerging on penalties, and we were picked for tonight’s Live Replay too. You wait ages for a televised FA Cup match (nine years to be precise – Rushden and Diamonds in 2001) then two come along in the space of a month! Tomorrow night Luton would host Charlton on the channel but first it was our trip to the unfamiliar team of FC United of Manchester in the familiar setting of fellow League One club Bury’s Gigg Lane. Coverage was again hosted from the ESPN mobile caravan studio in the corner of the pitch and began fifteen minutes before the 7.45pm kick off. Host Ray Stubbs set the scene with a little intro before the title sequence; standing in a snowy field in Newton Heath where Manchester United was formed. A planning application had just been approved for a new stadium, sound familiar? This time it wasn’t about our new home though, it was the FC United side who would be able to move out of Bury and get a place to call their own in a couple of seasons time. ESPN kicked off their Cup coverage by showing United’s First Round shock win away at Rochdale and the focus in the build-up was more on the non-league outfit hoping for another upset tonight. They even had their own special FA Cup celebratory ale – Scarlet Ribbon – brewed just for tonight which Stubbs got his hands on. Comparisons naturally were drawn to the Albion’s previous FA Cup experiences with a United team from Manchester; the 1983 Final. Reporter Darrell Currie once again chatted to both managers before the kick off, with Gus Poyet commenting on the home team and supporters; “they are unbelievable and they just keep going, non-stop action.” He was also happy with the surface which was looking good despite small concerns earlier in the day that the game may be in doubt due to snow. The pitch was clear, it was just extremely cold; as low as minus 6 degrees at times. No wonder pundits Steve Cotterill and, particularly, Dion Dublin were wrapped up warm pitchside. They picked out United midfielder Nicky Platt, the goalscorer in the first match, and Brighton’s Elliott Bennett as being amongst the key players tonight. Both guests believed Brighton wouldn’t make the same mistake twice after drawing at Withdean and would go through to Round Three. After the break our commentators Jon Champion and Craig Burley took us through the line-ups and we were all set for kick off.

FCUM Pitchside FCUM Analysis FCUM Axis FCUM Coming Up

A new addition to the scorebar was the colours of each team next to their name to make it easier identifying who was who, particularly useful for viewers when teams like tonight are not used to regular television exposure. The end of the title sequence was updated to denote it’s not the 2nd Round of the competition, the replay transition was still the ESPN logo like it was across all the matches they covered. The rest of the graphics remained as they were for our last Live match. As with many of their Cup games, access all areas was granted by the non-league side, with dressing room cameras and Darrell Currie interviewing the home manager at various points in-game, including right on the whistle after his side conceded the second. At half time Cotterill and Dublin reviewed the goals with the help of the ‘ESPN Axis’ fancy graphics to illustrate their points. With the suspensions in the defence, Steve Cotterill thought the timing of the second goal was crucial as, if they could have stayed in the match and with the vocal crowd’s support, the longer the game stayed at just a goal to nil the home side perhaps might have done something. Before the second half was underway there was a quick pointer towards ESPN’s next Live Premier League game at the weekend, featuring Liverpool at St James Park where Newcastle had surprisingly just sacked manager Chris Hughton. I’m sure he’d get better jobs in years to come. The studio team stood on the pitch just before the second half got underway, pointing out that the turf was pretty good considering the weather but there were a few slips around the perimeter where the snow and ice had been shunted too. Indeed the linesmen were running mostly inside the touchline rather than outside it. During an in-game chat in the second half, United boss Marginson complimented the Albion side well, saying ” They’re a great side, to be fair. For a team at our level, it’s a joy to watch some of them.” Upon the end of the match a few dozen home supporters ran onto the pitch, to the dismay of the rest of their support who just wanted to applaud and thank their players and coaches for a fantastic Cup run. After the break Currie caught up with two of Brighton’s goalscorers; Man of the Match Elliott Bennett and Fran Sandaza. Bennett was “very relieved, if we’d have gone out cos of my missed penalty (in the first match) I’d have been gutted. It wasn’t to be, all credit goes to them but, you know, a professional performance from the boys today.” Losing boss Karl Marginson made his way across to the mobile studio to reflect on a fantastic Cup campaign with the pundits as they had around ten minutes to wrap everything up. Upon reviewing the penalty decision, the United boss admirably said it was harsh to give it, just as his phone began ringing on-air! Everyone spoke kindly about Manchester whilst praising Brighton’s professional, clinical performance. Then it was time to go and get warm as Stubbs closed another great broadcast.

