#58: Brighton 2-3 Arsenal 25/01/2015

#58 BRIGHTON 2-3 ARSENAL FA Cup Round Four
Sunday 25th January 2015 Image result for bt sport logo

58ARS Titles.JPG

PRESENTER Jake Humphrey GUESTS Adam Virgo, Ian Wright & Steve McManaman
COMMENTATORS Ian Darke & Robbie Savage REPORTER Ray Stubbs
4pm Kick Off; The Amex     3.30-6.30pm FA Cup Live on BT Sport 1

58ARS Intro

CONTEXT OF THE MATCH

Sami Hyypia resigned from his position as Brighton and Hove Albion manager on Monday 22nd December 2014, with the club four points adrift in the Championship relegation zone.

Hyypia was in charge for just twenty-five first team matches. With a win ratio of just 24%, he achieved victory in just six games, half of which came in the League Cup. In fact, the Capital One Cup was probably the only success of his time on the South Coast, as the Seagulls went through to the Fourth Round for just the fifth time in the history of the competition, and the first since the 1979-80 season. Wins came against lower League opposition; defeating Cheltenham at The Amex before overcoming Swindon and Burton Albion on their travels. The run came to an end at White Hart Lane when Tottenham knocked Brighton out by two goals to nil.

Of the three League victories, two came back in August when Leeds and Bolton were dispatched back-to-back. The defeat of Wigan back on 4th November ended a run of eleven without success in the Championship. The team that had overachieved to reach the Play Offs in each of the previous two years were now sat in the drop zone at the halfway point in the campaign. Head of football operations, David Burke, followed Hyypia out two days later, indicating that it was recruitment as well as performances that the club struggled with.

Assistant manager and former Albion winger Nathan Jones took temporary charge and brought an immediate upturn in fortunes over the Christmas period. Boxing Day saw an entertaining two-all draw with Reading as Glenn Murray frustrated his former employers by scoring twice for the Royals. This was followed up three days later with an outstanding two-nil win away at Fulham to give the supporters some end of year cheer.

58ARS Hughton

On New Year’s Eve, former Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich boss Chris Hughton was appointed manager on a three-and-a-half-year deal. As a player, Hughton spent thirteen years with Tottenham before a couple of years with West Ham and then Brentford took him into the early 1990s. He played over fifty times for the Republic of Ireland, making the squads for Euro ’88 and World Cup ’90. At Spurs, he lifted the FA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup in a successful start to the 1980s. He returned to the Lane coaching straight after retirement in 1993, where he moved up the rankings from being in charge of the under-21s, then the reserves before coaching the first team over a fourteen-year period.

Hughton first made the step up to manager at Newcastle United in 2009 and achieved promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking. Despite this, he was surprisingly sacked in December of the following season in a move which was condemned by players, fans and pundits alike. After a six-month break, he was back in management at Championship side Birmingham. He guided them to fourth place but lost in the Play Off Semi Finals to Blackpool. On the back of this, top flight Norwich City came calling. Tasked with keeping the Canaries up, he achieved an eleventh placed finish in his first season. Things didn’t go quite as well during the second year, but the club pulled the trigger somewhat at an odd time, with just a month left. They were in seventeenth and a point above relegation when Hughton was dismissed but were relegated a few weeks later under replacement Neil Adams. In the eight months that passed, Hughton was reportedly approached by other clubs but did not accept.

He cited the infrastructure at Brighton as being a deciding factor in choosing this one. Hughton’s first game in charge saw the Albion progress past his old club Brentford in the Third Round of the FA Cup with two late goals. That was followed with a one-nil victory at Charlton before Brentford got a revenge win at The Amex in the League. In midweek, another victory arrived as Ipswich were edged out three-two to ease the pressure and move the club up into nineteenth.

Today’s opponents Arsenal were enjoying much more consistency under Arsene Wenger. They won the FA Cup last season to end a run of nine years without a trophy and began this 2014/15 campaign well. They sat fifth in the Premier League, losing just five matches. To reach the Fourth Round they defeated Hull in a rematch of that Final. The Gunners defeated Brighton at this stage of the competition back in 2013, would they repeat the feat this time round with the added spotlight of Live television coverage?

 

THE TEAMS

58ARS Brighton

This was the fifth match of Chris Hughton’s reign at Brighton, beginning with the Brentford victory in the previous round. Captain Gordon Greer and makeshift right midfielder Inigo Calderon had started every game under the new boss and were also the only two Brighton survivors from this fixture two years ago. Goalkeeper David Stockdale signed from Fulham in the summer and played the first three months of the season before picking up an injury. That forced a ‘keeper crisis which saw Ali Al-Habsi drafted in on an emergency loan for one match and teenager Christian Walton start away at Tottenham in the Capital One Cup followed by two unbeaten Championship appearances in November. Since returning at Norwich later that month, Stockdale had played every minute. Lewis Dunk’s red card in the League loss to Brentford saw him miss the Ipswich game this week but was straight back in the eleven here.

Midfielder Dale Stephens remained a long-term absentee, having been forced off last April with an ankle problem. Impressive loanee Joao Teixeira was missing through illness. Dutchman Danny Holla and young Englishman Jake Forster-Caskey took two of the spots in the middle. Rohan Ince joined last season in mind for the development squad but quickly became a part of the first team. He scored a wonder volley at Swindon in the League Cup tie back in August, which earned him the Seagulls 2014 Goal of the Season accolade.

Around £2million was spent on striker Sam Baldock from Bristol City. He returned just two goals to date, including the opener in midweek. Chris O’Grady scored in stoppage time at Brentford in Round Three, his first for the Albion. Despite only joining in July, he struggled to get into the first team under Sami Hyypia and spent a month on loan at Sheffield United before being recalled on the day of the Fulham victory after Christmas. Adrian Colunga was an attacking presence on the bench, alongside Craig Mackail-Smith and Solly March. Defender Glen Rea was yet to play for the Seagulls but did make his Republic of Ireland under-21 debut in November. The contrast between Sami Hyypia’s squad and this one was clear; only one loanee started today – Aston Villa’s Joe Bennett. In the last televised starting eleven, at Millwall in December, Brighton fielded the maximum of five loan players.

58ARS Arsenal

Arsene Wenger made seven changes from their crucial two-nil victory at Manchester City in the Premier League. This included a return for goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, his first start since New Year’s Day. Defender Calum Chambers won the fans Player of the Month award for August, having joined from Southampton in the summer. Left-back Kieran Gibbs represented England at under-19, 20, 21 and senior level all since signing pro terms with Arsenal in 2007.

Theo Walcott scored in this fixture in 2013 but suffered FA Cup heartbreak the following season when he ruptured knee ligaments. That kept him out of the 2014 World Cup and on the sidelines for ten months before returning in November. Fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey began life at Cardiff before transferring to London in 2008. He became a key part of Wales core and played in all four of Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic matches. Three-time Czech Republic Player of the Year Tomas Rosicky won the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund.

Striker Olivier Giroud netted twice at The Amex last time out. Mesut Ozil started for the first time since early October. Among the substitutes included talisman Alexis Sanchez, signed from Barcelona for £30million this season, and Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla won the European Championships in both 2008 and 2012. Also on the bench was England under-19 striker Chuba Akpom. The match referee was the Premier League’s Michael Oliver.

58ARS Formations

 

PRESENTATION TEAM

58ARS Humphrey 58ARS Virgo

The face of football on BT Sport was their star presenter Jake Humphrey. He was one of BBC Sport’s rising stars, hosting Olympic and Commonwealth Games, NFL Superbowl and BBC Sports Personality of the Year coverage, amongst other big events. He first came to prominence on children’s television, hosting programmes such as Bamzooki and the Fame Academy spin-off. After serving his apprenticeship with CBBC, he was keen to move into sports broadcasting and hosted all sorts of lower profile events that didn’t have a regular core team. He provided holiday cover on Football Focus and Final Score. Undoubtedly, the biggest sporting break came in 2009 when the BBC won back rights to Formula One, naming Humphrey as anchor. His profile grew, playing a part of Euro 2012 and both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. When the call came from BT Sport to front their Live football, he made the switch to launch this new venture.

Joining Humphrey pitchside at The Amex were pundits Ian Wright, Steve McManaman and Adam Virgo. Wright and McManaman were both key regulars on BT’s Premier League coverage, whilst Virgo was their co-commentator on the National League. Former Albion defender Virgo needs little introduction on here, having already played, scored, pundited and commentated on previous televised Brighton matches! He spent seven seasons playing for the Seagulls, over two spells, having graduated from the youth system. Spells at Celtic, Yeovil and Colchester followed before bringing his playing career to a close at Bristol Rovers. Following retirement in July 2013, he made the move into the media having previously appeared on Sky Sports and BBC Radio Sussex. In the Autumn of 2013, Virgo made his television co-commentary debut on BT Sport’s coverage of the National League alongside Steve Bower, a position he instantly made his own and became a BT regular.

58ARS Wright 58ARS McManaman

Ian Wright was very much the one that got away as far as Brighton were concerned. In November 1983, recently appointed Albion boss Chris Cattlin had nineteen-year-old Wright on trial at the Goldstone. The striker played twice for the reserves, scoring in the first match but was not taken on full-time, much to his surprise and disappointment. The Albion’s loss was Crystal Palace’s gain, as he joined Steve Coppell’s lot in 1985 where he began banging in the goals in a six-year spell at Selhurst. His big move was to join Arsenal in 1991 for £2.5million where he went on to earn legendary status, becoming the club’s all-time record goalscorer (which he held until 2005) and bagging the League title in the process. He also lifted two FA Cups, a League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup at Highbury. Post-Arsenal, he played for West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Celtic and Burnley before calling it a day in 2000. Since even before then, he forged a hugely successful television and radio career as both a pundit and an entertainment presenter. He joined BT from launch in 2013 to work across their domestic football, as well as being in the unusual position of doing BBC Match of the Day and international football for ITV.

Steve McManaman’s playing career was most associated with nine years at Liverpool before joining Spanish giants Real Madrid in 1999. He lifted the UEFA Champions League in his first season, scoring in the three-nil Final victory over Valencia. Subsequent seasons saw two La Liga titles and a further Champions League victory before he returned to England in 2003 with Manchester City. He won thirty-seven England caps, scoring three goals including the crashing strike to go two-nil up against Portugal in Euro 2000. He hung up his boots in 2005 upon his release by City and subsequently became a leading television pundit, firstly for Setanta Sports between 2007 and 2009. He teamed up in the commentary box with Ian Darke for America television with ESPN before joining BT in 2013.

58ARS Studio

His old sparring partner was on The Amex gantry here, as Ian Darke was joined by Robbie Savage. Darke covered boxing and football for BBC Radio for more than a decade before joining Sky Sports ahead of their Premier League launch in 1992. Teaming up with Andy Gray on the first three seasons of Monday Night Football, Darke then moved across to be the voice of boxing for a generation. He combined this back with Live football again from 2005 but was soon back behind Martin Tyler and Rob Hawthorne in the pecking order. In 2010 he made the move to the States with ESPN, covering the pick for the English top flight, before returning to UK screens to lead BT’s commentaries in 2013.

Robbie Savage worked hard to forge a career as a battling midfielder in the Premier League for the likes of Leicester, Birmingham and Blackburn having been released from Manchester United’s phenomenally successful youth side of the early 1990s. He switched to Derby in January 2008 but couldn’t force his way into the side for the start of the next campaign. He somehow ended up joining Brighton under Micky Adams, whom he worked with at Leicester. His one-month loan was hardly a success but, crucially for Savage, at least he was back playing in the first team again. After linking back up with Derby, and following a managerial change, Savage was a regular fixture in the midfield a renaissance in the East Midlands for another two seasons before retiring in 2011. His niggly, irritating playing style earned him a bad reputation amongst supporters of all clubs, often being the butt of jokes or the designated ‘boo-boy’. Despite this, he enjoyed a post-playing career in the media, starting with the BBC and ESPN before being taken on by BT as an analyst and co-commentator. From this season, along with BT commentator Darren Fletcher, he hosted two-hour Saturday morning preview programme Fletch and Sav ahead of the Live Premier League match.

One of the on-air mistakes Setanta made when joining the English football market was with their pitchside reporter. Alex Hayes, a fine print journalist at The Independent on Sunday, struggled to ask fluent questions of managers and players with the microphone, making for an awkward watch, before being dumped a few weeks in for Kelly Cates and Dan Roan. BT made no such mistake with their interviewer, employing a man with thirty years’ experience at the BBC and ESPN; Ray Stubbs. He joined BT as number one reporter from launch, covering the Premier League and FA Cup. Previously, he was front and centre hosting ESPN’s Live coverage of the same competitions, as well as a whole raft of high-profile events on the BBC. This included Match of the Day, Sportsnight, Grandstand, Football Focus and Final Score, as well as three Summer Olympics, the 1998 Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games. He reported from the England camp in both Euro ’96 and World Cup ’98 and interviewed at various FA Cup Finals throughout the 1990s. Stubbs brought an authority and gravitas to BT amongst a largely younger approach.

 

THE COVERAGE

58ARS Promo 58ARS Sponsor

The newest players on the British football broadcasting scene, BT Sport, were in their second season following launch in August 2013. Built on the foundation of thirty-eight exclusively Live Premier League matches having outbid previous holders ESPN, they then acquired the channel – in the process obtaining their key rights such as Premiership Rugby and American sports. This also included the final season of their FA Cup deal, which expired last season. From the start of this campaign, the Cup switched hands from ITV to BBC, whilst BT Sport retained their position as the satellite broadcaster. Under the new contract, BT would air up to thirty matches Live throughout the competition, including sharing the Final. Which brings us to this Fourth Round weekend as January drew to a close. BT’s three Live picks kicked off with Liverpool versus Bolton on the Saturday evening and concluded with Rochdale against Stoke on Monday night. Sandwiched in the middle was the Albion, who were drawn to host holders Arsenal in this Sunday afternoon clash.

58ARS Drone shots 58ARS Withdean

Coverage was sponsored by William Hill, yet another gambling firm to get involved in football broadcasting. BT Sport didn’t really do title sequences. The intros last season consisted of the BT globe logo spinning from the centre into the bottom left hand corner, with a short burst of music. That was retained for League coverage this year, but the FA Cup was given a makeover with an animated trophy and block bars listing the two clubs. The music was specially composed for BT to use on their Cup broadcasts, in use for its second season. Build up began thirty minutes before the 4pm kick-off, with beautiful aerial drone shots hovering over the Pier, seafront, the site of the former Goldstone stadium, now a retail park, and Withdean. This was all to highlight the contrast in where Brighton were from the glory days of the 1983 FA Cup Final through to the dark days of the 1990s. The graphics had been used since BT’s launch, nicely animating in and out from the channel logo position in the bottom right corner of the screen.

The presentation team of Jake Humphrey with pundits Adam Virgo, Ian Wright and Steve McManaman were situated pitchside at The Amex in front of the West Stand. Pitchside presentation was very much BT’s go-to position, allowing Humphrey the freedom to move around and explore the stadium in similar fashion when he successfully fronted the BBC’s F1 broadcasts. With Ian Wright very much an Arsenal man, McManaman assumed the role of neutral, whilst Virgo was clearly present to talk eloquently and knowledgeably about the Albion. The FA Cup trophy itself was on display alongside the team, on the back of three of the Premier League’s top four crashing out the previous day. Some of the goals and incidents from the key games played thus far on Fourth Round weekend were shown, with the pundits talking us through the action. Manchester United could only muster a goalless draw at Cambridge, League One Bradford ran riot at Chelsea scoring four, Spurs crashed out and Manchester City were upset by Middlesbrough.

58ARS Gordon Smith 58ARS Jimmy Case

The focus of the VT package in the pre-match coverage was around the Seagulls 1983 FA Cup campaign. Of course. Two members of the Cup Final starting line-up – Gordon Smith and Jimmy Case – both recounted their tales from that memorable run. Striker – and often forgotten as a Final goalscorer – Smith outlined the Albion thought process; “We had this plan, let’s be really relaxed and see how the Man United boys cope with that. We’ll come in the tunnel laughing and joking.” Tough tackling midfielder Case spoke about getting stuck into Manchester United’s Ray Wilkins early on; “I clattered Wilkins a couple of times. I used to love some of them tackles what you used to throw in every now and again!” Physio Malcolm Yaxley was also interviewed, as he tried to repair Chris Ramsey on the pitch following a hard challenge by Norman Whiteside. It was to no avail as Ramsey was just a yard short of Frank Stapleton who netted United’s equaliser after Smith put Brighton in front. Then came the famous Gordon Smith moment. In the last minute of Extra Time, with the scores level at two-all, he was put through on goal. Cue Peter Jones’ BBC Radio commentary line, with the commentator not missing a beat, “And Smith must score. And he hasn’t scored. And Bailey has saved it. And there goes the whistle for the end of Extra Time.” Of that chance, Smith honestly and bluntly admitted; “My decision I made was wrong, and I cost Brighton the Cup.”

58ARS Last meeting 58ARS Dunk

Attention then turned back to this afternoon’s clash. The two sides met at this stage two years earlier, with the Gunners edging a five-goal thriller. Humphrey asked Virgo if Brighton had a similar performance in them now to that day. “Well they have now, under the new manager Chris Hughton”, Virgo began. “I must admit if Sami was still here then you’d be slightly worried about the performance.” They picked out defender Lewis Dunk to preview, with Humphrey saying, “lots of clubs were sniffing around him.” As a former defender, Adam Virgo was well placed to praise the current Albion centre half, highlighting his ability on the ball as a particular strength on top of the threat he posed from set pieces in attack.

58ARS Cool people 58ARS Walcott

After the break, we saw a Brighton-made video spoofing one of the latest adverts BT used to promote their coverage. In BT’s ad, a few of their star names were shown walking slow-motion down the touchline with the strapline “The cool people to watch football with”, which Humphrey insisted was “completely tongue in cheek!” So a few Albion fans followed suit, with Albion Roar radio hosts Alan Wares and Ady Packham amongst the contingent. Wares then briefly chatted to Humphrey pitchside to explain “the mickey take of a mickey take”.

Back to the more serious business, reporter Ray Stubbs spoke with both managers; Chris Hughton and Arsene Wenger. Hughton explained the absence of star midfielder Joao Teixeira, missing through illness. It was a tough blow, particularly after another impressive performance in the midweek Ipswich win. Asked about his early impressions of the Albion’s potential, Hughton was quick to talk the club up; “Everyone will see today the stadium that we have here, which I think is a record crowd for the stadium. The training facility is excellent. But we’re not in the best position in the League and that’s certainly our priority.” After this, we heard the final thoughts of the studio team as they picked out returning stars Walcott and Ozil among Arsenal’s danger men, before another quick break. After which, we headed up to the gantry where commentators Ian Darke and Robbie Savage were waiting to take over.

58ARS BT Box 58ARS Coming Up

A feature of the channel’s coverage was their picture-in-picture split-screen, dubbed the ‘BT Box’. This was utilised, especially on replays, to show the Live action in the box and the replayed passage on the main screen. The box would also be used to show the bench or a different part of the action during play. At half-time, still presenting from pitchside, the team reviewed the two Arsenal goals. For the opener, Wright and Virgo were critical of Sam Baldock’s lack of challenge on the wing to allow Calum Chambers a crossing opportunity. They were impressed by Walcott’s finish and cited the difference in quality between the two Divisions as the difference. McManaman described Brighton’s half as “very, very poor”, allowing Arsenal too much space to play their football and showing a lack of adventure going forward.

58ARS Sub 58ARS European Football Show

After the final whistle and the advert break, there was around half an hour left before James Richardson and his journalistic experts took over for the usual Sunday evening European Football Show, rounding up the events on the continent before hosting Live coverage of a top match; tonight Fiorentina versus Roma. Reporter Ray Stubbs was busy in the tunnel gathering interviews with all the key men. He spoke first with two of Arsenal’s goalscorers; Theo Walcott and Man of the Match Tomas Rosicky, then latterly the manager Arsene Wenger. The studio team repositioned themselves slightly, in front of the dugouts by the tunnel, to wrap things up.

