#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

World Cup 1994 on the BBC

World Cup Logo FIFA brought the world of football to the United States of America for the staging of the fifteenth World Cup in 1994. However, the tournament would perhaps be best remembered for events off the field. On the opening day, America was gripped by an altogether different occasion involving a sports star as former NFL player OJ Simpson went on the run from the police in a car chase which gripped the nation and played out Live on television, following suspicions of murdering his wife. When the football did get underway, it was once again Diego Maradona who grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons when he was sent home after two group matches due to failing doping. He was found with a ‘cocktail of drugs’ in his system, which came as no surprise to anyone who saw his extreme close-up celebration at the camera after his one and only goal this summer against Greece. And Colombian defender Andres Escobar was tragically murdered by members of a drugs cartel five days after his country was eliminated from the tournament, believed to be in retaliation for his own goal against the host nation in the group stages. BBC pundit Alan Hansen clumsily, and presumably accidentally, described defending during the Argentina versus Nigeria match the day after Escobar’s death in the worst way; “the Argentine defender wants shooting for a mistake like that.” Elsewhere there were no home nations present at the World Cup for the first time since 1938, owing largely to Graham Taylor’s disastrous campaign with England and a Scotland side in decline. Republic of Ireland were the nearest representative and upset the odds immediately by beating Italy in New York. They graced the knockout stage before elimination at the hands of the Dutch. The competition culminated with the first ever Final penalty shoot-out, as Italy were defeated by Brazil in one of the most laboured of matches. British broadcasters BBC and ITV were there to beam the vast majority of matches direct to our late-night living rooms. In this post I look at the efforts of the BBC, who opened the tournament with the ceremony and the first match.

 

BBC SportPresenters; Des Lynam, Bob Wilson
Pundits;
 Jimmy Hill, Alan Hansen, Terry Venables, Gary Lineker, David O’Leary, Steve Coppell, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner
Commentators; Barry Davies, John Motson, Tony Gubba, Clive Tyldesley, Gerald Sinstadt
Co-Commentators; Trevor Brooking, Liam Brady, John Fashanu, Chris Waddle
Reporters; Ray Stubbs, Hazel Irvine, Garth Crooks


TITLE SEQUENCE & THEME TUNE

Grandstand Titles

Theme: Leonard Bernstein – America (from West Side Story)

The BBC went route one with their choice of theme tune; using ‘America’. Taken from the musical West Side Story, they used Leonard Bernstein’s instrumental version. The familiar tune was definitely one that would stay in your head but after the monumental success of the 1990 titles with Nessun Dorma, this was a bit of a climb down. However, the celebratory joy of the American World Cup came across in this tune even if the dog barking sound effects were a slightly odd addition!

BBC titles 1 BBC titles 4 BBC titles 2 BBC titles 3

The titles kicked off with the instruments blaring in full flow whilst cutting to various shots of famous American landmarks. Starting with fireworks by the Statue of Liberty before flashing through the likes of the Brooklyn Bridge and the huge buildings that crept into the New York skyline. When the music quietened, the titles switched to clips of footballing action, updated as the tournament progressed. In the example here, we saw the likes of Ray Houghton’s goal against Italy in the group stage and Jack Charlton’s celebrations on the sidelines, amongst other goals and crowd shots. To emphasise the host country, the stars and stripes adorned the top and bottom bars of the screen. When the music came back round to the bombastic bars of the chorus again, the title sequence was coming to a close with a spinning ball filled with previous World Cup winners lifting the famous trophy. As the track reached a crescendo, the red stripes of the USA flag covered the centre before a ball flew from the bottom right to act as the flag’s ‘stars’, revealing the title card “World Cup ’94”. Below, the titles to the Brazil v Netherlands Quarter Final.