FCUM Bennett aston FCUM Attempts FCUM In Game Chat FCUM Sub

Story of the Match: It was a freezing cold night in greater Manchester with temperatures below zero and ice and snow having to be cleared off the pitch in order to get the game on. The United fans were in full voice, bouncing and singing from the moment the programme came on-air and all throughout, creating a fantastic Cup atmosphere. They had various banners dotted around the ground taking a pop at ‘modern football’ and the increasingly corporate feel of the top-level clubs; “Making Friends not Millionaires” and “Pies not Prawns”. Owned by the supporters, the club was a very principled one and had strong views on the televising of their football matches. Whilst they acknowledged exposure and revenue from broadcasting was important to football, the balance had swung too far in TV’s favour and objected to matches being moved from their original date and kick-off purely for television. Tonight’s tie wouldn’t apply as the Replay would had to have been midweek, and they knew when they decided to participate in the FA Cup that they would be prepared for potential moves for broadcast. However when their League’s internet television channel, NPL TV, decided to move their fixture with Curzon Ashton to a 12.45pm kick-off in 2007 they couldn’t object but showed their opposition with actions; by fans not turning up to the match. Consequently no further games of theirs were moved for the internet channel. All the asked for was a greater discussion rather than being dictated to by television, as the Premier League had increasingly become. The match itself started with Brighton looking comfortable without really threatening too much. That changed in the 25th minute when Elliott Bennett skipped inside his marker towards the box, his shot as he was falling actually turned into a decent pass to the back post where Fran Sandaza was waiting to poke home from six yards out. United had small shouts for a penalty after Liam Bridcutt’s outstretched arm appeared to deflect a cross in the area but it probably would’ve been harsh and wasn’t given. The home side enjoyed a bit more possession which boosted the record crowd further, their flares flaming and smoking out the goal Albion were attacking, but the team possessed little danger for Poyet’s men. But Brighton didn’t pose too much of a threat either, not having to move out of second gear much. In injury time at the end of the first half they doubled the lead through Inigo Calderon. Sandaza’s drive forward was inadvertently advanced by a United defender, whose tackle sent Bennett free in behind in space. His first-time cross was perfect for the onrushing Calderon who had an open goal to head home for his fourth of the season.

FCUM Interview FCUM Sandaza

After the break, the home side’s first chance of the match fell the way of Platt in the 50th minute. A lay off on the edge of the box was perfectly into Platt’s path, his first time side-footed shot trickled inches wide of the post. They performed well at the start of the second forty-five with lots of possession spells and this paid off in the 67th minute. Deegan did well on the left and as he drove into the penalty area he tripped over Calderon’s outstretched leg for a penalty. The Spaniard protested his innocence saying there was no contact but it does appear to have been the slightest of touches right on the line. Co-commentator Craig Burley thought “for a big fella he’s gone down pretty easily” but ultimately said there was slight contact. Jake Cottrell scored against Rochdale and he stepped up tonight but his kick smacked against the post as another golden chance went begging. That would prove to be it for them, as Brighton cruised to victory with two late goals. Sandaza played a lovely through-ball for Elliott Bennett to nab his second with a cool low finish under the ‘keeper with four minutes to go. Then in the final minute sub Gary Hart found himself one-on-one but unselfishly squared it to Matt Sparrow alongside him to just tap across the line for a slightly harsh fourth. The defence appealed for offside, probably more as they couldn’t fathom how much space was afforded to the Albion players, but alas he was behind the ball, the goal stood. And so the side 112 places below the League One leaders gallantly bowed out in the Second Round. They pushed Brighton all the way and hung on for a Replay, could have been a lot closer if they took the key chances. The exposure would have given them everything they needed, with the focus now on securing the funding for their new stadium, something all Seagulls supporters would have wished them well with having gone through so much ourselves. The Albion would go on to play Championship Portsmouth in the Third Round, and beat them, before seeing off Championship Watford away in the Fourth. The Seagulls eventually exited the Cup away at Premier League Stoke City but the final season at Withdean would go on to be another very successful one as far as the League campaign went.

FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 0 BRIGHTON 4
Sandaza, Calderon, Bennett, Sparrow

FCUM Replay

PREVIOUS; #31 WOKING 1-1 BRIGHTON 16/11/2010

NEXT; #33 COLCHESTER 1-1 BRIGHTON 25/04/2011

 

EXTRA; Owing to the Albion’s progress into the Fifth Round of the e-on FA Cup during the 2010/2011 season, a separate Small Screen Seagulls post charting that run *will be* available HERE, detailing the ITV highlights programmes which showcased our matches.

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

3 Responses to #32: FC United of Manchester 0-4 Brighton 08/12/2010

  1. Pingback: #31: Woking 1-1 Brighton 16/11/2010 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #33: Colchester 1-1 Brighton 25/04/2011 | Mark O'MEARA

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

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