#37: Wrexham 1-1 Brighton 18/01/2012

#37 WREXHAM 1-1 BRIGHTON (AET, BRI win 5-3 on pens) FA Cup Round Three Replay
Wednesday 18th January 2012 Related imageS4C

WRE Titles

PRESENTER Ray Stubbs GUESTS Brian Flynn & John Barnes
COMMENTATORS Derek Rae & Chris Waddle REPORTER Darrell Currie
7.15pm Kick Off; Racecourse Ground, Wrexham     7-9.30pm FA Cup Live on ESPN (Extended to 10.30pm)

WRE Bumper WRE Sponsor WRE Intro

Context of the Match: Brighton certainly liked to make heavy work of their FA Cup ties against non-League opposition. Last season in the competition the Albion drew at home to Woking, from tier five of the football pyramid, and FC United of Manchester, tier seven, before eventually knocking out both in the televised replays. The draw was kind again this season, with Conference Wrexham having to go to The Amex. That, of course, also ended in a tie and here we were twelve days later having to face off again. In the first match, seventeen-year-old Jake Forster-Caskey, who graduated through the club’s youth system, put Brighton ahead to score his second goal in as many games. The lead lasted for around fifteen minutes before Wrexham grabbed an equaliser through Cieslewicz with a shot looping over Cup ‘keeper Brezovan. The Welsh side deserved a replay, indeed they have FA Cup pedigree. In 1992 Mickey Thomas, once of the Seagulls, scored a thunderous free-kick to write his name in history as the fourth tier Dragons upset top Division Arsenal in the Third Round. It’s still one of the most memorable Cup moments of all time. The Racecourse Ground then was muddy, patchy and a proper old-school surface. Twenty years on and the pitch was causing problems here, namely that it was completely frozen. The replay was due to take place on Tuesday 17th but the weather did for that. With the Albion having already travelled over on Monday, a discussion took place with all parties to agree to getting the game on the following night. The forecast was much better for the Wednesday and come kick off time it was perfectly playable. Game on! Eventually. And we would now be Live on two channels; S4C in Welsh and ESPN in English. More on that below. Brighton’s form going into the match was dreadful in December, with four straight League losses. Wins against Southampton and Bristol City at the weekend had seen an improvement but we were going to be in for another tough night in Wrexham. The Welshmen were top of the Blue Square Bet Premier Division, having sat there since October and unbeaten in their last fifteen League matches. In order to reach Round Three of the Budweiser FA Cup, they had to beat York in the Fourth Qualifying Round, dispatch of Cambridge in a replay and win away at Brentford in Round Two. Tonight would be their sixth match in the competition in front of the highest crowd of the season at the Racecourse, they were the last non-league side remaining. The incentive in reaching Round Four was to host Premier League Newcastle.

WRE Wrexham WRE Brighton

The Teams: Gus Poyet stated after the one-all at The Amex that he would be fielding a very inexperienced team in the replay; telling BBC Radio Sussex “We have another opportunity next week for the kids to play an important game. There’s a chance the whole second team will play.” In the original tie he gave a debut in defence to Ben Sampayo, his only appearance for the Albion, and a first start to centre-back Grant Hall, yet another academy graduate, as part of six changes from the side that beat Southampton in the League. However with the extra day’s preparation following last night’s postponement, Poyet had a reshuffle and played a stronger team than anticipated for the replay. He made four changes from the draw. Craig Mackail-Smith had been suffering with an eye injury but the extra recovery time meant he was passed fit and started up top with the two Wills supporting; Hoskins and Buckley. Lewis Dunk was recalled in place of Sampayo and Liam Bridcutt returned with LuaLua not in the squad. Grant Hall kept his position at the back, as did Calderon and Vincelot wide of him. Peter Brezovan had played in every match since the turn of the year, dropping Ankergren after an awful December, and the Slovakian goalkeeper started again tonight. Wrexham’s top scorer Jake Speight was absent from the squad through injury, Danny Wright partnering player-manager Andy Morrell in attack. Goalscorer at The Amex Adrian Cieslewicz was on the wing again. The centre-half pairing of Nat Knight-Percival and Mark Creighton provided the solid wall ahead of Cameroonian goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi, who only joined at the start of the month. Colin Webster was the official.