PRESENTATION TEAM

BBC Host BBC Pundits

Desmond Lynam was once more at the helm of the BBC’s World Cup coverage, fronting the opening match, key games and, of course, the Final. As the corporation’s principal football presenter, Lynam had just finished the second season chairing the best of the action from the Premiership on Match of the Day since the Beeb regained the rights to the top flight in 1992. He previously hosted the show’s FA Cup coverage from 1988 and USA 1994 was his fourth FIFA World Cup. Lynam anchored more than just football though, he was a real all-rounder with his work fronting Grandstand and light entertainment shows. Consequently, he was absent for much of the group stage, instead hosting coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, but was present for the Republic of Ireland games and the latter stages. Bob Wilson deputised. A regular in the studio was pundit Alan Hansen. The Scotsman joined BBC television for the new Premiership rights in 1992, having previously covered European football for Sky as soon as he retired from playing in ’91. He was also heard on BBC Radio Five Live and quickly earned a great reputation for his considered, authoritative and forthright analysis. He made his name playing in the great Liverpool sides as a centre back during the 1970s and 80s, winning everything there was to win. Hansen excelled with his studio work during his first international tournament with the BBC.

BBC Lineker BBC Lineker studio

One of England’s all-time great goalscorers, the 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner, Gary Lineker earmarked a career in the media once his playing days were over. He made occasional media appearances during previous tournaments, either by doing the TV interviews for England or, once knocked out, appearing on the broadcasts as a guest. He was still a professional during this tournament, plying his trade in Japan for Nagoya Grampus Eight, whom he joined in the summer of 1992. Two injury-hampered seasons followed. He returned to England whenever he could during this spell, enjoying stints on BBC Radio 5 Live and Match of the Day, including the first Premiership version of the programme in August ’92. However, instead of just going down the usual route of punditry, it was clear Lineker also wanted to be in the presenter’s seat. During the build up to the opening match of the tournament – Germany versus Bolivia – he presented a piece to camera previewing some of the big hitters; above left. Back in the studio, host Lynam told us, “We’ll be seeing quite a bit of Gary, of course, over the next couple of weeks or so”, as Lineker’s BBC career began in earnest. He appeared mostly as an analyst for this tournament but would soon go on to front shows once hanging up his boots for good in September of this year.

BBC Wilson BBC Coppell

For now though, the number two football host was Bob Wilson. He had been the host of magazine preview show Football Focus for the past twenty years upon retirement from keeping goal for Arsenal for more than a decade. Wilson made the leap from player to presenter straight away, rather than via the pundit seat, and also hosted Grandstand and Match of the Day during his time with the BBC. He played a major part during the 1994 World Cup whilst number one Des Lynam was engaged with fronting Wimbledon tennis for much of the group stage. Anchoring World Cup proceedings from Television Centre in London allowed Lynam to return to the fold for the bigger group games but it was Wilson who did much of the heavy lifting on both Live and highlight programming. One of the BBC’s recruits for this tournament was former Manchester United and England winger Steve Coppell. The 1977 FA Cup winner had his playing career cut very short due to persistent knee injuries. It stemmed from a terrible challenge in a World Cup qualifier against Hungary in 1981. He struggled through for two years before calling it quits in October ’83 at the age of twenty-eight. The following summer he moved into management and began his relationship with Crystal Palace, managing them for eight years before resigning last year following top flight relegation. Being out of work, he used the summer opportunity to sit in the BBC studio and analyse the World Cup, providing both a player and coaches perspective, but was keen to get back into management.

BBC Venables BBC Hill

Two long-standing members of the BBC team were present once more in the studio. Terry Venables was a familiar face on the corporation since the mid-1980s, appearing on commentary before becoming more established in the pundit role. His playing career was almost exclusively London based, enjoying success from midfield at Chelsea and Tottenham as well as spells at QPR and Crystal Palace. After retiring in 1975 whilst at Palace, he was handed a coaching role with the club before taking over as manager the following year. Since, he’s had spells with former clubs QPR and Spurs as well as taking charge of Spanish giants Barcelona for three years, he was able to combine this with tournament appearances for the BBC. He hadn’t actually taken charge of Tottenham since 1991, instead moving to Chief Executive for two years before being dismissed. In January of this year, he was appointed England manager following Graham Taylor’s notoriously bad campaign culminating in failure to qualify for this tournament. Another regular on the Beeb was the one and only Jimmy Hill. This was his eight World Cup as a broadcaster, stretching back to 1966. He presented Match of the Day for fifteen years from 1973, often with Bob Wilson as co-host, before moving back into the analyst seat when Lynam took the helm in 1988. As the most senior pundit, he was still going strong at the age of sixty-five during this World Cup, featuring on all the big games including the Final. Completing the line-up of regular studio guests for this tournament was former Arsenal and current Leeds defender David O’Leary, shown on our right of the picture, below, with Liam Brady. With Arsenal, the Irishman won all domestic honours; League, FA Cup, League Cup and Charity Shield. He won sixty-eight caps for the Republic of Ireland and played at the previous World Cup in 1990. After joining Leeds last summer and starting the campaign well, a serious achilles injury kept him out of action for most of the 93/94 season. It was something he would not recover from and, although officially in rehabilitation on the books of Leeds, he would never play again.