For Brighton’s first goal by Chris O’Grady, Adam Virgo dismissed talk of a foul on Chambers before the strike. Ian Wright questioned why Brighton didn’t make more use of O’Grady’s strength and power in the second period, seconded by Steve McManaman. On Arsenal’s third, it was of Brighton’s own making by giving away possession cheaply and dangerously. The finish though, real quality. Baldock’s goal to make it two-three was labelled “a great finish” by Virgo, with the assist from Holla also garnering praise. He also was pleased to see Brighton “passing with a purpose”, rather than just keeping the ball for the sake of it. Some of Arsenal’s defensive play caused concern for Wright.

Chris Hughton’s post-match thoughts were gathered by Ray Stubbs, particularly pleased with the response after the break. “Too often in that first half period we were too deep, not allowing ourselves to get out of trouble but I thought we stretched the game better in that second half. We certainly made more of a game of it and close in the end.” The final portion of the programme centred around the FA Cup weekend as a whole, with a glossy report reviewing some of the key incidents, goals and upsets from the previous day. This included a Leonardo Ulloa goal for Leicester in their surprise win at Tottenham. Back pitchside, the pundits talked through the goals from Sunday’s other ties as West Ham and Aston Villa both progressed. And with that it was time to go as another Live Albion broadcast came to a close.

 

STORY OF THE MATCH

58ARS Kick Off 58ARS Comms

In front of a record crowd at The Amex of 30,278 supporters, Arsenal kicked the game off shooting from right to left using the Cup’s salmon pink ball. And they got the breakthrough after just eighty-nine seconds thanks to that man again, Theo Walcott. Calum Chambers did well on the far touchline to skip past Sam Baldock’s challenge and gain a bit of space. His cross found Walcott twelve yards out on the right of the penalty area. The touch to control allowed him to quickly adapt his feet and suddenly a shooting opportunity arrived. Walcott drove the ball low and hard across the goal into the corner of the net for the perfect start. Arsenal executed their game plan well in the first period, dominating the ball and attacking with threat. When Brighton were in possession, Arsenal allowed them to play it round the back and keep it in their own half. The two strikers switched over from their starting positions, with O’Grady moving from centre to the left wing to allow Baldock a chance to lead the line and try to get more joy. The two swapped and changed throughout.

Arsenal’s superior quality showed, particularly when in attack, with frightening pace and better decision making. With a quarter of the match played, they made it two-nil. It was all thanks to some patient build up play and Brighton standing off their top flight opponents. Tomas Rosicky was allowed the time to dribble the ball in acres of space from the wing to the middle, waiting for the right moment to make the pass. He picked it out superbly, cutting out four Albion defenders in the process, to find Mesut Ozil inside the penalty box. Before Lewis Dunk could slide across to attempt to block, Ozil got his shot off. Around twelve yards out, his left foot effort nestled in the left-hand corner of Stockdale’s net for another well taken goal. “Carved apart like precision surgeons there,” cried commentator Ian Darke. Co-commentator Robbie Savage had harsher words for the Albion play; “They’re giving top quality players too much space, they’re not winning second balls, they’re not getting the ball in the final third, Szczesny’s yet to be tested. We’re twenty-five minutes in, Darkie!”

Brighton’s first real chance came just before the half-hour point, when Sam Baldock curled an effort just high and wide. The ball broke to him free at the back post after Laurent Koscielny was caught dithering in the area by Calderon. Baldock’s right-foot aimed for the top corner but just couldn’t quite achieve the desired accuracy. The rest of the half was an improvement for Brighton but they could not penetrate the back line of the team in yellow. At the break it was two-nil to the Arsenal.

58ARS OGrady goal 58ARS Baldock goal

As the second period began, Robbie Savage was urging Brighton on to give it a go, totally unimpressed by their efforts thus far. Within five minutes, the deficit was halved through Chris O’Grady. Albion’s attack wasn’t cleared properly by Arsenal, with Rosicky booting the ball high up in the air instead of away from goal. Baldock outjumped Chambers to win the challenge as it dropped from the sky. The ball rolled off Chambers to the feet of O’Grady with his back to goal just inside the box. He cleverly let the ball run to his right foot on the half-turn, rolling his marker Mathieu Flamini in the process. O’Grady unleashed a fierce low drive into the near corner, through Koscielny’s legs en route, to give the Seagulls hope. The goalkeeper had no chance and the crowd roared, scoring with their first shot on target. Game on. “Ooh we’ve got a Cup tie now!” enthused Savage.

The bright spell continued for the next five minutes or so but you could sense Arsenal had more of a killer instinct. And if he didn’t cover himself in glory for the Brighton goal, Tomas Rosicky certainly made up for it just before the hour mark to restore their two-goal margin. Rosicky won the ball back off Holla in a dangerous area and provided a no-look pass to Giroud on the left of the penalty area. The striker chipped up a return pass to the Czech international on the edge of the box who volleyed it into the back of the net. What a strike. But again, no Albion shirts within five yards of him, allowing so much space and time to pick his target. Brighton’s response was to bring on Solly March to add another body going forward. Arsenal didn’t rest on their laurels, perhaps wary of another Brighton resurgence, bringing on strikers Chuba Akpom and Alexis Sanchez for the final twenty minutes.

However, Brighton did force their way back into it. Sam Baldock was the man to finish off a neat move to bring Albion back to within one of Arsenal. Lewis Dunk brought the ball forward from the half way line, allowed the freedom to stroll out of defence with no Arsenal man in sight. He found Danny Holla in space between the Gunners midfield and defensive lines. He guided it on to Baldock who latched onto the through ball. As Szczesny rushed out of his goal, Baldock gently lifted it over him to nestle nicely into the back of the net. A very well worked goal gave the Seagulls renewed hope into the final quarter of an hour.

If the first half was a disappointment for Brighton, the second was much better. It was more determined, more spirited and they showed more fight than before. But ultimately, as in 2013, it was not to be. Arsenal’s quality just too much to handle and the Gunners took the tie by three goals to two. The performance grew and gave Hughton and the supporters enough belief to believe they could do much better than the current League position of nineteenth showed. The rest of the season was now all about proving that and moving away from the Championship relegation zone. Arsenal would go on to lift the Cup for a second successive season.

58ARS 5th Round.JPG

BRIGHTON 2 ARSENAL 3
O’Grady, Baldock Walcott, Ozil, Rosicky

58ARS Replay

PREVIOUS; #57 BRIGHTON 0-1 MILLWALL 12/12/2014

NEXT; #59 BRIGHTON 0-2 BOURNEMOUTH 10/04/2015

Withdean on Screen; Milestone Matches part 2

Small Screen Seagulls 2000sThe media spotlight didn’t often shine on the Albion. Outside of the glorious run to the FA Cup Final, and Replay, in 1983, appearances on the television were rare. Goal clips were shown on the news and, if you were lucky, the Brighton game might have been selected for extended highlights on Match of the Day or The Big Match. Live games were even rarer, with the Seagulls on screen just three times in the 1980s and four in the 1990s. The satellite television boom didn’t really reach the South Coast until the 21st Century. The story of the club’s homelessness, two-year exile to Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium and twelve year stay at Withdean did garner some attention. Television helped play its part in this. This piece remembers some of the milestone matches Brighton played at their temporary abode. This is the SECOND part of the story, the first can be found here.

Ipswich 05 Pitch invasion

1

BIGGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY (11th November 2006) FA Cup Round One

Match of the Day, BBC One; Brighton 8-0 Northwich Victoria 

Northwich Intro Northwich red button

After a disappointing 2005/06 season which saw the Albion relegated in last place from the Championship, and further frustrating delays over the planning permission for the new stadium in Falmer, the club were back in the third tier for a period of transition. It got worse just a month into the campaign when boss Mark McGhee left after a lacklustre start and three consecutive losses. Hopes of bouncing straight back up like the last time they were at this level were quickly diminished. Chairman Dick Knight said at the time he thought McGhee had lost the fans and accepted his proposal to stand down. Former Albion midfielder Dean Wilkins, coach of the academy, was appointed initially in a caretaker role before being given the post full time. Results weren’t showing much sign of improving with five defeats on the bounce, including a disappointing defeat Live on Sky against Blackpool in October. That proved to be a bit of a turning point as Wilkins’ young Seagulls then began a six match unbeaten run, five of them wins, ahead of an FA Cup 1st Round tie at home to Conference side Northwich Victoria. As the 1990s showed, Albion taking on non-League sides in the Cup wasn’t always a guarantee of a result. Terrestrial FA Cup broadcaster BBC showed the pick of the First Round ties at the end of an extended one-hundred-minute Match of the Day, once all the Premiership highlights had been on. In fact there were so many goals to get through, there was only time to show three of ours on the main show, with the rest shunted to the BBC Red Button where every goal from every game was played on a loop overnight. Damien Johnson voiced all eight Albion finishes, eventually!

Northwich Cox opener Northwich Robinson 2nd Northwich Revell Northwich Rents

Dean Cox got us off to the perfect start with a goal in the eighth minute. A positive surge from Dean Hammond brought the ball inside the area where Cox finished first time to curl into the bottom corner (above, top left). Jake Robinson doubled the lead ten minutes later when he skipped past two to drill low into the corner past goalkeeper Phil Senior. The juniors were out on top at half time and it was three nil ten minutes after the break. Robinson was again the scorer, cutting in from the right touchline past his marker and finishing from a wide angle under the ‘keeper (above, top right). The low corners were proving to be the weak spot for Senior and Alex Revell took full advantage with a fantastic strike (above, bottom left) from twenty-five yards. Four more goals were added in the final twelve minutes, the first of which completed Jake Robinson’s hat-trick (below left). This time the effort flew high into the roof of the net from range. The sixth came about when, for some reason, the furthest forward was Adam El-Abd who saw his shot parried into the path of Joe Gatting, son of former Albion defender Steve, to tap home from six yards. That was his first senior goal for the club after coming up through the ranks and another also got that accolade with a minute to go. Sam Rents was put through by Dean Cox with time and space to make it number seven (above, bottom right). And it was Cox who rounded things off neatly, scoring the first and the last, to make it a great eight-nil. His run into the area was spotted by Gatting, the through ball perfect for Cox to lift it over the goalie and into the top corner. A fantastically ruthless display from a Brighton side full of youth and excitement. They progressed to the Second Round with the biggest margin of victory Withdean would see.

Northwich Robinson Hat Trick Northwich Scoreline

This result didn’t quite prove to be the shot in the arm to push on for the rest of the season. Further exploits in the Cup continued, ending with a Third Round defeat to Premiership West Ham away. League form was patchy and the club trundled to an eighteenth place finish in League One in 2007, picking up just eight points from the final twelve matches. The following season was much more positive though and Wilkins narrowly missed out on a Play Off spot by a single place. The biggest result came off the pitch, with permission finally granted for Falmer, this time Lewes District Council decided not to challenge. Things were on the up again! But sadly not for Dean Wilkins, who was relieved of his duties at the end of the season, in a surprise move. Brighton searched through their former glories and brought back Division Three winning manager Micky Adams after seven years away for the 2008/09 season. What could possibly go wrong?!


2

BIGGEST SHOCK (24th September 2008) League Cup Round Two

Carling Cup Highlights, ITV1; Brighton 1-1 Man City (2-2 AET, 5-3 on pens) 

Man City Intro Man City Skippings

In September 2008, Manchester City were taken over by an Abu Dhabi Group consortium for £200 million which instantly made them the richest club in world football. The club finished ninth in the Premiership the season before and were now competing in Europe this time round. On Transfer deadline day they bought Brazilian superstar Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million. By contrast at the same time, Brighton were competing in League One having brought back the manager who left to become an assistant at Leicester seven years earlier, beginning their twelfth season without a home, lost to Crowborough Athletic in the final pre-season match and the biggest bit of transfer news was the re-signing of Adam Virgo on a free, having not spent a penny on a new player all summer and relying on youth, free agents and loans. So when the two sides were drawn to play each other in the Second Round of the Carling Cup it was fair to see it was a complete mismatch. The City schedule was jam-packed due to their progression in the UEFA Cup so this match had to be played when pretty much everybody else was playing the Third Round. They went into the match off the back of a six-nil thrashing of Portsmouth and won three out of the first five Premiership games. Brighton’s form had regressed since an unbeaten August, without a win in four and lost the previous Saturday to the nine-men of Walsall. Nobody really held out much hope of making it to the League Cup Third Round this Wednesday night at Withdean. Football League highlights broadcaster ITV put on a late-night programme at 11.35pm to round up the events of the week presented by Matt Smith in the studio, with our match receiving the voiceover treatment from regular reporter Tom Skippings.

Man City Opener Man City Murray Man City Anyinsah Man City Equaliser

Big money signing Robinho was a no-show but City’s side included several famous names, the likes of Peter Schmeichel’s son Kasper, Richard Dunne, Vincent Kompany, Michael Ball (not that one), Michael Johnson (not that one either) and Jo all starting. The Albion’s team featured local born Adam Virgo, Tommy Elphick, Adam El-Abd and Tommy Fraser alongside new signing David Livermore and Ipswich loanee Matt Richards. But honours were even in the first half, with Steve Thomson nearly even putting Brighton one up when he struck the post. However, City took the lead just after the hour mark. Gelson Fernandes saw his effort take a huge deflection of Elphick and fly past Kuipers (above, top left). Just when you thought that would be that, Brighton popped up with an equaliser in the final minute after great work from Thomson. He received the ball from a throw-in on the left touchline, dribbled past Stephen Ireland and through Vincent Kompany. He received the ball in the box from a Virgo flick over the top before stabbing the ball goalwards. Waiting to pounce from no more than two yards out was Albion striker Glenn Murray who got there ahead of Fernandes to equalise (above, top right). Extra Time was required. Brighton turned the game around just five minutes in when substitute Joe Anyinsah, on loan from Preston making only his second appearance, pounced in the area (above, bottom left) after good work from Dean Cox. For all their wealth, experience and technique, it took Mark Hughes’ Manchester City side to go route one for their equaliser three minutes into the second period. A long punt upfield from goalkeeper Schmeichel was missed by everyone and allowed to bounce just outside the box. Stephen Ireland latched on to it to squeeze between the central defenders and slot the ball through the legs of Kuipers for two-two (above, bottom right). They still couldn’t be separated and a shoot-out was next.

Man City Richards penalty Man City Adams Man City Scoreline

Penalty shoot-outs had served Brighton rather well, with a superb dramatic win over Swindon in 2004 on the way to Play Off glory being the most famous thus far. Nobody was giving an inch during this, with the first seven spot kicks all being converted. Livermore, Elphick, Murray and Virgo scored for the Seagulls, with Ched Evans, Elano and Kompany replying for the visitors. Michael Ball couldn’t follow, with his kick saved well by Kuipers low to the Dutchman’s right. That presented Matt Richards with the opportunity to win it, which he duly did; dispatching his penalty to the left (above, top left) sending Schmeichel the wrong way and Brighton through! Cue a mini pitch invasion, the hoardings and running track of Withdean no barrier for the fans. There was no doubting this was an embarrassing exit for Manchester City, who would get over it in subsequent years of course. Pure elation for Brighton, supporters getting that little chance to gloat over the big clubs. In his interview afterwards, Micky Adams said “The fans have thoroughly enjoyed it tonight. It’s nice to see the Withdean packed out.” Adams wouldn’t go on to see that again too much. Defeat to Derby in Round Three saw a swift exit, they were knocked out of the FA Cup in Round One via a replay and were a penalty shoot-out away from a Wembley Final in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy but Luton edged it that night, Live on Sky. Form in the League crashed and burned and he was sacked in February after just nine months as the club slid into the relegation zone. An emergency rescue operation was required in the final third of the season to avoid falling into League Two.


3

THE GREAT ESCAPE IS ON (18th April 2009) League One

The Championship, ITV4 (repeat); Brighton 3-1 Oldham

Oldham Titles Oldham Smith

With Micky Adams losing his job in February and the club in the bottom four of League One, it was a tall order to reverse the slide with so few matches remaining. Come in, Russell Slade! The 2007 League One Manager of the Year was appointed in March until the end of the season, giving him just fourteen matches to lift them from 22nd place. Early on he got the better of his old side Yeovil with a five-nil thrashing but that was the only win in March. Defeats on the road at Walsall, Scunthorpe and MK Dons followed before a vital win at Hereford. An Easter Monday victory at Colchester kick-started an incredible finish to the season which continued with this match, at home to Oldham. Joe Royle’s side were comfortably mid-table with the Play Offs not quite in reach so essentially had little to play for. But Brighton had the worst home record in the Division, with just two wins at Withdean since 1st November – that’s an astonishing thirteen matches. ITV’s The Championship continued to be the terrestrial highlights programme for the Football League but despite the name, they did show the goals from all three Divisions. Matt Smith presented the Sunday morning show on ITV1, repeated on Monday nights on digital channel ITV4, from Molineux as Wolves celebrated promotion. Reporter Chris Hall talked through the goals on a big day for Brighton.

Oldham League One Oldham 1st goal Oldham Owusu header Oldham consolation

Dean Cox got Brighton off the mark after twenty-six minutes, left unmarked at the back post to nod home Lloyd Owusu’s cross. And the assister became the goalscorer just before half-time in slightly unusual circumstances. Gary Hart, who was actually released in the summer by Dean Wilkins only to be immediately brought back when Micky Adams was appointed, provided a similar looking cross to the back stick where Owusu stood. The striker joined in March on loan from Cheltenham. He was denied a goal at the first attempt when his stooping header was saved by goalkeeper Mark Crossley but his quick reactions ensured he wasn’t to be denied completely. Whilst lying full stretch on the floor, he flicked the loose ball in from all of a yard to improvise brilliantly (above, top right). You don’t see too many horizontal headers! After an hour, Lewis Allesandra pulled a goal back for the Latics when he outmuscled Adam El-Abd to win a ball over the top and calmly slot past Michel Kuipers (above, bottom left). The hope was short-lived as Lloyd Owusu grabbed his second and Brighton’s third less than two minutes later to seal the points. Somehow the ball trickled through the middle of the Oldham defence and Owusu latched onto it to slot past Crossley (below left).

Oldham Owusu 2nd Oldham table

Three-one was the final scoreline as Brighton completed a huge victory and shook off that Withdean hoodoo. There were three more matches in order to pull off the greatest of great escapes, with just one of those coming at Withdean. The League One table still made for uncomfortable viewing from an Albion perspective, with the club languishing in 22nd spot but three vital points brought them that little bit closer to getting out. Hereford’s fate was sealed that weekend after another defeat, just three other spots now waited to be filled. Brighton followed up these back-to-back wins with two more great away performances. A two-one victory at Bristol Rovers saw the Seagulls come from behind to snatch the three points. That man Owusu scored again, cancelling Rickie Lambert’s opener, whilst on-loan Crystal Palace forward Calvin Andrew got the winner. This was backed up by a crucial point at Huddersfield, who had veteran Andy Booth still firing strong and on the scoresheet. Again, Andrew and Owusu netted. These results lifted Albion out of the relegation zone and meant that a win in the final match of the season at home to Stockport would be enough to complete what was unthinkable just a few short weeks ago; stay in the Division. Could the Seagulls hold their nerve for one more match?

4

FINAL DAY SURVIVAL (2nd May 2009) League One

Big League Weekend, Sky Sports 1; Brighton 1-0 Stockport

Stockport Titles Stockport Gavin

Sky Sports previewed the final weekend of the Football League season with their usual Friday night magazine show Big League Weekend 1. This replaced the old Football League Review show on Thursday nights in previous seasons with a Friday preview and a Monday review show under the Big League banner. This was introduced for the 2007/08 season. George Gavin was the main man fronting it in the presenter’s seat. Gone are the days of having to stand around that podium for an hour! Graphics and titles were the same as used on the Live matches. For this edition, Gavin was joined in the studio by Brentford manager Andy Scott and Sky Sports pundit Scott Minto.