WRE Stubbs WRE Barnes WRE FlynnWRE Studio

Presentation Team: Studio coverage was chaired by Ray Stubbs. Now in ESPN’s second season of FA Cup broadcasting, and third Premier League, Stubbs fronted the lot both sides of the border. He hosted his first FA Cup Final last May between Manchester City and Stoke, which would be the last Final to kick off at the traditional 3pm time. They rewound the clock to the 1970s and 80s by having all day coverage, beginning at 8am right through to the match starting, it was a pleasure to watch. Setanta did similar for their one and only Cup Final two years earlier. Stubbs had worked on several Finals for the BBC during his 26 years there but never hosted the FA Cup Final, with Des Lynam then Gary Lineker helming those, leaving him in the tunnel to do the interviews. Alongside him in the studio were John Barnes and Brian Flynn. Barnes was becoming quite the ESPN regular now, having left his regular gig on Channel 5 to return for a brief stint in management. Barnes covered both of our Live games on ESPN last season. Brian Flynn was the current Wales under-21 manager, he managed the full National side for nine years in the 70s and 80s as well as Swansea and, of course, Wrexham. He was the third longest-serving manager in the English leagues behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Dario Gradi of Crewe when he left his position in 2001. As a 5 foot 4 inch midfielder, Flynn enjoyed long spells at Burnley and Leeds before seeing out his playing days with the Dragons. It was clear why he was in the studio tonight. Whilst they were warm in London, out on the coal face were commentators Derek Rae and Chris Waddle. Rae was ESPN’s Scottish Premier League voice as well as featuring heavily in the FA Cup and Europa League. He covered our penalty shoot-out victory at Woking last season and is a very warm broadcaster with a clear, distinctive voice. Chris Waddle was ESPN’s Premier League co-commentator, working on the vast majority of their exclusively Live games on Saturday evenings. Having taken the 46 matches from Setanta for 2009/10, the contract for the following three years was only 23 per season, making it easier to utilise a core team. Waddle was also a regular on the FA Cup and Europa League. He previously worked for Setanta and had long been a voice on BBC Radio 5 Live’s big match coverage, particularly for England. Despite lots of television work in recent seasons, he had gone several years solely on radio after starting out on BBC television at the 1994 & 1998 World Cups. Waddle’s pronunciation of the word ‘shape’ in his Geordie tongue without fail always sounds like ‘shite’. Even though you know he’s not saying it, you do nearly always double-take, as pointed out by Baddiel and Skinner on ITV’s excellent Fantasy World Cup. He also sounds like he says ‘pelanty’ instead of ‘penalty’. Reporting on the touchline as usual was Darrell Currie. This was the third Albion match he’d covered for ESPN, combining FA Cup duties with his regular gig in Scotland.

WRE v Arsenal WRE Teams WRE Kick Off WRE Comms

The Coverage: Coverage of this Replay, originally scheduled for the day before, was due to be exclusively Live on Welsh language channel S4C as part of their Sgorio programme. Whilst ITV and ESPN held the broadcast rights for the UK, an additional deal saw S4C able to pick an extra match that hadn’t been chosen for Live coverage involving a Welsh side for broadcast with Welsh commentary. ESPN had been interested in showing this match but were unable to secure a deal and agree on scheduling so S4C went ahead and became the host broadcaster. When the match was called off due to the frozen pitch, discussions went on as to what to do next. With the FA and both clubs agreeing to come back the following night, and S4C accommodating it in their new schedule, ESPN agreed to take a feed and broadcast the match themselves too for the benefit of the English-speaking population. S4C would remain the host broadcaster, meaning cameras, facilities and production would be done by them including the replay animation of a swipe of the two crests from top-left to bottom-right of screen. It was actually very similar to Sky Sports Premier League transition from 2004. With the facilities in place, ESPN were able to make a last-minute decision to simply to opt-in to the feed, stick their own commentary over it and top and tail the programme from their London studio. This also meant there would be no ESPN caravan pitchside or Access All Areas style coverage unfortunately. It was all very hap-hazard and unclear exactly why they didn’t just elect to broadcast it in the first place, but I for one was relieved they did. Watching a televised match featuring your team can be frustrating enough, without commentary over the top in another language not knowing what’s being said! Coverage on the channel was sponsored by payday loans company Wonga with their odd elderly puppets. ESPN’s broadcast began fifteen minutes before the 7.15pm kick-off, with Ray Stubbs hosting from their Matchday Live studio; home to all their Live Premier League broadcasts. He was joined by regular ESPN pundit John Barnes and former Wrexham player and manager Brian Flynn. Their usual graphics were all used, apart from for action replays, meaning we saw those nice red and black astons once more. Unfortunately the old club crest was used, obviously not updating it from last season’s coverage. Flynn was manager when Wrexham famously knocked out Arsenal twenty years earlier and that was the first thing discussed during the build up, with clips of Thomas’ goal and the jubilation from the supporters.