BBC Brady and OLeary

Whilst the studio team were all based in London, the commentary was done on-site in America. Co-commentators utilised for this Cup were number one Trevor Brooking, along with Irish representation in the form of Liam Brady; shown in the picture, above, on the left. Brooking was celebrating a decade on-air with the BBC having joined after finishing his playing career, appearing over half a century of matches for West Ham’s midfield. He appeared both in studio for Match of the Day and was first choice as Live match summariser, commentating across both BBC radio and television during his media career. Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Brady was covering his second consecutive World Cup for the BBC, both featuring his national side. After retiring from playing in 1990 he managed Celtic from the following year before joining his current post at Brighton and Hove Albion in 1993. Unfortunately for Brady, both spells have been marred by financial trouble at the top and poor form on the pitch. He was co-commentator for all Ireland’s matches as well as select others during the tournament. Providing a current player’s view from the gantry were John Fashanu and Chris Waddle. With Fashanu in the final couple of seasons of his playing career, he was looking for media roles. When ITV sporting entertainment giant Gladiators launched in the UK in 1992, he was host alongside Ulrika Jonsson and launched his catchphrase ‘Awooga!’ into the public conscience. He attracted controversy during his career both on and off the field. On it, his elbow during the 93/94 season fractured Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt’s eye in a sickening clash. Off it, he publicly denounced his own brother Justin for coming out as gay in 1990, a decision he later regretted. John Fashanu’s finest day in football came when, as John Motson put it, ‘the Crazy Gang beat the Culture Club’ to win the 1988 FA Cup with underdogs Wimbledon, defeating Liverpool by a goal to nil. He spent the last eight years with the Dons but would move to Aston Villa after the World Cup for his final season before retirement. His struggled to take to co-commentary, with his fellow broadcaster having to pick up a lot of the slack during matches, confined mostly to the midnight BST kick-offs.

BBC Davies

Leading the BBC’s commentary team for his one – and sadly, only – Live World Cup Final as number one was Barry Davies; above, seen hosting the BBC’s Review of the Tournament from December ’94. He celebrated twenty-five years at the BBC in July. After serving as number two behind John Motson for so long, he was rewarded with this summer’s showpiece climax, having had experience on European club Finals during the 1970s and 80s and the 1972 European Championships Final between USSR and West Germany. This meant John Motson would have to settle for second best in 1994, including sharing Republic of Ireland duties with Davies on one Live game apiece. Motson did get to do the BBC’s Semi Final as well as the likes of USA’s first match, Brazil, Germany and Italy games too. The pair covered eighteen of the BBC’s twenty Live matches between them, leaving the other commentators to pick up the remaining couple of games as well as the non-Live ones for highlights. Clive Tyldesley was the man getting the nod for the other two Live fixtures, having joined from ITV in the summer of 1992. This was ahead of the relaunched Premiership Match of the Day, getting the chance to voice top flight fixtures on a regular basis as well as voiceovers and reports across the sporting output. Tony Gubba first covered a World Cup for the corporation in 1974, commentating on every tournament since. Owing to the large travel distances across the States, a fifth voice was needed to cover the highlights. Gerald Sinstadt, who moved over from ITV in the mid-80s, was chosen. As well as commentating, he was a familiar voice to the MotD goal round-ups at the end of the programmes.