Stockport Slade dugout Stockport Studio 1  Stockport table before match Stockport Fixtures

The studio team looked ahead to the intriguing battle at the bottom, where five teams were battling to avoid the drop; Crewe, Carlisle, Northampton, Hartlepool and, of course, the Albion. Crewe had the unenviable task of playing Champions Leicester and even a win might not have been enough for the Railwaymen to avoid joining Hereford and Cheltenham. Perennial escape artists Carlisle could do it again as they hosted Millwall, the Lions with nothing much to play for but pride having already secured a top five spot. Hartlepool headed South West to Bristol Rovers knowing a point would be enough for them. Northampton faced a tricky tie at Play Off bound Leeds, where coming away with anything is usually tough. And at Withdean, Stockport were dragged down towards the battle after a ten point deduction for going into administration. However, with their positive goal difference it was almost impossible for Carlisle to overturn that swing so effectively were safe. Brighton knew a win would secure the great escape for Russell Slade having only taken the reins in March. Reporter Dominic Johnson voiced a package interviewing someone from all the clubs involved in the relegation battle. Slade said “That was my biggest worry, that there wasn’t a lot of game to be played and to turn it around in such a short space of time.” Pundit Scott Minto thought Northampton and Crewe would be the two to drop, with tough final day fixtures for the pair.

Stockport Titles 2 Stockport Studio 2 Stockport Withdean merchandise Stockport Knight

The Monday after the Saturday before, Sky Sports broadcast their ninety minute weekend round-up of the Football League in Big League Weekend 2, presented by George Gavin with Birmingham’s Kevin Phillips and Burnley’s Robbie Blake. Tony Lockwood voiced a report detailing the season’s conclusion at the foot of League One, having discounted Crewe after their defeat at Leicester sent them down. Four teams remained trying not to get that final spot. The package began on the South Coast with the sun shining at Withdean as the fans and staff went about their preparations. Chairman Dick Knight was interviewed pitchside prior to kick off putting an excited, positive spin on the events. “It’s actually why we come to football, days like this, a wonderful, exciting day. We’re very optimistic, we’ve got a full house, record crowd that’s ever been here.” 8,618 turned up to the pack out the athletics ground, fully expecting a good result for Russell Slade’s miracle men.

Stockport Intro Stockport Forster goal Stockport Full time Stockport Forster

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts though as an early goal from Graham Kavanagh put Carlisle one up in their match and with the Albion level with Stockport, the goal put Brighton into the relegation zone. However, that position didn’t last for long as a Leeds goal against Northampton sent the Cobblers dropping instead. As things stood, Brighton and Carlisle were safe, Northampton were joining Crewe, Cheltenham and Hereford in League Two. Carlisle extended their lead against Millwall to save them from the drop and Leeds soon doubled their advantage against Northampton. A third goal for the Yorkshire team secured Northampton’s fate late on. With seventeen minutes to go, Brighton made sure of it when Nicky Forster pounced to score the sort of poacher’s goal he was famous for (above, top right). On loan Gary Dicker’s volley on the edge of the box was parried by goalkeeper Conrad Logan but only as far as Forster who tapped home from five yards. It was enough to get the win, with the final whistle a cue for a pitch invasion to celebrate (above, bottom left). Afterwards, Forster (above, bottom right) was full of praise for the support; “It was a fantastic atmosphere, the fans came in force and that was definitely key to the day.”

Stockport Slade Stockport Celebrations Stockport Player of the Month Stockport Owusu

Russell Slade told Sky Sports “The lads have responded exceptionally well in recent weeks and I think they deserve it.” The boss was carried on supporters’ shoulders (above, top right) on the pitch, enjoying every second of this magnificent achievement. It’s easy to underplay it in hindsight but when he arrived the club morale was low; the home form was abysmal and it was difficult to see where the next win would come from. A couple of loan signings and some fresh thinking from the manager galvanised the side into promotion form in the final third of the campaign, ending with a five-match unbeaten run taking thirteen points out of fifteen. Six goals from striker Lloyd Owusu earned him the Powerade Player of the Month award for April (above, bottom left and right). He rejected the offer of joining permanently in the summer, but there was better news (initially) for Russell Slade, who was offered the job on a two-year deal. The final table (below) actually saw the Seagulls leap up to sixteenth position, three points clear of the drop zone but four places. As Scott Minto predicted on the Friday show, it was Crewe and Northampton who joined the already relegated two on their journey down to the basement League. It could so easily have been Brighton were it not for good old Russell Slade. It was a shame that his good impact didn’t stretch into the 2009/2010 season where a terrible start saw him dismissed in November to be replaced by former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet for his first managerial role. The rest really was, as they say, history!

Stockport Final Table


5

THE FINAL MATCH (30th April 2011) League One

The Football League Show, BBC One; Brighton 2-3 Huddersfield

Huddersfield Titles Huddersfield Studio

When Gus Poyet was appointed Albion boss in November 2009, the club were just above the relegation zone in League One. His first match was televised Live on Sky Sports and the terrific three-one away victory at Southampton was a taster of results to come. It wasn’t all rosy though and the first few months were hit and miss. Gradually as the campaign wore on, he went about adjusting the playing style to a more fluid, passing one. He got the best out of the likes of Adam El Abd at the back, Matt Sparrow in the middle and Ashley Barnes up top alongside Glenn Murray. There was a clear identity about the club again. That season ended with the club climbing the League table from twentieth in January up to thirteenth in March, where the club would finish. The second half of the season was more like the Brighton we would come to see during the 2010/11 campaign; our final year at Withdean Stadium. With a new look structure of Tony Bloom as chairman and Gus Poyet as manager, the Albion stormed League One from the off. Just one defeat in fifteen saw them in the top six places and they would never look back. A terrific run of eleven wins out of twelve in March and April saw firstly promotion clinched with a four-three defeat of Dagenham, then the title secured with a three-one scoreline at Walsall. The foot eased off the gas a little towards the end of the season, the first home defeat was inflicted by Southampton at the end of April before a comedic own goal at Colchester, Live on Sky, saw further points dropped. The target of one hundred points was just slightly out of reach. And so the final match after twelve long, hard seasons at Withdean was upon us. Huddersfield were the visitors, themselves needing the points to join Albion in the Championship next season. Terrestrial highlights had switched from ITV to BBC in 2009 so The Football League Show presented by Manish Bhasin in the studio with Steve Claridge was where we could witness the best of the action.

Huddersfield Intro Huddersfield Barnes Huddersfield Sparrow Huddersfield Winner

It was only right that Dave Beckett, a Brighton supporter and voice of the Football League for more than a decade, got to narrate the final ever Albion match at Withdean. Beckett was there throughout the entire story of the sale of the Goldstone and playing at Gillingham, where he reported for ITV Meridian News. He was the presenter of ITV’s Football League Extra in the early years at Withdean before providing the reports for The Championship when that began in 2004. And when the BBC gained the League highlights he became one of their principle voices on the round-ups. He summed up the departure of Withdean nicely, beginning his report with “No electronic scoreboard at Withdean’s humble surroundings, a ground Brighton’s fans are delighted to say goodbye to after twelve years, even if it has seen some excellent seasons.” Huddersfield provided a guard of honour for the Champions but soon took the lead after just eight minutes. Benik Afobe swivelled to sell Gordon Greer a dummy in the area before slotting the ball under Peter Brezovan’s dive and into the back of the net. Brighton had their chances to equaliser, immediately with Ashley Barnes thwarted then later with Chris Wood, who saw his header crash against the crossbar. The Terriers lead at the break but just two minutes into the second half there was a chance of an equaliser when Elliott Bennett was fouled for a penalty. Up stepped Barnes. Goalkeeper Ian Bennett guessed the right way to keep it out but couldn’t do anything about the rebound, as Barnes stooped to nod in (above, top right). With less than half an hour remaining, Huddersfield regained the lead through Afobe’s second. He was presented the opportunity from a mistake by right back Inigo Calderon, whose chest back to Brezovan did not reach the intended target and Afobe nipped in to finish smartly. Eight minutes later and the Seagulls were on level terms again. A terrific through ball from Greer was dummied by Gary Hart to allow Matt Sparrow to latch onto it. Through on goal, he took two touches before finishing into the far corner for two-two (above, bottom left). That wasn’t the end of things as Danny Ward won it for Huddersfield in stoppage time when he put two Albion defenders on their backsides with one simple touch before firing past Brezovan at the near post (above, bottom right). Three-two the final scoreline for the final match.

Huddersfield scoreline Huddersfield Table Huddersfield Poyet Huddersfield Brighton Champions

That win for Huddersfield kept alive their hopes of joining Brighton in the Championship via the automatic promotion route, going level on points with Southampton in second place. The Saints also won that day, a three-nil scoreline at Brentford, but with a game in hand they were still favourites to go up. That’s exactly what happened, with Huddersfield having to try their luck in the Play Offs. For Brighton fans, the final ninety minutes was just a sideshow for the main event of the day – saying goodbye to this peculiar stadium in style with the presentation of the League One trophy. Captain Gordon Greer held the silverware aloft as the champagne flowed and the celebrations began. Manager Gus Poyet was lapping it up with the supporters (above, bottom left). It capped off a remarkable last season there, blowing away the rest of the competition and ending up on a hugely impressive 95 League points. The second tier would be where Brighton would begin life at Falmer in. The 2011/2012 season would not only see a change of Division, but also a change of home. At long, long, long last! Goodbye Withdean, and thanks for the memories.


Huddersfield Goodbye

#51: Hull 2-1 Brighton 24/02/2014

#51 HULL 2-1 BRIGHTON FA Cup Round Five Replay
Monday 24th February 2014 LIVE on itv4

HULR Titles

PRESENTER Matt Smith GUESTS Gordon Strachan & Phil Brown
COMMENTATORS Sam Matterface & Clarke Carlisle REPORTER Ned Boulting
7.45pm Kick Off; KC Stadium, Hull     7.30-10pm FA Cup Live on ITV4

HULR Ident HULR Sponsor HULR Intro

Context of the Match: Tonight’s FA Cup Fifth Round Replay came just a week after the original tie in Falmer. That night ended in a one-all draw, with Leo Ulloa opening the scoring finishing superbly to lift it over the goalkeeper. The Albion held out until five minutes to go when Yannick Sagbo slotted home the equaliser. The draw for the Quarter Finals meant Sunderland awaited the winners, and a chance for Brighton to reunite with last summer’s departed manager Gus Poyet. The additional fixture tonight was the last thing either side wanted, with Hull using all their resources to remain a Premier League club again next season whilst the Seagulls are in the midst of another slog towards a Play Off place in the Championship for the second season running. Forty-six  League games plus several Cup matches really do take it out of you. To make things more complicated, this midweek had Champions League and Europa League fixtures in place. An agreement between UEFA and the various Football Associations tries, where very possible, to avoid scheduling top-level domestic fixtures up against UEFA matches to avoid a television clash. Consequently it was agreed that, as it was to be broadcast Live by ITV, the game would take place on the Monday night – just as it was in the original tie seven days ago. This forced both sides into playing two games in just over forty-eight hours. The Albion lost two-one at home to fellow promotion chasers Wigan; the first loss in Falmer since the beginning of December. Hull fared a lot better, victorious at struggling Cardiff by four goals to nil. Having lost Liam Bridcutt and Ashley Barnes in the January transfer window and with several injuries affecting the wider squad, Brighton were fighting against the odds as the games came thick and fast.

HULR Hull HULR Brighton

The Teams: Brighton struggled to replace the big names lost in the January transfer window. David Rodriguez came in to today’s starting eleven up front on a free from Celta Vigo. He had spent his entire career in the Spanish leagues at the likes of Almeria and Salamanca before enjoying success at Vigo. Another striker came in on loan; Jonathan Obika. He spent his youth at Tottenham but first-team appearances for them were virtually non-existent. Instead he’s had several loan spells with lower League sides, including four separate spells at Yeovil, whilst we are the latest club for him to try his luck away from Spurs at. He scored against Port Vale in the Fourth Round of this competition. The most well-known perhaps of the window signings was central midfielder Dale Stephens, a regular in the highly rated Charlton side champions of League One in 2012. He came through the ranks at Bury before moving to Oldham early in his career. Having played for Charlton during their FA Cup campaign he would be unavailable for tonight’s match. Brighton made five changes from the weekend as regular first choice members Kuszczak, Bruno, Greer, Orlandi and Stephens made way. Coming in to the defence were Lewis Dunk and Inigo Calderon. Cup goalkeeper Peter Brezovan continued to deputise, whilst Jake Forster-Caskey and Keith Andrews were the options in midfield. LuaLua and Solly March were subs if required. Steve Bruce’s Hull City made even more changes to their line-up from Saturday, bringing in six new faces. This included goalkeeper Steve Harper, who played a handful of matches on-loan to the Albion early on in the first season at The Amex. Elsewhere Matty Fryatt returned to the side, as did Sone Aluko and Yannick Sagbo, who scored the equalising goal a week ago in Sussex to take this tie to tonight’s replay. Liam Rosenior and Tom Huddlestone warmed the bench. Refereeing was the Premier League’s Andre Marriner.

HULR Smith HULR Strachan HULR Brown HULR Studio

Presentation Team: ITV’s second choice host Matt Smith presented tonight’s Live Replay, continuing his long association with them stretching back to 2001 and the ITV Sport Channel. During his time with the commercial broadcaster he has hosted Live matches in the Champions League, FA Cup, international matches, Europa League, friendlies, World Cups and European Championships. He was the regular host of Football League highlights programme The Championship on Sunday mornings from its inception in 2004 to its demise in 2009 when rights moved to the BBC. Since 2008 he has been heavily involved in the FA Cup coverage, hosting Live games and doing the regular evening round ups and would be doing a lot for the upcoming 2014 World Cup. Alongside him in the studio were Gordon Strachan and Phil Brown. Strachan had formed a very good double act with Matt Smith from their coverage of the competition over the past couple of years and was a regular on the channel. The week after he last pundited on an Albion game, versus Newcastle in January 2013, Strachan secured the Scotland National Team managers job. They failed to secure qualification for the Brazil World Cup, but the Scotsman would be going with ITV instead. Being an international manager affords quite a lot of time spare during the season so he and Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill often spent time in the studio, much to our enjoyment. Also on duty tonight was the former Hull gaffer Phil Brown. He gained notoriety as Sam Allardyce’s assistant during their successful Bolton Wanderers spell in the early noughties before becoming a number one in his own right at Derby. He joined the Tigers as Phil Parkinson’s coach before graduating to first team duties after Parkinson’s sacking. Brown kept Hull in the Championship in his first season and the following year won the Play Off Final at Wembley to rocket them into the Premier League for the first time. Life in the top Division began so well and avoided relegation on the final day of the season in 2009. The feat couldn’t be repeated the following campaign and he was placed on gardening leave before being sacked in the summer. A bad spell at Preston ended prematurely and he spent some time in the media on BBC Radio Five Live, Talksport and various magazine programmes on television to keep his profile up. He now was boss of League Two Southend enjoying happier times.

HULR Coming Next HULR Comms

In the commentary box were Sam Matterface and Clarke Carlisle, a relatively new pairing for ITV but due to circumstances were sat second in the pecking order going into the summer’s international tournament. Previous understudies to ITV number one Clive Tyldesley were Peter Drury and Jon Champion, were both offered better positions for international broadcasters for the World Cup and, understandably, prioritised that over picking up the scraps for the UK. Drury would be leading the world feed commentaries for the Host Broadcaster whilst Champion was snapped up with ESPN for America’s coverage behind Ian Darke. This lead to the rushed promotion of Sam Matterface this season having not had much television commentary experience. Prior to this point he was perhaps better known as a Sky Sports News presenter, which he did between 2007 and 2010 where he then moved to Talksport to voice their newly acquired Live radio commentary rights of the Premier League. From the 2011/12 season he started to pick up the odd commentary for ITV highlights on FA Cup and European matches. His regular partner of late was former Blackpool and Watford defender Clarke Carlisle. His playing career was mostly spent in the Football League where he achieved promotion with Queens Park Rangers and Burnley. However it was his work outside of the game which propelled him more into the public’s conscience, for good and bad reasons. The good reasons centred around his articulate speaking and media appearances. He famously won ITV’s Britain’s Brainiest Footballer and appeared as a contestant on three episodes of Countdown on Channel 4 and even BBC’s Question Time, all whilst still a player. Towards the end of his career he appeared more frequently as a pundit across various media outlets such as BBC’s Match of the Day 2 and Radio 5 Live, Sky Sports coverage of the Football League and on co-commentary for ITV. He also investigated racism in football for a BBC Three documentary and explored the taboo subject of men’s mental health, having suffered from depression himself and sadly attempted suicide. In 2010 he was announced as the new chairman of the Professional Footballers Association. After retirement in 2013 his appearances with ITV increased further. Completing the line-up was reporter Ned Boulting. He was ITV’s all-rounder, increasingly covering darts and cycling as well as the various football competitions. In addition he reported on the 2012 London Paralympics for Channel 4 and released cycling books based on his times at Le Tour de France.

HULR Garcia HULR Coming Up

The Coverage: Things had changed at ITV since our last appearance in January 2013. Firstly the logo had a major rebrand the week after that match to this joined-up curvy lettering across their family of channels. The ITV Sport logo became green and was added onto the scorebar for Live matches. The graphics hadn’t changed their look but there was no an additional entrance and exit sound which was akin to a loud paper tear, unfortunately. Enough to frighten the dog. The theme tune remained as Jim Copperthwaite’s ‘FA Cup’ track, especially composed for ITV. The big change was to come at the end of the season though as this would be the broadcaster’s last season of FA Cup coverage. The BBC would be taking over as terrestrial partner following this season’s climax. On top of this, the Champions League and Europa League would be moving to BT Sport on an exclusive basis from 2015, meaning that ITV would be left with no regular Live club football. They would still have European highlights and Live England international friendlies and qualifiers but these were sparse and irregular. With the contract coming towards its end, it was unsurprising that their obligation to cover a Live replay from this competition featuring two smaller sides would be shunted over to ITV4 rather than broadcast on the main channel. Hull versus Brighton was the only replay at this stage, meaning it automatically went to ITV as first choice. When the match would be played took some negotiating, with both sides in League action the previous Saturday and the midweek being a Champions League one, they were left with little option but to cram this one in on Monday night. This gave both sides only around fifty hours between matches. Matt Smith hosted from the in-stadium studio box at Hull’s Kingston Communications Stadium, with the coverage beginning fifteen minutes prior to kick-off. His pundits Gordon Strachan and Phil Brown were sat behind a high desk which slotted together so all three were in tandem, with a plasma screen covering their legs. With much talk being about both teams playing twice in three days, Gordon Strachan didn’t understand the complaints. “Top players get used to playing game after game after game. If you want to be a top player, you have to play a lot of games. If you want a lot of rest, play for a rubbish team, you’ll be fine, you’ll get loads of holidays.” Spoken with the trademark wit that has made him such an entertainer in press conferences and television studios over the years.

HULR Offside HULR Highlights

ITV crammed two short advert breaks into their fifteen minute build up, as they did with the Champions League coverage, meaning features and VTs were missing here and the pre-match was mostly chat. Reporter Ned Boulting interviewed both managers in the tunnel to hear their plans. Oscar Garcia told the style wouldn’t change despite playing away from home and to higher opposition; “We will try to play as we play every game. We want to keep the possession, to create chances and hopefully – we must – we have to be more clinical in front of goal.” With the teams starting to line-up in the tunnel, Smith got the final thoughts of his pundits before the second ad break, after which he handed to the commentary team of Sam Matterface and Clarke Carlisle with the referee set to kick things off. At half-time the focus was on the two Hull goals and how avoidable they were from Brighton’s perspective. Much of the blame for the pundits laid at Brezovan’s door for the first, whilst the second was shown to be offside using lines drawn on the pitch. At half-time and full-time, as well as score updates during the ninety minutes, we were kept abreast of the other FA Cup tie being played tonight; Sheffield Wednesday against Charlton which was postponed due to the weather on the original Fifth Round weekend. Just shy of fifteen minutes remained to get reaction and analysis from this replay. Ned Boulting spoke with the two Hull goalscorers in the tunnel; Curtis Davies and Robert Koren. Pundit Phil Brown bemoaned Brighton’s lack of urgency even when just one goal behind, not doing enough to threaten for an equaliser. The goals were all dissected, with a hint of offside on Brighton’s goal dismissed as it was Calderon rather than the scorer who was off. A further advert break came during the post match show, after which highlights of tonight’s other match – Sheffield Wednesday versus Charlton – were shown. Commentary on that edit was provided by Derek Rae, formerly of ESPN now of BT Sport and occasional ITV highlights commentaries. During that game a header was extremely close to crossing the line but was ruled not to. ITV applied their best graphics wizardry to clear it up in the style of the Hawkeye Goal Line Technology feature which was introduced in the Premier League at the beginning of the season, but not available to Football League teams. And we were done, as Matt Smith signed off from the KC Stadium around 10pm.