WRE MOTM WRE Interviews WRE Poyet WRE Odds

Reporter Darrell Currie caught up with the two managers pre-match. Poyet praised the hotel they were staying in for allowing them an extra night so they didn’t have to shift elsewhere. In the commentary box were Derek Rae and Chris Waddle. As ESPN did not have any say in angles used or camera directions, we didn’t get a chance to go through the team line ups in the normal manner. Half way through the build up they crossed to an off-camera Rae to talk us through the formations but that was it. Before the teams emerged they cut to an advert break and returned just seconds before the kick-off. This would normally be when they’d show the line-ups and the co-commentator would discuss the formations but there was no time so the names scrolled along the bottom of the screen during the opening few minutes. Rae actually acknowledged that pictures were being brought to us “courtesy of our colleagues at S4C”. You only usually hear that when commentators are bemoaning the foreign director’s decision-making during an overseas Champions League tie. The scorebar was adapted once more to highlight the team colours in a full block behind the team name, as opposed to last season’s colour stripe. The half-time analysis was all about Wrexham and their excellent display capped off with Morrell’s fantastic finish. During the match viewers were invited to log on to the website to vote for their Man of the Match, instead of having the co-commentator decide like usual. Wrexham’s Andy Morrell won with the public. With Extra Time required and an extension to the Live broadcast, an advert break separated the end of the second half and the beginning of the further thirty minutes, with a quick word with the studio team thrown in for good measure. We heard from them again to fill the gaps between Extra Time halves, and then again before the shoot-out. Brighton emerged victorious after five successful spot-kicks and we heard from two of the takers after the break; Craig Mackail-Smith, sporting a huge black eye, and Ashley Barnes who got the equaliser. Barnes must have been on autopilot when he provided this classic answer when asked if they were expecting penalties; “We hopefully would’ve come here and got the three points first” before quickly correcting himself “err to get through to the next round.” Just under twenty minutes were given over to reaction and analysis to the match, with ESPN extending their broadcast by an hour to incorporate the extra action. Darrell Currie also interviewed the two managers, with Poyet looking forward to the next round; “We can do something important against Newcastle, I’m sure that the fans they’re gonna be very happy… We’d take Extra Time and penalties against Newcastle! We will try our best and show that we can play football as well.” The team looked ahead to the Fourth Round, with some mouthwatering ties such as Liverpool versus Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers against Chelsea. The odds showed Brighton at 200/1 to win the competition, with Premier League opposition up next. Brian Flynn was championing our cause, saying if there was only one Championship team that could make it to the Final he hoped it was us. He also praised Gus Poyet for his kind words about Wrexham in his interview. And that just about did it for another evening, a success in the end for Brighton as Ray Stubbs told us it was time to go.

WRE Injury WRE Sub

Story of the Match: Wrexham’s bumper crowd was in full voice creating an excellent atmosphere for the early stages. Brighton wore their change kit of luminous green and black stripes. As you’d expect, the Championship side had a lot of the ball early on without creating any chances. In fact, the first one fell the home team’s way; with Andy Morrell unable to strike on goal past numerous bodies back defending a free-kick. He would have no such trouble after twenty-three minutes though. Danny Wright burst down the left-wing from the halfway line before cutting the ball back to Morrell on the edge of the box. He took a touch to steady it before curling the ball into the top corner of the net for a lovely finish, hit to perfection. Brezovan was nowhere near it, neither were the defence who left him with almost ten yards of space to do as he pleased. Co-commentator Chris Waddle was critical of Brighton, saying they had to up the tempo as it hadn’t been good enough so far. A corner from Matt Sparrow ten minutes before the break was met by a header from Vincelot which caused problems in the area but Wrexham eventually got it away. At the other end Jay Harris had a long-range drive which Brezovan was equal to, but the home side were on top as we went in at half-time. Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers was in attendance, with son Anton sitting on the Seagulls bench. Ten minutes into the second period the match was stopped whilst Danny Wright got medical attention. After a few minutes he was stretchered off, having gone down without a challenge or foul, he had dislocated his elbow. Wrexham had experience in their ranks, with 36-year-old Glen Little, coming on for the injured Wright, combining with 37-year-old Morrell before lashing a shot high and wide after a neat move. Brighton continued to have a lot of the ball but the service wasn’t there on a surface that was bobbling and patchy in places. Something needed to change, substitutions came in the form of Ashley Barnes and youngster Toby Adgestein making his first appearance. Finally with thirteen minutes remaining, the breakthrough came. The ball went to Mackail-Smith in the area surrounded by two Wrexham defenders. He held the ball up until Sparrow got on the overlap. He just about kept the ball in, hitting a first time cross with his left which held up around the penalty spot. Waiting unmarked to head the ball goalwards was the new man, Ashley Barnes, who managed to guide the ball brilliantly into the corner of the net with a powerful nod in off the post. It was his first goal since the last televised match, sixteen games ago. The Welsh side had a chance to immediately regain the lead thanks to a great Glen Little ball in met by the head of Harris but it went just too high to trouble. Barnes got himself booked into the first of six minutes of stoppage time with a needlessly petulant tread on the back of his opponent in a poor attempt to hurdle over him. The final action of the ninety gave Wrexham a golden chance with a free header from a corner four yards out for Joe Clarke who didn’t get the right connection as it sailed over. And so for the second time the match ended one-all, Extra Time would be called upon.