BBC Studio 2

Fulfilling the roles of reporter in the USA were Ray Stubbs, Hazel Irvine and Garth Crooks. Stubbs started with the BBC in 1983 on local radio as a presenter and commentator before moving to Manchester after three years to produce. It was as a producer that he went to Italia ’90, for investigative sports programme On the Line, and since the formation of the Premiership he too voiced round-ups as well as touchline reports for Live FA Cup fixtures. He followed the fortunes of the Republic of Ireland from their US camp this summer. Hazel Irvine was another transfer from ITV, following the 1990 competition where she reported from the Scotland camp. At the age of twenty-eight, she became the youngest ever presenter of Grandstand in June ’93. Crooks was previously in the studio as an analyst for the 1982, ’86 and ’90 tournaments but was dispatched around America to showcase the vibrancy and atmosphere of the competition this time round.


LIVE MATCH SELECTION

BBC Sport broadcast a total of twenty Live matches during the USA 1994 World Cup, kicking off the tournament with the opener featuring holders Germany and concluding with the Brazil versus Italy Final. They showed the Republic of Ireland’s final group match with Norway which saw Jack Charlton’s men progress to the knockout stages. Whilst ITV front-loaded the tournament, the BBC had control over the picks for the knockouts, selecting the best potential clashes including the first choice UK prime-time Semi Final, Ireland’s Second Round defeat to the Netherlands on Independence Day and the Quarter Finals of both Germany and Brazil. Their coverage, although UK based, was much better received than ITV’s Dallas location.

GROUP STAGES; Friday 17th June
Germany 1-0 Bolivia (8pm Kick Off)

Saturday 18th June
USA 1-1 Switzerland (4.30pm) & Romania 3-1 Colombia (Midnight)

Sunday 19th June
Cameroon 2-2 Sweden (Midnight)

Monday 20th June
Brazil 2-0 Russia (9pm)

Tuesday 21st June
Nigeria 3-0 Bulgaria (Midnight)

Thursday 23rd June
Italy 1-0 Norway (9pm)

Friday 24th June
Brazil 3-0 Cameroon (9pm)

Saturday 25th June
Argentina 2-1 Nigeria (9pm)

Monday 27th June
Germany 3-2 South Korea (9pm)

Tuesday 28th June
Rep of Ireland 0-0 Norway (5.30pm)

Thursday 30th June
Bulgaria 2-0 Argentina (Midnight)

LAST 16; Saturday 2nd July
Germany 3-2 Belgium (6pm)

Sunday 3rd July
Romania 3-2 Argentina (9.30pm)

Monday 4th July
Netherlands 2-0 Rep of Ireland (5pm)

Tuesday 5th July
Bulgaria 1-1 Mexico, AET – BUL win 3-1 on penalties (9.30pm)

QUARTER FINALS; Saturday 9th July
Brazil 3-2 Netherlands (8.30pm)

Sunday 10th July
Germany 1-2 Bulgaria (5pm)

SEMI FINALS; Wednesday 13th July
Italy 2-1 Bulgaria (9pm)

FINAL; Sunday 17th July
Brazil 0-0 Italy, AET – BRA win 3-2 on penalties (8.30pm)


COVERAGE & GRAPHICS

BBC Ident BBC Sport Ident

When the BBC 1 ident came on followed by that iconic BBC Sport sting, you knew you were in for a treat. Above left; this set of BBC idents came in back in February 1991 and was their second major international football tournament, following the 1992 European Championships. Known as the ‘virtual globes’, the circle rotated around the numerical 1 in the centre. The BBC Sport ident followed, with that classic jingle that will surely now be playing in the heads of those of a certain vintage at the very sight of that image; above right. The gold tinge of the ‘nucleus’ around another rotating globe came in for major events beginning with the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, with this ’94 World Cup their international football tournament debut.