HULR Sub HULR Goal

Story of the Match: With the salmon ball on the centre spot, Brighton got the game underway kicking from left to right. Hull dominated the early stages and caused panic in the Albion defence on a few occasions within the opening quarter of an hour. Peter Brezovan in-goal seemed hesitant, his nerves spreading to the back four protecting him. The Tigers took the lead in the fourteenth minute. Captain Robert Koren floated in a corner from the near side and was headed back towards goal by Curtis Davies. His header looped up as Brezovan was scrambling to get across his line. Jake Forster-Caskey, under pressure from David Meyler, couldn’t leap high enough to help his goalkeeper out and the ball fell into the net via the post. Davies’ celebration summed it up, almost unsure if it was his and how that had gone in. It was his. After the goal Brighton grew into the match more without really looking too dangerous. Hull looked more likely to double their lead, particularly from set pieces. They did exactly that ten minutes before half-time when Koren’s free kick somehow found its way in. His shot from the edge of the D was low and looked to be heading straight into the arms of the goalkeeper before it got a little deflection right in front, four yards out. Brezovan had already committed himself down to his left, meaning the touch from Fryatt ricocheted off the Slovakian’s fist and bounced up over his line. Fryatt was actually in an offside position when the free kick was taken so the goal shouldn’t really have stood, but nonetheless it was another poor goal to concede. The wall didn’t do a particularly good job, the tracking for the second ball was slow and the spectacle as the ball crept in didn’t appear too clever. This was now a long way back for Brighton, both in terms of the match and geographically. Clarke Carlisle on co-commentary suggested pace was needed from the away team if they were to get back into this Cup tie. It was severely lacking. Kazenga LuaLua was brought on at half time to try to inject some pace and trickery into the Brighton side. Inside the first five minutes of the restart the away side hit the crossbar. Lewis Dunk was still forward following a cleared corner. Stephen Ward crossed from the left touchline to an area containing three blue and white stripes leaping for the same ball. It fell to the feet of Dunk to thunder a shot from ten yards with his left but the woodwork prevented the comeback. A quarter of an hour passed before Hull had a chance to really wrap things up through Sone Aluko. A poor touch from Calderon invited the Tigers to come forward in numbers, Hull played the ball nicely diagonally across the field where it eventually found Aluko on the near side in the penalty box. As he was preparing to shoot, Ward through his body full length to block for the corner. With a little over twenty minutes remaining, Brighton got their breakthrough. LuaLua was brought down by Meyler for a free kick on the near touchline. David Lopez whipped in a terrific ball, full of pace and curl. It only needed a glance on its way in from the head of Ulloa six yards out to take it past Harper in goal and bring Albion within one of an equaliser. It was the Argentinian striker’s fifth goal in as many games. Disappointingly though, a second never came. It never really looked like coming and the final twenty minutes weren’t too difficult for Hull to see out the tie. It would be the Premier League team who progressed by two goals to one. They would go all the way to the Final, where Arsenal needed Extra Time to overcome them. Brighton’s focus was now all about the League and up into a Play Off place.

HULR Full Time

HULL 2 BRIGHTON 1
Davies, Koren Ulloa

HULR Replay

PREVIOUS; #50 BRIGHTON 1-1 HULL 17/02/2014

NEXT; #52 BRIGHTON 2-0 YEOVIL 25/04/2014

#50: Brighton 1-1 Hull 17/02/2014

#50 BRIGHTON 1-1 HULL FA Cup Round Five
Monday 17th February 2014 Image result for bt sport logo

HUL Titles

PRESENTER Darrell Currie GUESTS David James & Jimmy Bullard
COMMENTATORS Ian Darke & Adam Virgo REPORTER Chris Hollins
7.45pm Kick Off; Amex Stadium     7-10pm FA Cup Live on BT Sport 1

HUL Promo HUL In Play Bet HUL Intro

Context of the Match: Brighton had started to find the consistency required if they were to make the top six in Oscar Garcia’s first season in charge. With two-thirds of the Championship campaign gone, the club were seventh in the table. A run of just two defeats in fourteen across all competitions saw the Seagulls cement their place as one of the contenders. The last three home matches were all settled by a solitary Brighton goal to nil, highlighting the defence’s solidity. With Gordon Greer and Matt Upson almost immoveable from the team sheet, 2011 Player of the Year Adam El-Abd wasn’t getting a look in so chose to depart for Bristol City in the January transfer window. He played his 300th, and final, League match for the Albion in the victory over Birmingham. Tonight ordinarily would have been an opportunity for him to have featured, being a Cup tie, as he did in the Third Round one-nil win over Reading at The Amex. Andrew Crofts got the only goal of that match. In Round Four the team beat League One Port Vale, managed for former Albion boss Micky Adams. Goals from Rohan Ince, Solly March and Jon Obika saw off the Valiants three-one to progress to this Fifth Round tie tonight. Newly promoted Premier League Hull City were drawn to come to The Amex. The Tigers went up as runners-up last year and were holding their own back in the top flight, sat thirteenth in the table. The last time they came to The Amex was a televised League match in which Vicente scored the only goal of the game almost a year ago. More recently, wins had been very hard to come by with just two in thirteen in the League. In the Cup they reached this stage by defeating Middlesbrough and Southend both by two goals to nil. Tonight’s Championship versus top Division clash attracted the attention of BT Sport, in their first season of broadcast, to elect to cover the game Live. The date was set for a Monday night fixture under the lights and in front of more than 21,000 spectators. The draw for the next round had already been done, with the winners due to host Sunderland. They of course were now managed by a certain Gus Poyet. Would the reunion be on or would it be Steve Bruce taking Hull to face his former club?

HUL Brighton HUL Hull HUL Formations

The Teams: Two key components of the League One title-winning squad left in the January transfer window. Midfielder Liam Bridcutt, pivotal to the Albion’s solid line and back-to-back Player of the Season in 2012 and 2013, was snapped up by his old boss Gus Poyet at Sunderland after weeks of speculation for around £3 million. This followed the news of striker Ashley Barnes move to Burnley after four years in Sussex. The Premier League was slowly picking apart the successful squad, a common theme during the Championship years. With Tomasz Kuszczak and Gordon Greer rested for the Cup and Adam El-Abd sold, Slovakian Peter Brezovan and academy graduate Lewis Dunk came into the starting eleven. With limited first-team football available this season for Dunk due to the experience of the regulars in his position, he joined Bristol City on loan for a month back in October. Previously he profited from injuries to Tommy Elphick and El-Abd by starting the early parts of the first season at The Amex back in 2011. Left-back Adam Chicksen had only started twice for the Albion before tonight; both in the FA Cup. Jake Forster-Caskey had featured in the majority of the League games so far but missed Rounds Three and Four. With Andrew Crofts out for the past month, midfielders Keith Andrews and Rohan Ince got more of a regular berth having featured on and off all campaign. Will Buckley had missed all of January through injury but returned to the bench last time out, graduating to a start tonight. Hampered by a lay-off mid-season, Kazenga LuaLua had only begun eight matches before this. Top scorer Leo Ulloa was back in goalscoring form, netting in both of Albion’s previous two matches. Local lad Solly March scored his first goal for the club during the Fourth Round victory at Port Vale and provided an option on the bench. For Hull and Steve Bruce, the squad was strengthened over the summer ahead of their step-up to the Premier League with goalkeeper Allan McGregor and defenders Maynor Figueroa and Curtis Davies all signing. Midfield duo Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore moved from Tottenham. Captain Robert Koren missed more than a month through injury earlier on in the year. On the bench was Steve Harper, who had a brief time at the Albion on loan in 2011. Refereeing was Lee Probert.

HUL Currie HUL James HUL Bullard HUL Pitchside

Presentation Team: A familiar name to Brighton’s FA Cup coverage from the past few years hosted tonight’s broadcast. Scotsman Darrell Currie joined BT Sport at launch to be their face of Scottish Football. He transferred from ESPN where he was the pitchside reporter and occasional presenter North of the border, as well as doing FA Cup and Europa League matches. A similar approach was taken here by BT but instead of interviewing, he was now front and centre as host of the various competitions. Joining him tonight was one of BT’s star pundit signings David James. The former England and Liverpool goalkeeper retired from the professional game a year ago and has since been on BT’s roster, rotating with the likes of Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen. James had previous punditry experience having been a part of the BBC’s Euro 2012 line-up. During his playing career he lifted the League Cup with Liverpool and the FA Cup with Portsmouth and won over fifty caps for his country, including wearing the jersey at the 2010 World Cup. Alongside David James on analysis duties was former Hull midfielder Jimmy Bullard. He spent eighteen months with the Tigers, with perhaps his most infamous moment coming during a goal celebration which spoofed his manager Phil Brown’s on-field team talk from an earlier match. Bullard enjoyed greater success at Fulham, reaching the Europa League Final, and Wigan, League Cup runner-up. He came to the attention of Sky’s cult Saturday morning show Soccer AM where his personality and character shone through on funny clips and features. He retired from the game towards the end of 2012 having had several serious knee problems throughout his career. His profile remained high through various media appearances and occasional spells in non-League. On the touchline was reporter Chris Hollins. BT made a habit of sharing ‘talent’ with the BBC and employed many of their presenters across their sports coverage on an ad-hoc basis. This included the likes of Mark Clemmit and Helen Skelton on the National League, Clare Balding was given her own chat show, and Steve Bower and Darren Fletcher commentated for both. Hollins was more familiar on BBC light entertainment, hosting Watchdog and BBC Breakfast sport bulletins and even won the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing. I don’t think any of our other presenters on the Albion games could ever say they’ve achieved that! He’s the son of former Chelsea star John Hollins and even played a bit during his youth, featuring for Aldershot and Charlton. His appearances on BT were sporadic but mainly included youth internationals and lower-profile football and rugby but more often than not was in the studio for the daily news programme SportsHub (formerly BT Sport Live).

HUL Dugout HUL On Pitch

In the commentary box were two recognisable names from previous televised Albion matches, and both for different reasons, Ian Darke and Adam Virgo. Commentator Darke was, alongside Martin Tyler, the voice that launched Sky Sports coverage of the new Premier League back in 1992, covering their Monday Night Football strand for the first three years before moving across to boxing. He returned full-time to football in 2005 with Sky where he covered all the Leagues, including our match at Leyton Orient and the JPT defeat to Luton on penalties. He went to the 2010 World Cup for the American version of ESPN and viewers enjoyed his commentaries so much he joined the broadcaster permanently towards the end of that year, ending a long-running association with Sky and the UK. When BT launched at the start of this season, he was one of the first people snapped up, as lead commentator on Premier League and FA Cup duties. Sharing a gantry with him tonight was the former Albion defender-turned-emergency striker Adam Virgo. His playing career has been documented through previous posts here, most famously perhaps during the 2004 Division Two Play Off Semi Final 2nd Leg when his goal in the final minute of Extra Time against Swindon took the game to a penalty shoot-out where the rest, as they say, is history. He was forced into early retirement last October and has been appearing across a variety of media outlets. He covered our last Live Amex game for Sky Sports as a studio pundit – the draw with Watford. He’s also regularly heard on BBC Radio Sussex’s commentaries of the Seagulls at The Amex this year. His association with BT Sport began back in November when he was in the commentary box on their new National League (formerly Conference) broadcasts where he was since become their regular. He took over from James Beattie who struggled to get to grips with Live analysis having done BT’s early handful before Virgo joined and stayed pretty much since, in partnership with Steve Bower. Virgo has a good broadcast voice, provides strong analysis and works very well with whoever he’s paired up with; he clearly has a future in this line of work. It was a vote of confidence from his new employers at BT to give him a relatively high-profile Live match here tonight.

HUL Tunnel HUL VT StatsHUL Naylor HUL Back of the tunnel

The Coverage: BT Sport launched in August at the start of this season as the new direct rival to Sky Sports. In the Olympic summer of 2012 they surprisingly won the rights to broadcast 38 Premier League matches exclusively Live for three seasons from 2013, taking the place of then-holders ESPN, with Sky retaining the vast majority. ESPN was then incorporated into the BT Sport family and therefore many of their existing rights now belonged to BT, including Premiership Rugby and the FA Cup. BT’s move into the pay TV market seemed to come out of the blue, having previously been a leader in telecommunications mainly. Several channels launched from their hub at the former Olympic Park broadcast centre in Stratford, where three multi-purpose shiny studios were housed and the majority of their own programming derived. Key talent were signed up including Jake Humphrey, the face of the channel. Their Premier League offering was initially hosted from their studios, complete with a glass pitch and huge towering screens, however they moved to present from pitchside from November onwards. The regular kick off was Saturday 12.45pm before their Live Rugby Union action. The whole day had a sort of Grandstand feel to it, with the presenters handing over to the next set of hosts at the end of many of their broadcasts, treating the days like one big event. Consequently, full title sequences weren’t really a thing, they appeared more like break bumpers in the bottom left corner. They launched with much fanfare and intrigue and soon signalled their intentions by winning the star prize of exclusive Live UEFA Champions League broadcast rights from long-running partners Sky and ITV having only been on-air for a few months. The rights wouldn’t begin until 2015 but a huge buzz was around the new BT Sport group so early on in its existence. In terms of their FA Cup coverage, this was all presented pitchside from round one onwards, utilising their wider talent that covered both English and Scottish League football. The graphics were used across all their own programming, both Live and magazine formats. The BT logo – complete with their multi-coloured ‘connected globe’ – was key to this set, using it as the replay transition, the titles and the different coloured microphones for presenters. Whilst their Premier League theme tune was Primal Scream’s excellent ‘Come Together’, the FA Cup music was specially composed for them. The biggest change to the norm was moving the scorebar from the top to the bottom of the screen. It was something Sky trialled briefly for a few months in 2007 before viewer feedback led them to revert back, however BT persisted and it worked nicely with their graphics and on-screen channel logo. The in-game astons would peek out from the DOG in the bottom-right, to fill the screen across to the scorebar. They were black and slightly translucent, whilst the programme astons were on purple and grey backgrounds flying in from either side. They were nice and sleek, less flashy than their rivals at Sky.

HUL Ulloa pre match HUL View from the tunnel

Tonight’s broadcast began at 7pm, forty-five minutes before kick off, and was presented from pitchside, and indeed all around the Amex, as BT gained access all areas. Host Darrell Currie introduced the show walking across the pitch to meet his guests for the evening, Jimmy Bullard and David James, waiting in front of the tunnel. This allowed them to grab a quick word with players going out to warm up, first of whom was Hull’s captain Curtis Davies. The presentation team ran through the weekend’s other Fifth Round goals and talking points at the top of the show. After running through the team news, they then went for a little wander inside the tunnel, on the pitch, anywhere they could. These were the advantages of the access-all-areas coverage BT enjoyed and did so well. A VT outlined the differences and similarities between tonight’s two clubs and a potted history, including of course the 1983 Final. A further VT went a little bit more in-depth into the Albion’s past, with interviews with local press gurus Andy Naylor of The Argus and Ian Hart, formerly of BBC Radio Sussex and a fanzine editor, all voiced by reporter Alex Gordon-Martin. They spoke of Tony Bloom’s ownership, the conditions at Withdean in comparison to now, Gus Poyet and current head coach Oscar Garcia, who we also heard from during the piece. Garcia told how he learnt his philosophy at Barcelona; “I was very lucky to play with most of the best players around the world. I learned to be proactive and I like my team to be proactive as well. The first day I came here, I said I want to play for the fans, for the supporters.” The Premier League was the aim, a realistic one at that, no longer the dream, and that’s perhaps the biggest difference over the past few years. On the back of the report, Brighton’s chief executive Paul Barber and tonight’s co-commentator Adam Virgo joined Darrell Currie in the dugout to chat more about the current day club.

HUL BT Box HUL Possession HUL Upson HUL Lifes A Pitch

Adam Virgo stayed with the rest of the presentation team for a bit longer before heading up to the gantry. They kept the step count up by walking and talking on pitch, weaving around the warm ups as we watched desperate for someone nobody to get hit by a stray football. They highlighted Leonardo Ulloa – captioned as Jose as technically that is his real first name. After the break, reporter Chris Hollins picked the brains of both managers in the tunnel. Garcia explained the changes made to his starting XI, believing those selected would have enough to do the job; “I am only focussed on this game and I prepared a team to do everything we can to get through to the next round,” whilst acknowledging of course that he was expecting a tough game. As kick-off neared, we got a further glimpse inside the tunnel as they kept on the move. Currie handled proceedings seamlessly, with a few technical hiccups with lights and microphones unsuccessfully trying to throw him. A final pre-match prediction before handing up to the commentary team saw both James and Bullard predicting comfortable Hull wins. One feature of BT’s big match coverage saw a split-screen bet365 (them again!) advert with Ray Winstone offering odds to “bet in play now!”, becoming his trademark as the last thing before the game kicked off. This was around the period that advertisers could add live info over the top of commercials, betting companies suddenly exploded and were ubiquitous in football coverage. One of the innovations BT claimed was the ‘BT Box’; a small picture-in-picture video which showed another angle to the main coverage. It was particularly useful for showing Live events during a replay or if an off-the-ball incident was occurring. However it was mainly wasted on manager shots and close-ups of players unfortunately. The idea was good, the execution wasn’t quite right. Just after the final whistle, Man of the Match Matt Upson was interviewed in the tunnel by Currie with his pundits, stating it was “Quite an intense game, bit disappointed, feel a little bit down when you lose a goal so late on but we’re still in the round.” The half and full-time analysis came from the corner between the West and East Stands, one of the few areas of the stadium they didn’t visit during the build up. Around fifteen minutes were afforded after the game to wrap things up and review the goals with the pundits. As usual, Oscar Garcia wasn’t ready to be interviewed prior to the programme coming off-air, though we did hear from Steve Bruce just before closing time. When ten o’clock approached Currie handed over to the next programme, Life’s a Pitch, coming Live from BT’s Stratford hub presented by Des Kelly. This ran most weeknights, reviewing the day’s football news and results and gained notoriety in its early weeks for a rare interview with former Sky anchor Richard Keys, who added fuel to his own fire denouncing his sexist remarks as “just banter.”

HUL Kick Off HUL Comms  HUL Sub HUL Goal

Story of the Match: Immediately prior to the match getting underway, a minute’s applause was held following the death three days ago of Sir Tom Finney. He was acknowledged by many as one of the greatest to have ever played the game, capped 76 times for England and spent his entire professional career at Preston, Finney died at the age of 91. Brighton got the match underway with the FA Cup’s salmon pink ball used this season. The home side made the brighter start, with particular joy on the right hand side through today’s captain Inigo Calderon and Will Buckley. Leo Ulloa used his presence and power up front to cause problems for the Hull back line. It was Hull who went closest first, hitting the crossbar from an excellently improvised overhead kick by Sagbo. Elmohamady crossed in from the right to the edge of the six yard box where the striker was waiting. Having just got in front of the cross he flung his right leg up acrobatically to flick goalwards, crashing against the bar. Peter Brezovan in between the sticks could only look on, relieved the woodwork came to his rescue. But it was Brighton who struck first at the half hour point. Moving the ball from the back, Jake Forster-Caskey played it to Ulloa ten yards inside his own half. He back-heeled it first time to Will Buckley to drive into the Hull half. His through ball sent Ulloa running towards goal in the clear, taking two touches before dinking it over the onrushing goalkeeper for a lovely finish to a fantastic move. The Tigers came roaring back and almost equalised within two minutes. Tom Huddlestone’s corner was powerfully met by the head of Curtis Davies, this time the post came to the Albion’s rescue. The resulting scramble ended up flicking off the knee of Upson into the grateful arms of Brezovan. Warning signs either side of taking the lead had come. In first half stoppage time the Albion should have doubled their lead through Ulloa once more. Buckley’s cross on the right was perfect for the Argentinian to head home ten yards out. It appeared he had too much time and space to make up his mind as he sent his header just inches wide when the chance was crying out for someone with his talents to meet it.