WRE Penalty WRE Final Score

A corner three minutes into the additional thirty almost saw Wrexham regain their lead. Mark Creighton’s powerful header was well pushed away by Brezovan for another corner. Brighton went up the other end with a good ball through for Buckley who in turn found Adgestein behind the defence with just the ‘keeper to beat. He fluffed his lines as Mayebi dived to block. In the second half Romain Vincelot was the surprise man who had a shot on goal, calling Mayebi into action once again, low to his left to keep it level. Usually these periods are dreadful as players are tired and nervous to be the one that costs the tie but this was far more lively than that. Then, in the final minute a lovely flighted cross from Little into the Brighton box was met by the head of Harris but it clipped the bar, via a touch off Calderon’s head, for the best chance of the night. There were a few half-chances here and there throughout Extra Time but nothing that either defence couldn’t deal with and so, for the second time on ESPN, we were heading for a penalty shoot-out. The home side went first through Dean Keates, who got off to the worst possible start as Brezovan guessed the right way and saved it. That gave Barnes the chance to put Brighton in front, which he fully took. Joe Clarke sent Brezovan the wrong way for one-one, which was immediately countered by Matt Sparrow to give Brighton the advantage again. Substitute Hunt smashed his penalty down the middle to score for Wrexham. Mayebi in-goal was doing all sorts of leaping around to try to put the Albion players off but it didn’t work. Bridcutt coolly slotted home for three-two, before Ashton levelled it up. Wearing the captain’s armband tonight, Inigo Calderon scored his kick to put Brighton on the brink, sending it into the top bin. Glen Little, who had done so well since coming on, also scored to try to keep the Dragons in it. But Craig Mackail-Smith blasted Brighton’s final penalty down the middle to make it five from five and send the Seagulls through to Round Four after two scares against their non-league opposition. The Amex would be the venue, with ESPN following us down there in ten days time for a showpiece match against Newcastle. Bring it on!

WRE Coming Up

WREXHAM 1 BRIGHTON 1
Morrell Barnes. (AET, BRI win 5-4 on penalties)

WRE Replay

EXTRAThe original tie at The Amex received a brief highlights edit on terrestrial broadcaster ITV’s Saturday night Third Round show on 7th January 2012. Presenter Matt Smith hosted with guest pundits Paul Ince and Gordon Strachan. ITV had held the free-to-air rights to the competition since 2008 when they regained them from the BBC. This entitled them to a Live match from each of Rounds One and Two, and two games from each of the subsequent stages, plus one Live replay, up until the Semi Final where one match was theirs exclusively. The Final was Live on both ITV and ESPN.

Highlights Titles Highlights Studio

Regular highlights programmes featured on ITV on Saturday and Sunday nights, featuring their core team as well as a host of freelance commentators. The Wrexham home match had commentary from Seth Conway; he worked for ITV Westcountry doing the sports reports on the local news as well as a bit of commentary. In the studio, Gordon Strachan was impressed by the lower and non-league sides like Wrexham and Crawley – who knocked out Bristol City earlier.

Highlights Commentator Highlights Final Score

 

PREVIOUS; #36 BRIGHTON 0-1 WEST HAM 24/10/2011

NEXT; #38 BRIGHTON 1-0 NEWCASTLE 28/01/2012

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

2 Responses to #37: Wrexham 1-1 Brighton 18/01/2012

  1. Pingback: #36: Brighton 0-1 West Ham 24/10/2011 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #38: Brighton 1-0 Newcastle 28/01/2012 | Mark O'MEARA

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