BBC Studio BBC Opening Ceremony

Coverage was hosted from Television Centre for all matches bar the Final, when Des and the team travelled out to the States to present on-site. Above left; the establishing shot of the sofa studio, taken from the opening match between Germany and Bolivia. Joining Lynam in the studio were principal analysts Alan Hansen and Jimmy Hill. Above right; the panel behind Lynam was a television screen, allowing Live pictures to be shown behind him as he and the panel discussed the match. In the example, the Opening Ceremony was about to begin. There were two studio sets used during the coverage of the World Cup, the main sofa area is shown above. A desk and chair set was also used, as detailed further down the page.

BBC Final Italy BBC Final Brazil

The host broadcaster provided graphics ahead of, and during, the match for channels all over the world to use. This included the team line ups as shown above. Their graphics were on a translucent blue panel with italic white text. The official tournament logo was incorporated in, with the white dots underlining the headings and the striped ribbons of the US flag appearing in the background. Above left; the Italian line up in numerical order for the Final. Above right; the Brazilian starting XI for the Final laid out in formation, shown after the numerical list as the commentator talked us through the players. These graphics would fade or appear in, with little animation or fanfare. Considering these were US graphics, they were rather simplistic and understated.

Aston 1 Replay transition 2

In-play graphics were also provided by the host broadcaster across all of BBC, ITV and Eurosport. Above left; the world feed name aston for Italian talisman Roberto Baggio. Again, this featured the blue panels with white dots and italic text. The addition of the flag and three letter country code was placed on the right, whilst a yellow number appeared left of the name to indicate the squad number. Above right; the replay transition as we returned to Live action. Replay pictures flew in from the left of screen with a thick white border. Once complete, the replay flew back out towards the right of screen as shown. This was the case throughout the tournament other than the Final, where the fixture adorned the border instead.

BBC Scorebar

This was the first international tournament where the BBC provided a permanent on-screen scoreboard and clock. With occasional experiments using this on other sports during the 1980s, a scoreboard became a permanent fixture on the football coverage in this country when Sky Sports launched in the early 1990s. The BBC took to the idea in the 1993/94 season for their UEFA Cup broadcasts and deployed it for this World Cup. Above; similar to that of ITVs, the BBC logo appeared in the top left of the screen with the clock underneath and the scoreline to the right. The timer appeared within a translucent box whilst the fixture was in a yellow italic font. This formula remained a constant throughout the rest of the decade, with only a few minor tweaks along the way.

BBC graphics BBC Sub

The host broadcaster’s graphics did not stretch to a permanent scoreboard, instead using the more familiar approach from previous tournaments of flashing up the clock and score at intervals. Above left; this would sometimes lead to slight conflictions between the exact seconds of the timer, with this example showing the BBC clock two seconds ahead of the official one. The graphics on the blue panel with the white dots would appear all around the world at the same time. Above right; for substitutions the host broadcaster graphics would appear on screen and indicate the player coming on and off with a little “In” or “Out” signal on the left accompanied by an animated arrow.

BBC Aston BBC Standings

The BBC did use their own graphics for coverage outside of the Live match. Above left; BBC aston captioning Ireland’s goalscorer over Italy, Ray Houghton’s. The blue background and italic white text fitted with the World Cup branding, whilst the trophy was added to the left and further text written in light blue. The graphics faded in and out. Above right; full screen graphics with very much a blue theme. This was after that Irish win opened their campaign. The BBC Sport globe and corporation logo adorned the bottom corner of the screen.

BBC Score astonBBC Coming Up

Further examples of the BBC’s own graphics are shown here, again using that blue panel background. Above left; during the highlights of the Nigeria v Italy match, a caption appeared signifying the progression into the Extra Time period. Above right; at the conclusion of the Live match programme, the coverage would usually end with a graphic detailing the next World Cup programming on the BBC. In this case, highlights show World Cup Report would be on air from 11.25pm.