HUL Yellow Card HUL Equaliser

Solly March replaced Buckley at the start of the second half as Albion freshened things up bringing on the teenager. Hull began brighter this time, taking the game to their hosts and controlling the possession. Adam Chicksen picked up a yellow card for a foul at left-back on his one hundredth career appearance. The resulting free-kick was driven across low and the touch could have gone anywhere, luckily for Brighton it skewed over the bar. A tactical change from Hull came with twenty-five minutes left, as striker George Boyd came on for defender Abdoulaye Faye. Steve Bruce was looking to avoid a similar outcome in a Cup tie to when his Sunderland team lost here in 2011, but clear-cut chances were few and far between. The game opened up in the final stages, with counter attacks from both sides. The patience of the Tigers finally paid off with five minutes left as Yannick Sagbo grabbed an equaliser with a well worked finish. Sone Aluko curled a ball towards the penalty spot where Sagbo was waiting. His first touch got in front of Dunk and took it past the defender who laid sprawled out on the floor. Sagbo then found himself one-on-one with Brezovan to calmly slot the ball between his legs and into the goal. Brighton had sat deep, too deep for co-commentator Adam Virgo’s liking, for much of the latter stages and were finally punished. The Albion weren’t too downbeat and with a minute to go almost regained the lead from a corner. Upson’s header on was headed up by Curtis Davies, just enough to creep over his own crossbar. At the other end in stoppage time David Meyler saw his header cleared off the line by Jake Forster-Caskey as neither side wanted to give in for a Replay. It remained one-all at the final whistle, meaning these two would have to have another attempt next week in their bid to join the rest of the Quarter Finalists.

HUL Quarter Finals

BRIGHTON 1 HULL 1
Ulloa Sagbo

HUL Replay HUL Replay Outro

PREVIOUS; #49 BOURNEMOUTH 1-1 BRIGHTON 30/11/2013

NEXT; #51 HULL 2-1 BRIGHTON 24/02/2014

#43: Brighton 2-0 Newcastle 05/01/2013

#43 BRIGHTON 2-0 NEWCASTLE FA Cup Round Three
Saturday 5th January 2013 ITV1 logo 2010

ITV Titles

PRESENTER Matt Smith GUESTS Gordon Smith & Gordon Strachan
COMMENTATORS Peter Drury & Jim Beglin REPORTER Ned Boulting
12.30pm Kick Off; Amex Stadium     12-3pm FA Cup Live on ITV1

ITV Ident ITV Sponsor ITV Intro

Context of the Match: After reaching Round Five of the FA Cup in each of the past two seasons, Brighton went into the competition this year hoping to build on that. FA Cup days have brought some of the best memories for Albion fans, stemming from our first televised match – the 1983 Final against Manchester United. Trips to Premier League Aston Villa, Stoke and Liverpool more recently might not have brought about success, but it did give the Albion license to ply their trade against the country’s elite teams in what we hoped to be practise for joining them in the not too distant future. In the Fourth Round a year ago, Brighton defeated Newcastle United by a goal to nil. In the Third Round this campaign, the same opponents were returning to The Amex looking to avoid another upset. You’d have to go all the way back to 1930 for the last time the Toon beat Brighton in the Cup. Since then, four meetings have resulted in three Albion victories and a draw. When the two teams faced off last season, Newcastle were going well in the Premier League and challenging for a European spot. Fast forward twelve months and they were struggling in fifteenth and leaking goals. They hadn’t won an away game in any competition at all this season. Brighton had enjoyed another decent first half of the season in the Championship, sat in the top half ahead of this match. Both clubs were knocked out of the Capital One Cup at the first attempt earlier in the season; Brighton losing heavily at Swindon in Round One whilst Newcastle were knocked out by Manchester United in Round Three. They had made it out of the group stages of the Europa League though, with a trip to Kiev to come the following month. ITV chose today’s fixture for broadcast; our first Live game on terrestrial television since the League defeat at Bournemouth in 1995, and our first national terrestrial outing since the 1984 FA Cup win over Liverpool. The country awaited this early Saturday afternoon clash. Owing to the form of the two clubs, some bookmakers even made the Albion favourites.

ITV Line Ups ITV Newcastle ITV Brighton

The Teams: Compare and contrast from the two starting line-ups this year with last season’s fixture and you’ll find only five Albion players and four Newcastle men started both. At the back skipper Gordon Greer and Adam El-Abd survived, as did the key to the midfield Liam Bridcutt. Ashley Barnes and Craig Mackail-Smith going forward were the other two to feature in both. Brighton’s tradition of using a Cup specific goalkeeper continued, with Casper Ankergren relegated to this role since Tomasz Kuszczak arrived. Ankergren was in the Leeds side that famously won at Old Trafford in this competition three seasons ago, beating Manchester United side that included Kuszczak. Man of the Match last January Will Buckley was not fit enough today. New arrivals this campaign were Wayne Bridge at left back, David Lopez filled in at right back for the injured Bruno when he was more used to starting in midfield, and further forward was fellow Spaniard Andrea Orlandi. Dean Hammond started centrally; he previously worked under Alan Pardew for his parent club Southampton. On the bench, Kazenga LuaLua joined the Seagulls from Newcastle. The Magpies that featured both today and in the previous encounter were restricted to James Perch and Davide Santon at the back, captain Shola Ameobi up top, and Mike Williamson whose deflection separated the sides. Newcastle wasted no time in engaging in some early transfer business during the January window, as star striker Demba Ba was sold yesterday to Chelsea and defender Mathieu Debuchy coming in from Lille. Sammy Ameobi linked up with his brother to become the first Newcastle Cup brothers to start for sixty years. The referee, as he was for the meeting last year, was Lee Probert.

ITV Matt Smith ITV Strachan ITV Gordon Smith ITV Studio

Presentation Team: Matt Smith was in the hotseat for today’s Live broadcast at The Amex. He joined ITV in 2001 to launch the new ITV Sport Channel, hosting the majority of their Live Football League games. The channel unfortunately ceased broadcasting at the end of that season, with Smith hosting the final programme – the Division Two Play Off Final between Stoke and Brentford. That summer he chaired the daily World Cup highlights for ITV before taking over The Premiership on Monday the following season for the final two years of ITV’s top flight round-up shows. He has hosted hundreds of Live games since, from World Cups and European Championships with the channel and has been the regular FA Cup highlights presenter since rights transferred in 2008. He also had the opportunity to front the FA Cup and Champions League Finals Live for ITV in 2010 when they were in-between changing their number one presenter from Steve Rider to Adrian Chiles and it all got a little bit complicated. Matt Smith is the consummate professional and an excellent broadcaster. His regular pundit this season has been Gordon Strachan, usually the highlights programme pairing. Strachan has never been short of work since retiring from playing in 1997, following spells at Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds amongst others. Since taking charge of Coventry in 1996 he’s also successfully managed Southampton, where he got them into Europe, and won the lot domestically at Celtic. When not managing, he’s called upon to analyse for television as a pundit. He was the resident guest on Match of the Day 2 when that begun with Adrian Chiles in 2004, and since leaving Glasgow has taken up a regular spell on ITV’s Cup and Champions League coverage as well as going to Euro 2012 with them. Joining Smith and Strachan in Brighton was our former striker Gordon Smith. Even if you knew next to nothing about the history of the Albion, Smith’s name would be immortalised because of that Cup Final in 1983. “And Smith must score” were the words uttered by BBC Radio commentator Peter Jones, one of the most incredibly respected voices of football, when Smith had a golden chance to win the Cup for Brighton in the last-minute of Extra Time with the scores at two-two. Gary Bailey saved and Manchester United won the Replay, that much everybody knows. Gordon Smith’s autobiography was titled “And Smith did score” in retaliation at the famous commentary, referencing the oft-overlooked goal he did get during the ninety minutes of that original match. He spent three years on the South Coast in the 80s playing over one hundred games, having moved down from Rangers for a record transfer fee of £440,000. After retirement he spent time as an agent before heading up the Scottish Football Association as Chief Executive for three years. He was also no stranger to the studio, having appeared frequently on BBC Scotland before.

ITV Comms ITV Coming Up

In the commentary box were Peter Drury and Jim Beglin. This was a familiar partnership on ITV, covering numerous World Cup and European Championships together over the past decade as second choice behind Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend. Drury joined from BBC Radio 5 Live for the 1998 World Cup where he immediately made a mark with his poetic style and excellent use of language. He remained as ITV’s second choice since that summer, calling Europa League Finals Live as well as League Cup and Play Off Final highlights. When England failed to qualify for Euro 2008, Drury was given the chance to call the Final of that tournament when ITV opted not to show the culmination Live. Jim Beglin’s playing career was cut short at the age of 27 due to an horrific leg injury and subsequent sustained knee damages. He was most remembered for his time as Liverpool but also featured for Leeds and the Republic of Ireland. Since then he forged an excellent career in the media, both with RTE and ITV. He began covering Manchester United and Liverpool matches regionally for Granada as pundit, co-commentator and even occasionally voicing round-ups. His wider break came during the ITV Sport Channel season when he was featured heavily on the Football League coverage nationally and remained a big part of ITV’s European and domestic coverage since. Reporting on the touchline was Ned Boulting. He was another ITV Sport Channel graduate, joining that from Sky’s Soccer Saturday. During the 2001/2002 season he hosted lower League highlight programmes Football 2nd and Football 3rd as well as reporting on the touchline during Live games. He was kept on at ITV after that, going to the major tournaments as a reporter, following the Republic of Ireland during Euro 2012 as well as occasionally fronting highlights programming. Away from football he’s the reporter on all ITV’s darts events and has been there every step of the way for ITV4 on Le Tour de France each summer.

ITV 1983 ITV Pier ITV Poyet ITV Magnifier

The Coverage: ITV regained Live terrestrial rights to the FA Cup in 2008 after seven seasons away. They get the first pick of every round, with ESPN their current satellite partners. Between them they broadcast up to 40 FA Cup matches each year. At the beginning of this season ITV launched new graphics and title sequence for their coverage. The specially composed music was by Jim Copperthwaite, a composer who had worked on several television and advertising soundtracks, and was simply known as ‘FA Cup’. The cinematic titles include various famous Cup moments from the ITV archives, including the great Brian Moore welcoming us to the coverage. The clips all form part of the trophy that slowly came together during the sequence. The graphics were silver and black predominantly, with a smooth sliding animation to enter and exit. Replays were transitioned by several blocks forming the trophy sliding across the screen. Today was the first of two Live Third Round matches on ITV that day, with West Ham versus Manchester United playing at 5.15pm with Adrian Chiles. Both matches were presented on site so separate teams were required. In the North Stand glass box was our host Matt Smith, next to pundits Gordon Strachan and Gordon Smith. They made good use of the studio, decorating it out with their Cup backgrounds used in their regular base on the South Bank. By contrast it looked cramped and small when Sky had been in there in the past couple of Live games. Build-up began thirty minutes before the 12.30pm kick-off, starting with an intro recalling some of the classic Third Round underdog stories of yesteryear. The nostalgia continued, quite rightly with Gordon Smith present, with a quick look at the 1983 FA Cup Final; showing both his goal and his, erm, other chance. Thirty years on, it’s still something that Smith has to live with. “I made a mistake, I take full responsibility for it, I should’ve scored. I actually should’ve lifted the ball a little bit, if I’d lifted the ball, he’d already committed himself.” He also credited the Brighton supporters who had been “fantastic” to him over the years since. Fast-forward to the present and the team line-ups were laid out in formation for the studio team to talk through. The spotlight was turned on Gus Poyet with Ned Boulting’s pre-recorded feature taking the Uruguayan back through his career in England, gaining the ‘radio’ nickname for his non-stop chatter and how he took notes on his former manager Gianluca Vialli. It was clear several in that Chelsea dressing room would go onto manage, and Poyet discussed his successful time at the Albion so far before finishing on his FA Cup exploits, winning the competition in 2000. Reporter Boulting spoke with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew on the day before the teams emerged from the tunnel and Matt Smith threw to the break. Only a brief run through the line ups occurred immediately before kick-off from commentator Peter Drury before the match got underway.

ITV Sub ITV MOTM

Going in and out of the advert breaks this season, ITV used a couple of great instrumentals as backing tracks; including The Heavy’s “What makes a good man” and Katy Perry’s “Hot ‘n’ Cold”. At half time we had around five minutes or so to review the first period. Gordon Smith surmised that Brighton deserved the lead, having created the better chance. Newcastle didn’t have enough going forward to assist Shola Ameobi up front. Gordon Strachan’s analysis of the goal praised the attacking side for the nice move and “back-hand volley” style finish but criticised the lack of urgency or press from Newcastle; namely Williamson at the back and Obertan’s failure to track back Bridge. Co-commentator Jim Beglin named his Man of the Match as Albion’s Liam Bridcutt for his tenacious tackling and efficiency on the ball. After the break, reporter Ned Boulting spoke to the two goalscorers; Andrea Orlandi and Will Hoskins. Then around twenty minutes were afforded to the studio team to wrap things up. When analysing the second goal, credit was given to Hoskins for the timing of his run. There was concern about the performance from the away side, not just the result but how it came about and how little they threatened Brighton. They both thought the red card for Shola Ameobi wasn’t deserved, both challenges for the yellow cards had minimal contact. Gordon Smith believed they actually played better with ten men. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew agreed with the pundits regarding the sending off during his post match chat, saying he was disappointed with David Lopez’s reaction. Gus Poyet told Ned Boulting “Technically they are ten times better than you, and today maybe it was a bit more equal in general play. Which that gave us maybe a little advantage.” The last five minutes of the programme was devoted to the rest of the Third Round, including ITV’s second Live match of the day coming up from 4.30pm; West Ham v Manchester United. Reporter Gabriel Clarke was at Upton Park to provide a preview and chat with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce. Matt Smith and Gordon Strachan would be back at 11pm, joined by Andy Townsend, for the day’s highlights so bid farewell, for now, just before the 3pm matches kicked off.

ITV Orlandi ITV Red Card ITV Hoskins ITV Block 

Story of the Match: The home side began the brightest, enjoying possession and bringing the game to their Premier League opponents. A David Lopez cross found its way through to the far side of the six yard box to be met by the head of Gary Dicker. James Perch had to get back to clear just in front of the goalline. As was often the case, Brighton saw a lot of the ball without really creating many clear-cut chances. It took until the twentieth minute for Newcastle to have a shot on target, comfortably parried away by Ankergren. The deadlock finally broke in the 33rd minute through Andrea Orlandi. A long cross-field ball from Greer at the back went searching for Wayne Bridge charging down the left-wing. He somehow managed to keep the ball in and deliver a ball in the box to Orlandi. His first touch sent the ball up in the air and with his second he flicked it into the back of the net with a smart finish on the volley. Williamson in the defence stood off Orlandi to allow him to recover from a slightly loose initial touch to give Albion a deserved lead. At the start of the second half, commentator Peter Drury pointed out that Newcastle in the League had not won a single game having fallen behind whilst Brighton hadn’t lost after taking the lead. Shola Ameobi picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Dicker just minutes into the half. After an hour, Kazenga LuaLua came on to replace goalscorer Orlandi, giving the former Newcastle winger a chance to get one over his old team. He had said apparently if he were to score he would not do his trademark backflip celebration. It went from bad to worse for the away side when their captain was sent off for a second yellow card. Both bookings were for minor, late fouls and the combination was a little harsh to result in red. For the second, he clipped Lopez just after the ball had gone. LuaLua’s introduction gave Brighton an extra dimension going forward, he took on players and got behind the defence to provide crossing opportunities. Additionally his pace and trickery put opponents on the back foot straight away. Poyet changed it up again with twenty left on the clock, as Will Hoskins replaced a relatively quiet Craig Mackail-Smith in a straight change up front. Despite being a man down and a goal down, Newcastle still posed a threat. A header on from Williamson following a long punt forward caused an aerial battle. The resulting ball dropped to Marveaux to shoot, Liam Bridcutt threw his body on the line to block for a corner. They didn’t show much in the second half but the top teams usually have that one moment of quality which separates them from the lower Divisions. The longer the game went on, the longer the ball was kicked forward in persuit of the equaliser. Casper Ankergren didn’t have many touches but had to be alert when a Sammy Ameobi cross was deflected towards his own goal by Greer, the Dane managed to claw it away. Back at the other end LuaLua continued to impress, going close with a long-range strike into the side-netting. The game was put beyond any doubt with three minutes left of the ninety when Ashley Barnes and David Lopez linked up well on the right touchline. Lopez found space to provide a killer pass through for Will Hoskins who shook off his marker. One-on-one with the goalkeeper Hoskins did not disappoint to slot the ball through the legs and double the lead. “Done and dusted! Barely past lunchtime on Third Round Saturday and we have the first Third Round upset”, cried commentator Peter Drury. The run was timed well, the ball played to perfection and that wrapped it all up. The final action of the match summed up the Albion’s commitment to the cause, when three bodies were all in the way trying to charge down a late Newcastle shot in the box. That was blocked, they were blocked and the Seagulls marched on to Round Four once more. The reward in the draw was a home tie against Premier League Arsenal. Bring it on!

ITV Full Time

BRIGHTON 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Orlandi, Hoskins

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#40: Swindon 3-0 Brighton 14/08/2012

#40 SWINDON 3-0 BRIGHTON Capital One Cup Round One
Tuesday 14th August 2012 Image result for

SWI Titles

PRESENTER Ben Shephard GUEST Dennis Wise
COMMENTATORS Bill Leslie & Don Goodman REPORTER Jonathan Oakes
7.45pm Kick Off; County Ground, Swindon     7.30-10pm Capital One Cup Live on Sky Sports 1

SWI Intro

Context of the Match: Brighton enjoyed a tremendously successful first season in the new stadium at Falmer last campaign. They knocked out Sunderland and narrowly lost to Liverpool in the League Cup, reached the Fifth Round of the FA Cup for the second successive season, defeating Premier League Newcastle en route before again coming unstuck against Liverpool. And the bread and butter of the League almost resulted in a Play Off spot, instead finishing tenth just nine points shy of the top six. The aim this season would be to go one better, as signalled in pre-season when FA Cup and European Champions Chelsea were beaten in a friendly at The Amex. Not bad at all for a club that almost dropped into the basement Division just three years ago. Since Gus Poyet arrived in November 2009 he had transformed the team from relegation fodder to Champions and further promotion seekers, as well as installing a passing philosophy which on its day was an absolute joy to watch. The stadium was the next piece of the puzzle, with the superb training ground facilities to follow. The whole country was still on a high after the incredible London 2012 Olympic Games which finished two days before this match. The new football season was upon us and, unusually, it would be the League Cup tie – now rebranded from Carling to the Capital One Cup – to kick off the new year as the first League matches weren’t taking place until the following Saturday. Brighton conducted some strong summer transfer business, improving on a decent, settled squad all playing in the Poyet way. Their first opponents would come in the shape of Swindon Town, newly promoted as Champions of League Two. They too had a big former Premiership star as their manager, with the fiery Paolo di Canio in the hot seat. As well as the title in his first season, he took the team to Wembley for the Final of the Football League Trophy where they lost out to Chesterfield. The Robins and the Seagulls had recent history of course, with two nerve-shredding Division Two Play-Off Semi Final encounters back in 2004. Brighton edged it on penalties then on the way to promotion. Who would emerge victorious in the August sunshine tonight?

SWI Swindon SWI Subs SWI Brighton

The Teams: Gus Poyet handed competitive debuts to three new signings. Bruno Saltor joined after being released by La Liga side Valencia. The Spanish right-back brought a wealth of top flight experience with him. On the other flank, former England defender Wayne Bridge was recruited on a season-long loan deal from Premier League Champions Manchester City. Bridge had thirty-six international caps and began his career at Southampton when former Albion boss Micky Adams spotted and recommended him to the club. Behind them was a new goalkeeper, also with experience at the highest level. Tomasz Kuszczak was released by Manchester United in the summer after six years at Old Trafford, winning the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League amongst other things. These three signings were major statements from Brighton that they meant business this year and weren’t just going to settle for mid-table consolidation. The Premier League dream was real, with Kuszczak citing that as a reason for joining the club. Midfielder Andrew Crofts re-joined after two years at Norwich but didn’t make tonight’s squad as he was with Wales on international duty. Attacker Vicente felt like a new signing, having only appeared nineteen times last season through injury. The biggest challenge with him was remaining injury-free. Vicente started this one. The substitutes bench included the name Charlie Oatway. No, our former midfielder hadn’t joined assistant Mauricio Taricco in stepping out of retirement, this was actually the son of our beloved First Team Coach. Skipper Gordon Greer would play against the side he left to join Brighton in 2010. Paolo di Canio’s side included the League Two Player of the Year Matt Ritchie in midfield. The manager named Alan McCormack as the new club captain, having moved him last season from the middle to the back where he formed a decent understanding with highly-rated Aden Flint. Hoping he could get one over the team that released him in the close season was Alan Navarro making his Swindon debut. Taking charge of this evening’s clash was Andy D’Urso.

SWI Shephard SWI Wise SWI Studio

Presentation Team: Ben Shephard was at the helm for Sky’s coverage of the Capital One Cup. This was his second year hosting the competition and also did our last game; at home to Liverpool in Round Three. Shephard came from a light-entertainment background hosting the likes of The Bigger BreakfastGMTV, The Krypton Factor and Tipping Point. On Sky he worked alongside Chris Kamara on Goals on Sunday for two seasons and counting, as well as Live UEFA Champions League secondary matches. His guest tonight was Dennis Wise. During his playing career he was a big part of the ‘Crazy Gang’ that upset the odds to beat ‘Culture Club’ Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final before spending more than a decade at Chelsea. This coincided with Poyet’s time with the Blues where they both lifted the FA Cup in 2000. Later that year Wise played for England at the disastrous Euro 2000 tournament. Following retirement he moved into management at today’s hosts Swindon in 2006, with Gus Poyet his assistant. The pair started brilliantly, with Wise named August’s Manager of the Month. Shortly afterwards, Leeds United came calling and the pair left for Elland Road at the end of October after just fifteen matches. In the commentary box were Sky’s number one Football League pairing, as they had been for the past six years, of Bill Leslie and Don Goodman. Reporting on the touchline was a new name to Brighton’s Live television coverage; Jonathan Oakes. He joined the roster of reporters from this season, with former Football League interviewer Patrick Davison moving up to the Premier League to join Geoff Shreeves and Greg Whelan. Previously Oakes had reported for Sky Sports News.

SWI Managers Intro SWI Split Screen SWI Kick Off SWI Comms

The Coverage: Sky Sports opened its Live coverage of the domestic season the previous night, with Oldham versus Sheffield Wednesday from the newly-rebranded Capital One Cup. With the end of the London Olympics still fresh in the air, the football season delayed its start to the following week so all eyes were on that, meaning these midweek Cup games kick-started everybody’s 2012/13 campaign. Despite the rebrand of the competition, not a lot else changed from a broadcasting perspective. Sky’s graphics were as they were last season, with the red and black colours for the Football League and the blue and black for the Premier League. The title sequence was similar to before culminating at Wembley stadium and included a clip of Mackail-Smith’s header that beat Sunderland last season. And for the ninth year in a row, Texas classic “Inner Smile” was the League Cup theme tune. Pre-match build up began fifteen minutes before the 7.45pm kick off, with Ben Shephard hosting from pitchside throughout the entire broadcast. He was joined by Dennis Wise and the trophy itself as they made the most of the August weather. Much of the discussion focussed on the two former Premier League greats facing off in the dugouts. Reporter Jonathan Oakes spoke to the pair in the tunnel. Poyet wanted to stress the seriousness of his side’s attitude to the competition; “We don’t want anyone to think Brighton’s coming here and still in pre-season. Today’s the first official game and we need to play, compete.” This was backed up by naming his first-choice line-up.

SWI Classic Match SWI Goalflash

It was forty-three years since one of Swindon Town’s finest moments; defeating Arsenal in the Final of this competition after Extra Time. Scorer that day Don Rogers talked us through the black-and-white footage before the ad break, after which Shephard ran through tonight’s fixtures and handed over to commentator Bill Leslie for the line-ups; missing their pictures as they’re only done for Championship clubs and above. Throughout the match, goal flashes appeared in the bottom left of the screen updating us on the night’s other Capital One Cup games. The half-time analysis highlighted Brighton’s superior attack but praised the home side for still being very much in the contest yet were lacking that attacking threat. Having watched the match from the stands in front of the Swindon chairman, Shephard and Wise made their way back to the touchline for the ten or so minutes of the post-match show. Reporter Jonathan Oakes spoke with Man of the Match Alan Navarro, who described getting revenge over his old side tonight as “a dream come true”. Winning boss di Canio joined the team pitchside, following in the style of ESPN’s FA Cup coverage. The trio became a foursome when Gus Poyet went over too for an extremely rare sight of opposing managers speaking on camera together. He said the positive to take away from tonight’s result would be “there are no more Cup games”, comparing it to when his side won League One in 2010 they exited both Cups in the First Round. It certainly was a good spin on things. The two managers remained with the presentation team until the programme came off-air just before 10pm having ran through some of the other results.

SWI Di Canio SWI Bridge SWI Goal SWI Interviews

Story of the Match: Standing in the sunshine behind the goal must have brought back fond memories for the Seagulls supporters who made the trip to Wiltshire for this Cup clash. It was Richard Carpenter’s deflected effort which won the Play Off Semi Final 1st Leg here eight years earlier on the way to the Millennium Stadium. The Albion came close to a goal when Ashley Barnes had one disallowed in the eighth minute for a shove on the defender. He hit the post minutes later after a long swinging corner from Vicente found the striker at the back post, the ball just a bit too long as it was almost out of play before the contact was made. Debutant Bruno was channelling his inner Terry Butcher, obtaining a cut on his head causing blood to pour out and a makeshift patch-up by the medics pitchside. Ten minutes before the break it was almost a debut goal from the Spaniard, finding himself forward on the far side of the box he unleashed a fierce first-time drive which the ‘keeper needed strong hands to palm away. Brighton looked quite comfortable and on the front foot. In stoppage time Vicente embarked on a terrific run, the ball seemingly stuck to his feet, as he weaved through the defence. Every time he had the ball he showed that little bit of class to separate him from the rest. His cut back gave Barnes another shooting opportunity but the ‘keeper was equal to it to maintain parity at the break. The breakthrough came eight minutes into the second period, however it was the home side who got it with their first meaningful chance. Alan Navarro started off a clever free-kick routine which involved three short passes to cut open the defence before Paul Benson finished from six yards. The quick first-time touches to move the ball on saw Brighton bodies standing still as the routine breezed around them. The goal was the catalyst for the classic ‘game of two halves’ as Brighton rarely posed a threat after this, other than Vicente. Swindon grew in confidence and belief. They doubled their lead with twenty-five left to play. A long ball forward from Foderingham in-goal was flicked on to Williams, he spun round Gordon Greer into the box before Navarro took over to finish the move with an instant finish from twelve yards. He wrapped the match up, if it hadn’t been already, when his deflected long-ranger made it three-nil ten minutes later. Navarro netted just once in eighty-five games for the Albion, but now had two in ten minutes for his new club. Before the League had even begun Brighton were dumped out of a Cup. There would be much bigger fish to fry this season however.

SWI Results

SWINDON 3 BRIGHTON 0
Benson, Navarro (2)

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#39: Liverpool 6-1 Brighton 19/02/2012

#39 LIVERPOOL 6-1 BRIGHTON FA Cup Round Five
Sunday 19th February 2012 Related image

LIV Titles

PRESENTER Ray Stubbs GUESTS John Barnes & Kevin Keegan
COMMENTATORS Jon Champion & Chris Waddle REPORTER Darrell Currie
4.30pm Kick Off; Anfield, Liverpool     3.45-7pm FA Cup Live on ESPN

LIV Promo LIV Sponsor LIV Intro

Context of the Match: This was arguably Brighton’s biggest FA Cup match since the 1983 FA Cup Final Replay twenty-nine years ago. Championship Brighton were rewarded for knocking out Premier League Newcastle in Round Four with another top-flight opponent; the mighty Liverpool. Having gone twenty years since playing the Reds, this was the second time this season we were to go head-to-head. A narrow two-one victory for Liverpool at The Amex back in September saw the Albion put on a fighting display in the first Live televised match in our new home. Playing at Anfield though would be a whole new ball game. A quick look back at the history books suggested the Seagulls could soar once more here, having won at away in the Fifth Round in ’83. Liverpool’s home record this season was also rather lacklustre; drawing nine out of the fifteen matches so far. They also had one eye on next week’s Carling Cup Final against Cardiff at Wembley. Brighton went into the game ninth in the Championship, just two points outside play offs. Last time out saw a draw with Millwall. Liverpool were unbeaten in knock-out football this season, the Albion hadn’t lost in 2012. Something had to give today.

LIV Liverpool LIV Brighton LIV Formation

The Teams: The Albion made three changes to the side which drew two-all in midweek with Millwall in the Championship. Loanees Gonzalo Jara Reyes and Joe Mattock, both from West Brom, were ineligible for the Cup so in came Adam El-Abd and Kazenga LuaLua. Sam Vokes joined on loan from Wolves having been spotted in the crowd at the Newcastle game. His Albion record so far reads played four scored one. The other change saw Craig Mackail-Smith drop down to the bench, with Will Buckley brought in after a knock kept him out of midweek action. Midfielder Matt Sparrow was suspended after a red card at Leeds a few weeks back. Options for the Seagulls on the subs bench included Vicente, still not managing a regular run in the time due to injuries, and Ryan Harley. Both Alan Navarro and Craig Noone, proud Scousers, have tickets in the Liverpool end for next week’s Carling Cup Final at Wembley. Speaking of which, Craig Bellamy and Daniel Agger were rested ahead of that Final. Luis Suarez played despite being in the headlines all week after refusing to shake hands with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra at Old Trafford last week. The £35million striker Andy Carroll started despite not being in fine form in front of goal; he’d been a bit of a flop so far with just two goals in his last nineteen games. Today marked Stewart Downing’s 350th career appearance. The man in the middle was Andre Marriner.

LIV Stubbs LIV Barnes LIV Keegan LIV Commentators LIV Studio

Presentation Team: This was Brighton’s fifth and final appearance Live on ESPN. Covering all five matches were host Ray Stubbs and pundit John Barnes. Stubbs was a former professional footballer himself, having been on the books at Tranmere Rovers, though never made a first-team start. John Barnes had an illustrious playing career most famous for his spell at Liverpool where he spent a decade and made over 300 appearances. He was also capped 79 times for England including scoring one of the best goals the Three Lions have ever scored, a mazy run in the Maracana against Brazil. His managerial spells didn’t go very well but has forged a long and varied career in the media regularly for more than a decade. Alongside them in the ESPN studio was their lead pundit Kevin Keegan. He was signed to launch their Premier League coverage with Stubbs in 2009 and appears on all the big games. He was loaned out to ITV for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, having frequently appeared in the studio and commentary box for the channel regularly since his playing days. He was part of their World Cup coverage in the 1970s and 80s when England failed to qualify and was behind the mic alongside the great Brian Moore for the Big Match Live during the 90s. This included the highs and lows of both Euro 96 and World Cup 98. He and Moore voiced that incredible match in St Etienne as England lost to Argentina on penalties. Before David Batty’s missed kick, Moore inadvertently put Keegan on the spot saying “Do you back him to score, quickly, yes or no?” Of course he didn’t, Moore regretted that moment for the rest of his life and many years later the title for a 90s football podcast was born; Quickly Kevin, Will He Score? hosted by Josh Widdicombe. Keegan was a big name on ITV when out of management so it was a big signing for ESPN. His playing career was outstanding at Southampton, Newcastle, Hamburg and, of course, Liverpool where he spent six years. He won back-to-back Ballon d’Or trophies in 1978 and 1979, the PFA Player of the Year in 1982 as well as multiple League titles, the FA Cup, European Cup and two UEFA Cups. The man was an absolute icon. He also enjoyed a fantastic spell as Newcastle manager, winning the title on the way to leading them into the Premiership and going so close to winning that too. He also won Football League championships at Fulham and Manchester City, where his side gained promotion during the ITV Sport Channel season where it was a joy to watch them. In the commentary box was Jon Champion, who also commentated on that Argentina match in 1998 – for the highlights on the BBC. That was his big breakthrough moment at his first World Cup for television. Alongside him was Chris Waddle, who had covered Brighton’s two other televised FA Cup matches this season. Waddle signed for Setanta Sports to cover their exclusively Live England away internationals during the 2008/09 season where he voiced great victories in Croatia and Andorra. Since 2009 he has become ESPN’s number one summariser for Premier League and FA Cup coverage. On the touchline once more was Darrell Currie. He was a big part of the ESPN Cup coverage, regularly covering the biggest matches including four of our five on this channel.

LIV Kick Off LIV Comms LIV Buckley interview LIV Buckley

The Coverage: Today’s programme was hosted from ESPN’s London studio with Ray Stubbs anchoring alongside John Barnes and Kevin Keegan, both with strong Liverpool connections. It was the second in ESPN’s Cup double today, having already witnessed Stoke overcome League Two Crawley in a noon kick-off. The build-up to our match began forty-five minutes prior to the 4.30pm kick-off. Barnes had seen plenty of Brighton over the past year or so, covering all four previous ESPN appearances. Both he and Keegan praised the Albion’s passing philosophy and, as seen in the fortunate win on penalties at Wrexham, believed they were better suited to playing Premier League quality. I’m pleased to confirm that on the third attempt this season, the Albion crest was updated across all of the ESPN graphics today! Commentator Jon Champion delivered the all-important team news in-vision from his position on the gantry, included in the away team was Will Buckley “looking to repeat his heroics of Round Four.” This led onto a report from ESPN presenter and reporter Kelly Cates with Buckley standing on the spot where his shot was taken which secured the win against Newcastle. They spoke about the previous round as well as his wider career so far; how he got started after college, beginning at Rochdale, moving to Watford and, of course, life on the South Coast. He believed manager Gus Poyet was Premiership class and the team would not be far away from realising that dream with him at the helm. The studio team highlighted Buckley as well as loan signing Sam Vokes up top.

LIV Aldridge LIV Barclay

After the first break, Darrell Currie provided a report on the current state of Liverpool Football Club’s reputation following on from the racism incident featuring their Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. Currie spoke with journalists such as Tony Barrett and Paddy Barclay as well as ex-pros like John Aldridge and Jason McAteer. Back in October, Suarez was accused of racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra, a charge he disputed. The FA panel investigated and found him guilty, fined him £40,000 and was given a huge eight game ban. The two sides met again last week and further controversy ensued when Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand during the pre-match ceremonies. Both the Uruguayan and manager Kenny Dalglish apologised for the incident afterwards, reminding themselves of their responsibilities to represent the club well. Dalglish reacted angrily to Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves’ questioning, saying he was “bang out-of-order” for trying to blame Suarez for anything that had happened on the pitch. Afterwards, Dalglish told the Liverpool website; “I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I’d like to apologise for that.” The public backlash was huge, from newspapers, media, fans and fellow professionals, Liverpool did not come out of the situation at all well and were now on a mission to restore public opinion of them.

LIV Draw Rosenthal LIV Draw Trio

The draw for the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup took place during the build-up. Jim Rosenthal hosted from Wembley Stadium, with former Sunderland manager Peter Reid and ex-Tranmere defender Wayne Allison picking the numbered balls out. Reid was presented with a replica of his runners-up medal from the 1985 Final courtesy of the FA, after his original one was sold to help out the Plymouth Argyle cause that he was manager of. The first ball out of the bag belonged to the winners of our match; either Liverpool or Brighton would host Stoke City. The Albion knew their fate – if they could defeat the might of Liverpool. Elsewhere two of Reid’s former sides would face off as Everton hosted Sunderland. If Chelsea could get past Birmingham in a replay, they would play Leicester. And Bolton would travel to the winners of the Stevenage Tottenham replay, after the two sides had just finished goalless that kicked off at 2pm, hence the draw taking place at this time as it always followed the ITV Live game. Rosenthal hosted all FA draws that took place during ITV’s stewardship of the Cup. As ITV were host broadcaster for these, their graphics were seen when ESPN simulcast the draw.

LIV Draw LIV Fan Film LIV Case LIV Champion

During the advert break, a very short Budweiser FA Cup Fan Film was broadcast which was all about Brighton’s journey to Falmer and the new stadium. Writer, actor and Seagulls supporter Mark Brailsford hosted the piece, filmed in and around The Amex. He couldn’t hide his joy at having the place after fourteen years of exile. He also sang the praises of the manager and his passing style of play. When the coverage resumed, reporter Darrell Currie spoke with both managers. Poyet wanted his team to do him proud and was cautious about how good Suarez could be. Dalglish was looking to the positives compared to last season when at this stage they were already out of both Cup competitions. After the final thoughts of Barnes and Keegan, Ray Stubbs handed over to our commentary team of Jon Champion and Chris Waddle, delightfully shown in-vision. As well as talking through the line ups with Waddle highlighting the formations, Champion reminded us of Jimmy Case, formerly of both clubs, the Liverpudlian who scored for the Albion during an unforgettable FA Cup tie during the run to 1983 Final; it would be twenty-nine years to the day tomorrow since that two-one Fifth Round victory.

LIV Analysis LIV Fan Film 2 LIV Talk of the Terrace LIV Studio Switch

At half-time the pundits were pleasantly surprised by the open nature of the match thus far. From Brighton’s point-of-view the two goals were avoidable defensively. Kevin Keegan had LuaLua when he was at Newcastle and knew how ferocious his feet could strike a ball so was happy to see the goal go in like that. John Barnes pointed out the role the gap in the wall played. They thought more goals were certain in the second period. They got that correct; another four. After the match, around twenty-five minutes remained to analyse it all. Andy Carroll was voted Man of the Match by ESPN viewers, he and captain Steven Gerrard were interviewed by Darrell Currie. The goals were analysed, Carroll’s performance highlighted as well as his battle all afternoon with Adam El-Abd. During Poyet’s post-match chat described some of his team’s defending as ‘naive’ and not quite Premier League ready; “Learn. If you want, one day, to get to the Premiership as a team or as an individual you need to learn. Because the quality, the strength, the power, the technique that the Premiership players have got – especially the top six – is amazing.” A further short fan film with Mark Brailsford aired during the break, where he told of memories from the old Goldstone Ground whilst stood in the current surroundings of the retail park. Airing immediately after this programme was ESPN’s usual Sunday night discussion show Talk of the Terrace, hosted by Kenny Dalglish’s daughter Kelly Cates, today with studio guests Craig Burley and Kevin McCarra. A quick look ahead to that featured, with them sharing the studio the Live broadcast came from. To end the programme Stubbs crossed to Cates, and our time on ESPN concluded.

LIV Goal LIV Axis LIV Sub  LIV Own Goal

Story of the Match: With this being a Cup tie, Brighton received double the League allocation for away fans as 6,000 Seagulls supporters flocked to Anfield. It took less than five minutes for the home ends to be celebrating though, as Martin Skrtel headed in the opener from a Steven Gerrard corner. Before the set-piece was taken there was a whole host of jostling going on, particularly between Adam El-Abd and Andy Carroll. Whilst they were focussed on that, nobody tracked Skrtel close enough as he moved towards the near post to flick the cross in. The tussling continued at corners, highlighted by the cameras and comparisons were drawn between El-Abd and his brother; a professional rugby player in France. In the seventeenth minute, Kazenga LuaLua was fouled around thirty yards out. The resulting free-kick was rolled from Navarro to Buckley to stop the ball for LuaLua to run onto and hit. Hit it, he did! The ball was thumped into the bottom corner of the goal, past a despairing dive from Reina, to draw Brighton level. The strike was bent through the gap in the wall, leaving the ‘keeper unsighted. The kick stayed low and true, not touching the ground until it crossed the line, it was a fabulous moment for the travelling support. Liverpool always posed that threat of quality where they could conjure something out of nothing. Luis Suarez showed this when his excellent touch and jinking run resulted in Calderon having to clear his shot off the line, having beaten Brezovan. The Albion didn’t have too much more success in front of goal but were far from on the back foot for the rest of the half. However, with a minute or so to go before the break Liverpool caused further damage from a corner. This time it was a Charlie Adam in-swinger which Brezovan flapped at and punched up instead of out. It landed at the feet of Suarez, his shot parried by the ‘keeper. Glen Johnson’s resulting header was blocked on the line by the head of Sam Vokes only to canon off Liam Bridcutt for an unfortunate own-goal.

LIV Full Time LIV Poyet

At half-time Craig Noone came on for Will Buckley, giving the commentators another chance to bring up the story of Noone working on Steven Gerrard’s roof. Into the second half, a long volley from the half-way line by Jordan Henderson looking for Suarez seemed easy enough to deal with yet Brezovan raced out of goal and missed his kick. Luckily Suarez slipped but still had enough time to regain his balance. In his attempt to lift the ball over the onrushing defender, it appeared to be charged down by the elbow of Greer for a penalty appeal which wasn’t entertained by referee Marriner. Replays showed it was clearly the Seagulls skipper’s boot which prevented Suarez going any further. The home side did extend their lead in the 57th minute through Andy Carroll. Downing did well to hurdle Calderon’s slide challenge to race to the far side of the area before cutting the ball back for Carroll in space around the penalty spot. He hit it first time with his powerful left; a lovely finish to make it three-one. Mackail-Smith and Vicente came on for El-Abd and Vokes as Brighton tried to go for it with just over twenty minutes left. Straight after this, Liverpool sealed the result with their fourth. Henderson looped the ball forward, Gerrard got the better of Navarro to shoot. Brezovan stopped it with his legs but the ball fell back to the Liverpool captain who had another bite at the cherry. His goalbound attempt flew off Liam Bridcutt on the line for another unfortunate own-goal. It went from bad to worse at the back for Brighton as the third own-goal soon followed. Suarez linked up with Gerrard on the far side, the striker able to get his cross in but nobody was near it in a Liverpool shirt, Brezovan got hands to the cross. Yet all that did was land the ball on Lewis Dunk’s chest facing the goal. As he tried to bring the ball down with his knee, his poor touch sent the ball over the line and a despairing lunge was to no avail. Brighton score their fourth, but only one of them in the right end. It became a rout with fifteen minutes still to play. Five minutes later substitute Dirk Kuyt was fouled for a penalty, Craig Noone the offender. Dalglish signalled for Suarez to take the spot kick, Peter Brezovan spoiled the narrative by saving it. This was only to be a temporary denial as he did get his goal four minutes later. Enrique delivered a high cross for Carroll, his header went across goal where Suarez was waiting to nod home just a yard or so out. A streaker held the game up in injury time but the game was long gone. Six of the best for Liverpool as they sailed through to Round Six. They would go on to lose to Chelsea in the Final, having already secured silverware in the Carling Cup. Brighton’s season continued as it had done prior to this, with a solid showing just narrowly missing out on a Play Off spot with a couple of games to go. They would take positives from today’s match, performing well in spells but lacking that killer quality. And an FA Cup record, the first time ever that three own-goals were scored by the same side.

LIV Quarter Final Draw

LIVERPOOL 6 BRIGHTON 1
Skrtel, Bridcutt (2 Own-Goals), Carroll, Dunk (Own-Goal), Suarez LuaLua

LIV Replay

EXTRA; The official FA Cup Preview Show aired on ESPN in the days leading up to the Fifth Round, produced by Pitch International. Tom Skippings narrated the programme, a familiar voice to ITV Football League and Champions League voiceovers down the years. A programme is produced for the global audience ahead of each Round, beginning with the Third, and features interviews, highlights, classic action and nostalgia. This particular edition looked ahead to Liverpool against Brighton amongst other things.

PRE Titles PRE Brighton

Manager Gus Poyet was interviewed, as were Craig Noone and Ashley Barnes. Reference was made to the meeting during the 1982/83 FA Cup run in which Brighton won at Anfield en route to the Final. Poyet talked about his Chelsea side winning the competition in 2000 against Aston Villa, the last at the old Wembley Stadium. Our new home in Falmer was discussed too, as the Albion went from hosting 7,000 or so people up to over 22,000 from this season.

PRE Poyet PRE Barnes


EXTRA; ITV had Sunday night Fifth Round FA Cup highlights to round off their weekend. The main match was Liverpool’s demolition of the Albion, with presenter Matt Smith hosting the whole programme from in and around Anfield. He opened the show amongst the fans outside the Shankly Gates before handing over to the commentary team of Jon Champion and Chris Waddle, per ESPN. ITV had an agreement where they would use ESPN’s Live match commentary for their highlights programmes, and vice versa like in the build up to our Live match in the previous round. This was a cost-cutting exercise so as not to double up on commentators and had also been in place when Setanta were the satellite rights holder during the 2008/09 season. It helped that Champion was a familiar voice on ITV, Setanta and ESPN anyway.

ITV Titles ITV Teams

Champion and Waddle voiced the commentary edit which lasted for around ten minutes of match action, just about enough time to squeeze in all seven goals, the missed penalty and a couple of half-chances for good measure. The agreement with ESPN also extended to post-match interviews, where we heard from Poyet and Dalglish speaking with Darrell Currie. There was little attempt to hide this, with the ESPN microphone in full display, and actually was a pretty sensible decision to pool resources which would later occur with subsequent rights deals in a similar fashion. After the highlights, ITV pundit Gordon Strachan joined Smith pitchside to talk through some of the key incidents before moving onto the best bits from the day’s other two clashes and reaction to the Quarter Final draw.

ITV Smith ITV Strachan

 

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

NEXT; #40 SWINDON 3-0 BRIGHTON 14/08/2012

 

#38: Brighton 1-0 Newcastle 28/01/2012

#38 BRIGHTON 1-0 NEWCASTLE FA Cup Round Four
Saturday 28th January 2012 Related image

NEW Titles

PRESENTER Ray Stubbs GUESTS Steve Harper & John Barnes
COMMENTATORS Jon Champion & Chris Waddle REPORTER Dave Beckett
5.15pm Kick Off; Amex Stadium     4.30-7.45pm FA Cup Live on ESPN

NEW Promo NEW Bumper NEW Intro

Context of the Match: What a great first season Brighton were having at the American Express Community Stadium. They adapted well to life back in the Championship after five seasons away with a flying start, having the opportunity to go top of the table back in September. They’d already knocked out Premier League Sunderland and performed admirably against Liverpool, both in the Carling Cup. Today it was the turn of Newcastle United, managed by Alan Pardew, to go up against Gus Poyet’s hard-to-beat Brighton. The Albion knocked out United in a Third Round Replay away thanks to Peter Ward’s goal during the historic run to the 1983 FA Cup Final and would be hoping for a similar victory here. The Magpies had already provided Brighton with two players so far this season; goalkeeper Steve Harper played five times from October on-loan whilst winger Kazenga LuaLua finally made his move down south a permanent one after several loan spells. Newcastle were going well in the Premier League sat in sixth place and reached the Fourth Round of the Carling Cup. They lost to Blackburn that night but got their revenge in Round Three of the FA Cup at St James Park, coming from behind to win two-one. The club, as well as the wider football world, had mourned the death of their former captain Gary Speed when the Wales manager took his own life back in November. He appeared in two FA Cup Finals for the Geordies in the late 90’s. Form in the competition in recent years was not too good for the side though, suffering humiliation losing at League Two Stevenage Live on ESPN last season and last made the semis in 2005. Would there be a similar story here today? The Albion would have to lift their game if that were to happen, narrowly getting past League Two Wrexham in a penalty shoot-out in the Replay ten days ago. This followed a disappointing draw at The Amex at the beginning of January. This Saturday tea-time kick-off under the lights would prove to be another memorable one in the early stages at our new home.

NEW Brighton NEW Newcastle NEW Formation

The Teams: Four changes were made from the FA Cup Third Round Replay at Wrexham which set up tonight’s tie at The Amex. In defence captain Gordon Greer and Adam El-Abd came in, as Grant Hall and Romain Vincelot dropped down to the bench. Seventeen-year-old Jake Forster-Caskey started, having impressed and scored against both Southampton and Wrexham this month. Ashley Barnes got the equaliser in the Replay and started here in place of Will Hoskins. The creative threat would come from Will Buckley, who was in form having scored two in the win at Peterborough last time out. Craig Mackail-Smith had an excellent FA Cup record and was looking to notch his first one in the competition for his new side. Liam Bridcutt and Matt Sparrow would provide the wall in front of the defence which included Lewis Dunk, who had been linked with today’s opponents in the past. For Newcastle, Demba Ba was missing on African Cup of Nations duty. Danny Guthrie played for the 150th time in his career. Shola Ameobi and future Brighton loan signing Leon Best were the striking options. Lee Probert was the referee.

NEW Stubbs NEW Harper NEW Barnes NEW Studio

Presentation Team: Hosting proceedings was Ray Stubbs, as he had done for the three previous Live Albion matches on ESPN. His ESPN career began when he launched their Premier League coverage in 2009 with Arsenal’s six-one victory at Everton on the opening day. He joined after a long career with BBC Sport which included hosting their coverage of the Saturday afternoon results service Score on the Red Button, and Final Score on the main channels for the full-times. The latter had been a long-standing part of Grandstand for decades before it turned into a programme in its own right. When it expanded to include news of all the goals as they went in from the first whistle to the last back in 2004, it was Stubbs who was selected for that leaving his Football Focus gig after five years. His pundits were Steve Harper and John Barnes. Harper had experienced both Brighton and Newcastle dressing rooms this season so was in the unique position of knowing both squads very well. He played five times for Brighton in the busy October/November period, signed on the day of the televised West Ham match going straight into the starting XI in place of Casper Ankergren. He had been at Newcastle for over a decade and played in the 1999 FA Cup Final defeat to Manchester United on their way to the historic Treble. For most of his North-East career, Harper was the reserve goalie behind the likes of Shaka Hislop and Shay Given before finally claiming the number one jersey a couple of seasons ago. That didn’t last long and he soon found himself out of favour again.

NEW Kick Off NEW CommsNEW Champion NEW Waddle

With Stubbs and Harper today was John Barnes. He was in the extremely rare position of having done every role of a televised football broadcast during his career; presenter, pundit, co-commentator and reporter. He began as a regular pundit on ITV for their tournament coverage and top-flight highlights show The Premiership before joining Channel 5 as their host of UEFA Cup matches. After a few seasons in the main chair he started to appear more in his more familiar pundit role as well as reporting on the touchline and from their broadcast truck as a tactician specialist on occasions. When Channel 5 held Live Serie A rights on a Sunday afternoon for the 2007/08 season he was their regular co-commentator alongside Tony Jones, thus completing the broadcast set. The nearest I can think of to that before was Bob Wilson, who hosted Football Focus and Live matches for both BBC and ITV, was a pundit on the Beeb, reported at the 1982 World Cup and did the odd commentary for radio way back when. Another one might be Jimmy Hill had hosted and done punditry on Match of the Day, and summarised on Live matches at tournaments and Cup Finals back when the role was not quite as conversational as in the modern game. Whether he was touchline reporter on any Live games seems unlikely. In the commentary box were ESPN’s regular Premier League pairing of Jon Champion and Chris Waddle. The former covered our win at FC United of Manchester last season whilst the latter was behind the mic for the recent Wrexham replay. He spent five seasons making his name as an attacking midfielder from 1980 before securing big moves to Tottenham, Marseille and Sheffield Wednesday. Reporting pitchside was Dave Beckett. He has long been the voice of the Football League round-ups, working for many seasons on ITV’s Football League Extra before doing the same role on the BBC’s Football League Show when the rights transferred in 2009. He continued to freelance across various highlights and magazine programmes, voicing Champions League Weekly, Premier League Review and reporting for ESPN and Channel 5 across various competitions. He’s also a huge Brighton fan and more recently has become the face of the official Club channels, hosting the end of season reviews including the excellent Withdean Years DVD.

NEW Stubbs beach NEW Gullys Girls

The Coverage: ESPN’s presentation team of host Ray Stubbs and pundits Steve Harper and John Barnes presented coverage from pitchside in the corner of The Amex where North Stand met East. They brought their large branded desk to perch around as well as some ESPN banners. Pitchside presenting was all the rage for the satellite broadcaster of the FA Cup in recent times, with their mobile caravan studio from last season providing a quick and flexible solution to a professional broadcast whilst immersing themselves in the match atmosphere. Having just the desk today meant it was easy to slide away for the match and slide back in to the corner for the pre and post game broadcast. The theme tune remained as their specially composed track whilst the title sequence was very similar to last season, showing people going about their pre-match routine before culminating at Wembley Stadium. This match kicked off late on Saturday evening, their regular Live Premier League slot. Coverage began forty-five minutes before the 5.15pm start, as the 3pm matches started to edge towards full-time. The programme opened with Stubbs appearing on Brighton beach, the first part of the show focussed on the match in hand. We received the team news from commentator Jon Champion in-vision, who dissected them with his co-commentator Chris Waddle.

NEW Liv Highlights NEW Perry

The biggest Cup game of the weekend had already taken place that lunchtime Live on ITV; Liverpool against Manchester United. Extended highlights were shown during the build-up, with commentary from Clive Tyldesley. Brighton boss Gus Poyet took our reporter Dave Beckett for a guided tour around the stadium, with this being ESPN’s first visit here. He spoke about the proposed expansion from 22,500 up to 30,000 by filling in the corners next year and eventually adding an upper tier to the East Stand. We saw in the manager’s office, the dressing room and an insight into what the players see on matchday. The proposed new training ground in two years time was mentioned, with blueprints drawn up. In five years time, with all the infrastructure in place, Poyet said “we should be challenging [to be in] the Premiership.” On the back of Beckett’s excellent report, he spoke to chief executive Martin Perry Live in the tunnel. He told of how immensely proud he was of the job they’d done since joining in 1997 and, after a brief technical issue interrupting the pictures, how chairman Tony Bloom was still over in Australia for his winter hibernation so would be missing today’s big match.

NEW Tour NEW Dressing Room

The pundits picked out Craig Mackail-Smith of Brighton and Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle as being the key men. Mackail-Smith has a fantastic FA Cup record for all his clubs, scoring twelve goals in seventeen appearances. After a break midfielder Gary Dicker went into full on banter-mode appearing in a Soccer AM Teammates-style VT where he got to have a laugh at the players expense. Gordon Greer was the “angry Scotsman”, Adam El-Abd “would tackle his own mother” and Ashley Barnes “doesn’t really come out much, he’s quite pasty. Could do with a sunbed.” It’s great to see these sort of things on television, as a club Brighton have had extremely small amounts of exposure so for there to be an interest now shows the team is doing something right. On the back of that Dave Beckett asked Poyet about the inclusion of youngster Jake Forster-Caskey in the side; “Because the way he is, he’s a confident boy. For him, it means the same playing with the kids under-18 in the FA Youth Cup or playing in training in the development group or coming into a big game against Southampton and scoring the first goal. So he’s so confident in what he does that I’m not afraid to play him.” After a bit more chat from the pundits the scene was set and we were raring to go. The teams line ups were re-confirmed by the commentary team shown in-vision, before that final short advert break. ESPN had a new replay transition for this season which still centred around their logo. This year it flashed in from the centre and accelerated towards us to cover the whole screen as the replay started playing. I preferred the previous one.

NEW Dicker NEW Commentary Team

The half-time analysis focussed on the two missed chances from Leon Best, with little else to show by way of goalmouth action. The pundits believed Alan Pardew would be the happier manager of the two, enjoying more possessions and better chances, as the rain began to fall on the pitchside presentation. Upon conclusion of the match reporter Dave Beckett spoke with Man of the Match, as voted for by ESPN viewers, Will Buckley followed by goalkeeper Peter Brezovan, who made a couple of crucial saves to keep the clean sheet. After the break, around twenty minutes or so was afforded to wrap things up. Steve Harper praised the Albion as being solid in midfield and strong in possession without cutting teams open, very much what he witnessed during his shot loan spell. Beckett caught up with winning manager Poyet who praised Buckley’s work ethic; “When everybody goes a little bit tired he keeps sprinting and going past people and he’s been outsanding in terms of scoring at the right times for us.” The pundits reviewed the goal, saying defender Mike Williamson was just unlucky that Buckley’s shot hit him to deflect over Tim Krul in-goal. They looked in detail at the kick out from Cabaye on El-Abd. It was later said by Pardew that he was furious with Ray Stubbs for being “ferocious” in the discussion about the incident and blamed him for getting him restrospectively banned, whereas both pundits seemed to suggest it was just a flick rather than a stamp and should not have been a red card. Stubbs certainly argued the case for a red, more by playing devil’s advocate than anything else. After a little more chat it was time to go, closing the show with “Brighton rocks!”.

NEW CMS NEW Knight

Story of the Match:  This was the first meeting between Brighton and Newcastle in twenty years, with the Albion emerging victorious by the solitary goal to nil that day. Ten minutes into today’s match Leon Best nearly opened the scoring from a long ball over the top, his shot just rolling wide. He had another chance two minutes later when his header off a Shola Ameobi assist flew high over the bar. If Best could finish he would’ve been a far better player. Ameobi was winning headers and getting the better of the Brighton defence often. The home side’s first opening came after half an hour when a decent move was concluded with Craig Mackail-Smith driving the ball high and wide from outside the box. That was the pattern of the first half, with very few chances for either side, little goalmouth action, both teams just sussing each other out in midfield. Into the second half and again it was Best who should’ve opened the scoring. A neat turn and lay off from Ameobi found Best in the box in space, his shot saved by Brezovan. From the resulting corner Ameobi himself got a chance when the cross bounced off the back Dunk, his swing well saved by Brezovan once more. Just after the hour mark there was an incident between Adam El-Abd and Yohan Cabaye where the Newcastle player appeared to kick out towards El-Abd’s face following a tumble. The referee did not spot it and had no help from his assistant so it went unpunished at the time, though retrospective action was taken in the days that followed the match. Into the final twenty minutes the game began to come to life. Mackail-Smith carved a chance out for himself; he span past one defender, shifted wide of another before unleashing a left foot shot twenty yards out which needed to be turned away by Tim Krul. Finally, the break through came. “Buckley, easily away from Simpson. Mackail-Smith pulling away, trying to find space in the middle. Buckley past Cabaye, deflection and in! Brighton’s big moment” was how commentator Jon Champion expertly described the moment. Will Buckley brought the ball forward from around thirty yards inside his own half, skipped past Danny Simpson and ran the length of the Newcastle half to reach the penalty area. His left-footed shot, a somewhat tired effort, took a huge looping deflection off of Mike Williamson on its way through giving Krul no chance. Buckley deserved the goal but it would actually go down as a Williamson own-goal as the shot was actually going wide before the deflection. Nonetheless it was Buckley who rightly took all the plaudits and Brighton had a lead to hang onto for the final fifteen minutes. The Albion defended deep into their own half as nothing was getting past them today. They even survived a clear handball appeal when Barnes was back defending, shielding his face would’ve been the excuse used. In a match of very few chances, Brighton marched through to Round Four at the expense of a top Division team for the first time since 1986. The team knocked out then? Of course, it was Newcastle.

NEW MOTM NEW Poyet

BRIGHTON 1 NEWCASTLE 0
Williamson (Own-Goal)

NEW Replay

EXTRA; Tonight’s late kick off was also the first on ITV’s Saturday night highlights programme. The channel held the terrestrial FA Cup rights, entitling them to up to fifteen Live matches as well as regular round-up shows. Whilst Adrian Chiles was the main Live host, Matt Smith chaired the highlights programmes. The first fifteen minutes or so of the show was given over to probably the biggest upset of the Round that Saturday; our defeat of Newcastle.

ITV Titles ITV Teams

Commentating on proceedings were Jon Champion and Chris Waddle, as per ESPN. The two channels pooled resources to minimise expense. Champion had been heard on ITV since 2001, covering League Cup Finals and Play Off matches for the highlights as well as several World Cups and European Championships for both ITV and BBC. Dave Beckett’s interviews with the two managers post-match were also shown on ITV, Beckett being a regular voice to the goal round-ups. In the studio with Matt Smith were regular pundit Gordon Strachan and Neil Warnock, who had recently left Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League having got them promotion the previous season. They both agreed Newcastle were unlucky, should’ve had a penalty but it was pleasing that Brighton had enjoyed a slice of fortune which their attractive passing style deserved.

ITV Smith ITV Pundits

 

PREVIOUS; #37 WREXHAM 1-1 BRIGHTON 18/01/2012

NEXT; #39 LIVERPOOL 6-1 BRIGHTON 19/02/2012

#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.

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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.

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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

#34: Brighton 1-2 Liverpool 21/09/2011

#34 BRIGHTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL Carling Cup Round Three
Wednesday 21st September 2011 Image result for

LIV Titles

PRESENTER Ben Shephard GUESTS Jamie Redknapp & Tommy Elphick
COMMENTATORS Bill Leslie & Ray Wilkins REPORTER Andy Burton
7.45pm Kick Off; Amex Stadium     7.30-10pm Carling Cup Live on Sky Sports 2

Promo LIV Sponsor LIV Intro

Context of the Match: The aim when The Amex opened was to have Premier League teams playing against us. Tottenham Hotspur had already visited for the opening pre-season friendly back in July. Then in August we were drawn against top-flight Sunderland in Round Two of the League Cup. Making it a hat-trick of the country’s top teams was Liverpool tonight, in the Third Round. This would be by far the biggest test for an Albion side enjoying life back in the second tier after five seasons away. Unbeaten so far at fortress Amex and third in the Championship table, the Seagulls were flying again. The momentum from last season’s title-winning side continued, with a few summer signings topping the squad up. This would be the start of a very busy period with Leeds next up on Friday, just 48 hours after this match, followed by bitter rivals Crystal Palace next Tuesday. It would also be Gus Poyet’s 100th match in charge of the Albion. After a fairytale start on the opening day beating Doncaster in the eighth minute of stoppage time through Will Buckley, the great form continued with memorable away wins at Portsmouth and Cardiff and just a solitary defeat thus far; away at big-spending Leicester City managed by ex-England boss Sven Goran Eriksson. Tonight was the third successive Carling Cup match at The Amex, dispatching of Gillingham and that Extra Time victory over Sunderland, could they go one further and knock the great Liverpool out? The Scousers were not in European action at all this season so the Cup represented a great chance of silverware. It was the first meeting between the two sides in twenty years; a thrilling FA Cup Replay which saw Liverpool victors three-two at the Goldstone. That match had to make do with extended highlights on BBC’s Sportsnight, tonight the Sky Sports cameras were welcomed for their first trip to a noisy and sold out Falmer.

LIV Brighton LIV Liverpool LIV Subs

The Teams: Brighton made five changes from the side that lost to Leicester at the weekend, possibly with one eye on the upcoming Leeds game on Friday, but also to shore up the midfield. Liam Bridcutt was the sole survivor in that area, with Matt Sparrow and Liverpool lad Alan Navarro coming in for Gary Dicker and Ryan Harley. Craig Noone famously used to be a roofer before becoming a pro and worked on Steven Gerrard’s house. He was further forward as Craig Mackail-Smith led the line and scored the only goal of the game to get the Albion past Sunderland in Round Two. He joined in the summer to become the club’s record transfer signing at an initial £2.5 million. He was supported by £1 million close-season transfer Will Buckley in a 4-3-3 when attacking, 4-3-2-1 when defending kind of formation. Casper Ankergren has played every minute of every game so far in all competitions. In defence, Inigo Calderon and Gordon Greer were both in last season’s PFA Team of the Year. Partnering the skipper here was local lad Steve Cook for his first game this season, the last time he appeared was two-and-a-half years ago having had various loan spells away from Brighton. Newly-signed Romain Vincelot returned to the starting XI here having made his debut in the First Round victory over Gillingham, he took the place of Marcos Painter who was sent off on Saturday. Due to a shortage of left-backs, assistant boss Mauricio Taricco is again being utilised as a substitute, with first team regulars this campaign Lewis Dunk and Ashley Barnes also named. Huge anticipation surrounded Vicente Rodriguez, brought in at the beginning of the month somehow from Valencia. He’s a former Spain midfielder who played at Euro 2004, he twice won La Liga as well as the UEFA Cup, the Super Cup and the Copa Del Rey. Quite what he was doing at Brighton was anybody’s guess but injury had plagued his career, particularly of late. Kenny Dalglish named a strong Liverpool side which included World Cup semi-finalist Luis Suarez up front with Wales’ Craig Bellamy. Dirk Kuyt and Lucas Leiva were in the heart of the midfield. Pepe Reina notched up his 150th consecutive Liverpool league match back in May and recently announced he wanted to stay long-term at the club. Jamie Carragher won the Champions League in that incredible second-half comeback in 2005 against AC Milan and is the only starter today who was in that squad in Istanbul. Club captain then and now, Steven Gerrard, has been recovering from injury and is fit enough to make the bench. All-in-all seven changes were made from the weekend as the likes of Jay Spearing and Seb Coates came in; the latter making his debut. Also on the bench was £50 million striker Andy Carroll and League Cup winner in 2005 Stewart Downing. Tonight’s match official was Michael Oliver.

LIV Shephard LIV Redknapp LIV Elphick LIV Studio

Presentation Team: Sky Sports Carling Cup matches were presented by Ben Shephard. He joined the team at the beginning of last season to co-host Goals on Sunday with Chris Kamara, as well as supporting Premier League host Richard Keys on Live matches. In January 2011 his workload suddenly increased thanks to the massive fallout from the sexist remarks made in a leaked off-air conversation between Keys and Andy Gray. Consequently Keys resigned and Gray was sacked, moving existing presenters David Jones, Ed Chamberlin, Jeff Stelling and Ben Shephard up in the pecking order to cover the large hole left behind in the Premier and Champions Leagues coverage. Whereas for the latter half of last season the roles were shared, this season it became more defined. Jones would do Saturday Premier League games with Chamberlin on Super Sunday and Monday Night Football. Stelling took over the Champions League, assisted by Shephard who in turn replaced Jeff on the League Cup. His pundits for tonight’s match were Jamie Redknapp and Tommy Elphick. Redknapp became a full-time Sky Sports pundit from the 2005/06 season to coincide with his retirement from the game; joining Keys and Gray for the majority of the big matches. Prior to that he had worked for the BBC across Live FA Cup matches and Euro 2004 whilst still playing. Tommy Elphick played a huge part in Brighton’s title-winning season last year but unfortunately was now a long-term casualty due to an achilles injury. He’s done a few interviews and bits in the media of late and perhaps may be looking to go down this route later on after his playing days.

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In the commentary box were Bill Leslie and Ray Wilkins. Leslie is vastly experienced on Live matches, having been covering the Football League regularly for Sky since the 2004/05 season, going on to take over from Ian Crocker as number one in 2006. He still holds that position now as well as a regular on the Champions League, international matches and the occasional Premier League game. It was an absolute delight to welcome Ray Wilkins to Brighton’s Live televised coverage for the first time. Wilkins of course was involved in our first ever televised match – the 1983 FA Cup Final – where he scored a great goal for Manchester United. Since retiring he’s been a manager at QPR and Fulham and spent several seasons at different spells as an assistant at Chelsea. He also won 84 caps for England. When not actively in the game he’s been a beloved pundit and commentator, in the 21st century with Sky Sports across all matches from Champions League and Premier League latterly, through to England internationals and resident pundit on the early days of the Football League moving to Sky. During the 1990s he was a hugely popular co-commentator on Channel 4’s cult Football Italia coverage, working closely with Brighton fan Peter Brackley as the pair voiced many a classic Italian match on a Sunday afternoon. He’s an extremely warm and charming broadcaster who is a joy to listen to. Reporting was Andy Burton. He has been a regular figure at Sky for the past six years or so, commentating on Football First Premier League highlights before moving to the touchline on Football League then Premier League matches. Burton was working on the broadcast at Wolves which led to Keys and Gray’s departures, and perhaps was impacted by that row as it was he who Gray had first said derogatory words about Sian Massey to. Since then he has left top flight coverage, becoming the regular reporter on the League Cup as well as picking up other matches here and there and reporting for Sky Sports News.

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The Coverage: Pre-match build up began at 7.30pm from a temporary portable glass studio located above the away fans in the South Stand at The Amex towards the corner with the East Stand. Ben Shephard hosted his first Albion match, and indeed Sky’s first Live match at the new stadium, alongside Brighton’s Tommy Elphick and regular pundit Jamie Redknapp. The Carling Cup uses the Football League graphics as it falls under the same contract, so the familiar red and black colours appeared and the programme was sponsored by bet365. There was a new design for the graphics this season to match the principles of the ones seen on the Premier League since the beginning of last season, with 3D effects and the badge tilting rather than rotating. The replay transitions used the flying League Cup from the top left into the middle of the screen then back out bottom left. When a goal was scored the replay featured the club crest flying out one way with the word ‘GOAL’ flying out the other, in a return to the style of a few years ago when the crest would crash into the screen. Carling Cup coverage used Texas’ classic hit “Inner Smile” as the theme tune since Worthington were replaced as sponsors of the competition in 2004. The title sequence featured a virtual Wembley slowly filling up as the music goes on, with video blocks of previous Cup moments and goals flying onto the side of the stadium. Tonight’s broadcast was also available in 3D, a first for an Albion match, where different camera angles and different commentators would be used. For the Sky 3D commentary, viewers heard Daniel Mann and Tony Gale, whilst on the regular 2D coverage we got Bill Leslie and Ray Wilkins. The Albion would have to play two matches here within 48 hours with the Live game against Leeds on Friday, owing to Liverpool playing last Sunday and therefore preferring not to play Tuesday and having two matches in 48 hours themselves. So Brighton took the extra television revenues and accommodated the short resting period.

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During the fifteen minute build up there was a VT showing various parts around The Amex with stats appearing in the middle of the screen such as the capacity, a quote from Poyet and the overall cost. Sky were suitably impressed by the surroundings, with Redknapp remarking “It’s special, it really is. The pitch is really good… He wanted the biggest pitch possible, Gus Poyet.” Andy Burton spoke with both managers before the kick-off. Poyet put his midfield selection of Navarro and Bridcutt in particular down to wanting to be a bit more solid than usual in that area, knowing they’d have to do a bit more defending and sit deeper than the usual front-foot style in the League. Kenny Dalglish explained his selection of many first-team regulars was partly due to how disappointing a defeat they had the previous Sunday at Tottenham. After some brief chat in the studio Shephard handed over to the commentary teams for this evening’s big match who took us through the teams before the adverts. Throughout the game we were kept abreast of the other Third Round matches with goalflashes in the bottom left corner of the screen. At half time Shephard, Elphick and Redknapp analysed Liverpool’s first half dominance, particularly highlighting Craig Bellamy and Luis Suarez. Just before the second half began, Jimmy Case was presented to the crowd on the pitch. The retired midfielder spent eight years at Liverpool before moving down to the Goldstone in 1981 and was part of the FA Cup Final side two years later, scoring at Anfield in the run. He returned to the Albion to see off his playing days in the early 90s, and at 41 was the oldest registered outfield player in English professional football. He took charge of the team for just under a year during his final season with the club when we were relegated to Division Three before being sacked. After the match reporter Andy Burton had a joint-interview with Steven Gerrard and Craig Noone side by side, finally giving a chance to bring up that roof job he did! “He’s a down-to-earth lad, good Scouser, done a great job on my house and in my eyes tonight he was Man of the Match” Gerrard said. Burton also had a slightly prickly chat with Dalglish, who didn’t want to focus on Brighton preferring to talk up his own side. This left the studio team with just under ten minutes to review the match and wrap things up, allowing for plenty of time to give Brighton the credit they deserved.

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Story of the Match: The crowd was rocking ahead of the match, commented on by co-commentator Ray Wilkins who opened his broadcast with “Good evening one and all. This is the first time I’ve been here, what an amazing atmosphere. It’s a fabulous stadium that they’ve built, the playing surface is wonderful; it’s as big as the Emirates – 105 metres by 68 – and they do play some football, Brighton.” I do enjoy it when a co-commentator says hello to us, David Pleat always did on ITV’s Champions League nights and Sir Clive Woodward does on the rugby coverage. It’s a little touch of class. In the seventh minute of the match Liverpool got the early advantage. Quick passing found Suarez just inside the area. He played the ball on for Craig Bellamy in behind the Albion defence wide left of the six yard box. Acknowledging there was an onrushing covering defender he took his shot first time and drilled it across goal where it went in off the far post to go one-nil up. Great movement from the striker who was allowed to wander past Bridcutt. The away side were in the ascendancy and dominated possession for the early stages. Just over ten minutes later Brighton had to clear off their own goalline. A short corner from Bellamy to Lucas, his cross was flicked on by Suarez’s head but instead of being on target it looped high towards the back stick. Ankergren came to punch but didn’t claim, instead Dirk Kuyt got some sort of touch, I don’t think he knew too much about it, and it needed to be hooked off the line by Mackail-Smith; doing his bit in the Albion defence. Craig Noone looked the liveliest Brighton player with his trickery getting the better of the young Liverpool left-back. Noone and Buckley would swap wings throughout to freshen the attacks up. Luis Suarez was presented with a decent chance to double the advantage one-on-one but slotted just wide. After half an hour a Suarez header from a free-kick just grazed the outside of the post. Five minutes before the break Craig Bellamy absolutely thwacked a free-kick from at least thirty-five yards out which flew and swirled before thundering against the bar. What an effort, so unlucky. They hit the woodwork again not long after, this time Jay Spearing’s long-range effort from almost thirty yards skidded off the turf hitting the outside of the far post thanks to fingertips from Casper Ankergren. Liverpool looked so dangerous. The last action of the half went Brighton’s way, with Noone put through by Mackail-Smith, Pepe Reina’s body got in the way of the shot but it squirmed out past him and had to be cleared by Martin Kelly who got there just fractions before Matt Sparrow, who was stretching to tap in from four yards.

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Brighton flew out of the traps in the second half, with Craig Noone smacking one against the crossbar from almost twenty-five yards out after a misplaced defensive pass. You could tell this match meant more to him than any other, having been released from the club as a youth prospect and being from the area facing the team he supported. On the hour mark, Will Buckley had ran his course and had to go off injured. In his place came Vicente for his Brighton debut. The same Vicente who has played in Champions League Finals, international tournaments, won La Liga and was the subject of bids of over £35 million. And here he was turning out for the Seagulls at the age of just thirty. Brighton enjoyed a lot of the second half possession but clear chances weren’t there. A stat popped up late on showing how much they enjoyed the ball in the second forty-five; with 61% against the Premier League opposition. With a quarter of an hour left, the away side could bring on their own star name; Steven Gerrard. He captained England at the World Cup last year but had been out with an injured groin for the past six months, this was his comeback appearance. The Albion responded with a double substitution, bringing on top-scorer Ashley Barnes and the ever-tricky Kazenga LuaLua for Sparrow and Navarro. Pushing for the equaliser let Liverpool in on the counter-attack. The ball was cleared up to Bellamy ten yards inside the Brighton half out on the wing. He played a perfect cross-field ball into the path of Maxi Rodriguez who held it up for Dirk Kuyt bursting forward in support. He was one-on-one with Ankergren who could only throw himself towards the forward, then watch the ball roll in aided by the far post for two-nil. Brighton deserved better for their second half showing, with co-commentator Wilkins adding “If they continue this brand of football in the Championship, and have the confidence to keep cracking at it with this super passing game of theirs, you can see them right up there at the end of the season.” Praise indeed. It got even better in the 89th minute as Jay Spearing was caught in possession and off balance by Vicente in the Liverpool penalty area, causing Jamie Carragher to come sliding in and foul the Spaniard for a spot kick. Up stepped Ashley Barnes who launched it into the top left hand corner of the net and the belief was there again going into four minutes of added time. Alas it wasn’t to be but the performance, especially in the second half, was absolutely fantastic, bringing the game to their higher-Division counterparts and fighting all the way. Attention immediately turned to the Leeds game in less than forty-eight hours time. For Liverpool, this competition did provide them with a trophy when they beat Cardiff on penalties at Wembley five months later.

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Barnes Bellamy, Kuyt

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EXTRA; Sky Sports News was the place to see all the build up ahead of the night’s full card of Third Round fixtures before the main coverage began at 7.30pm. They were first to bring the team news, with presenters Jim White and Charlie Webster at the desk, as well as all the day’s sporting news from around seven o’clock. There was also a report featuring Brighton’s Craig Noone and his story of working as a roofer on Steven Gerrard’s house.

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Charlie Webster introduced the piece saying, “If Gerrard does play he’ll come face to face with a man who spent a bit of time around the England midfielder’s house.” Sky reporter Amy Lewis took Noone back to his working days to recall the first time he met the Liverpool and England captain and the prospect of facing him tonight. “I always dreamed about it when I was working there, to be honest. I thought imagine what I could say if I do come up against him, I could mention it to him, and now I am it’s surreal really. Can’t wait for it.”

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Sky Sports News carried reaction and interviews after the match coverage had ended too. This included a package voiced by long-serving reporter Gary Cotterill featuring the best bits of the match. There was also another chance to hear the Steven Gerrard and Craig Noone joint-interview, as well as from both managers chatting to Andy Burton. Gus Poyet spoke of how proud he was of the team “After giving Liverpool a little bit of respect in the first half, I think the players realised that they had the chance to go in the second half and do something special and I think will be closest to being one of the best games of the season, that forty-five minutes.”

SSN Report SSN Poyet


EXTRA; Along with Saturday night highlights of all three Divisions of the Football League, the contract provides the rights holder with action from every round of the Carling Cup. The BBC broadcast The League Cup Show late on Wednesday night showing all the goals from the midweek third round matches. Manish Bhasin hosted this programme as well from the regular studio. Tonight he was alongside Mark Bright.

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The highlights edit lasted for around ten minutes on what was a pulsating Cup tie. Jonathan Pearce commentated. He lives in Sussex so knew the Brighton story well and had even been involved in some media work for the club ahead of the stadium move. He was a regular on Match of the Day since they regained the top-flight highlights in 2004, having previously been the voice of football for Channel 5 since their launch in 1997. His excitable style got him noticed and is now high up in the BBC pecking order. He’s also been the voice of cult game show Robot Wars.

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Pundit Mark Bright seemed to be nursing a sore throat as his voice was hoarse. Not that what he did say was of much interest. He said of Craig Noone, “When you play against your heroes, your team and a special occasion, for him I was quite impressed with him.” He praised the Albion’s fightback, “In the first half I thought that Brighton were a little bit afraid of them and stood off them but in the second half Brighton gave a really good account of themselves. Could’ve scored a couple of goals as well.” Bright had been a regular on the BBC in the commentary box since the 2002 World Cup and featured across their various magazine programmes during the domestic season.

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