BBC Rule Changes BBC Rules 2

Ahead of the tournament, there were genuine fears that it being held in America would change the game for the worse; with reports of the game being split into quarters rather than halves for advertising purposes, lots of gimmicks and would the supporters even know what was going on. It’s fair to say those never materialised and the tournament was the best attended to date. However, some big rule changed did come into effect. The most positive, as outlined during the BBC’s build up to the opener (above left), saw three points awarded for a win rather than two. The complaint about Italia ’90 was too many dull, defensive matches and not enough attacking prowess. The group stage alone saw ten one-nil victories and eight draws. The additional point for a win was a bid to encourage more teams to go for victory. Elsewhere we saw the introduction of names on the back of shirts, and additional substitution allowed and the possibility of video evidence determining if a suspension should stand or not. The referees were also encouraged to look out for certain things to punish as well as yet another interpretation of the offside law; above right. Other directives were to give the attack the benefit of the doubt over tight offsides, timewasting reduced to a minimum and the introduction of an electric cart! Technology was there and they were going to use it. All whilst refereeing in something other than the traditional black uniforms.

BBC Studio 3

Whilst the previously mentioned sofa area was the main set used by the BBC for coverage of this tournament, there was also a large desk area too, as shown above. In this example, host Bob Wilson is joined by pundit Steve Coppell and comedic guests Frank Skinner and David Baddiel. The pair were dressed in the unique style of USA defender Alexi Lalas. The desk would often feature on highlights programming, Grandstand and more formal broadcasts, whilst the sofa was more utilised on Live matches. During the regular season, Match of the Day’s set was like the above, featuring pundits either side of the large table. The three-coloured BBC logo was unmistakable at the front.


FEATURES & SUPPORT PROGRAMMING

Diana Ross Opening Ceremony 1 Opening Ceremony 2

The BBC showed Live coverage of the tournament’s opening ceremony in Chicago, during their build-up to Germany versus Bolivia. If people had their doubts about the Americanisation of soccer, there could surely be no doubts that they knew how to put on a show. You knew it was going to be good when someone had the bright idea of inviting comedian Robin Williams on with FIFA general secretary Sepp Blatter to conduct the group draw. The ceremony was the usual mix of colour and noise, compered by television superstar Oprah Winfrey. The show introduced each country in their individual traditional dances, such as samba for Brazil and Irish dancing for the Republic (above, bottom left), there was a performance of the official tournament song – also ITV’s theme tune – by Darry Hall and The Sounds of Blackness; above, bottom right. But the standout moment came right at the start when legendary Motown singer Diana Ross kicked it all off. Wearing oversized red jacket and trousers, she ran the length of the pitch, through a parade of dancers and performers, whilst singing her classic hit “I’m Coming Out”. The intended culmination was for her to score a penalty kick which would catapult the goal frame to split in half and launch the ceremony. What actually happened was one of the most memorable moments of any opening ceremony anywhere, but for the wrong reasons. After playing to the crowds, Ross stuttered her run up, toying with the goalkeeper before slicing her shot horribly wide (above, top)! As the old adage states; the show must go on. The nets collapsed as if it was all still going to plan and Diana Ross ran through onto the stage for the next part of her performance. Seamless. She did not reign Supreme on this occasion.

Baddiel and Skinner 1 Baddiel and Skinner 2

BBC Studio 4

Comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner came to prominence during 1994 for their hit late-night BBC 2 television programme Fantasy Football League. The programme ran weekly on Friday nights from January and was a mix of comedy, sketches and discussion around the Premiership centred around Fantasy Football; the idea of choosing a team of players from the League, earning points for goals, assists and clean sheets amongst other things and competing against others in a League table, first popularised in the mainstream in the 1990s in England. Celebrity guests would come on to the show during the series and discuss their team of players, but it was also an excuse to show some funny clips from football and take the mickey out of it. As a result of the immediate popularity of the show, Baddiel and Skinner were invited onto the final day edition of Match of the Day as pundits alongside Des Lynam in May and did a good enough job to be asked back for appearances during the World Cup. They made a handful of cameos during the post-match coverage of some of the late-night Live group matches, sitting alongside the regular pundits. Their remit was to provide a lighter look at the tournament as they did on Fantasy Football League, using funny clips and making jokes. Quite brilliantly, during the closing credits after the World Cup Final, their names appeared in the list of pundits alongside the likes of Hansen, Hill and Lineker!

BBC Goal of the Tournament BBC Maradona report

A tradition of previous Cups was the Goal of the Tournament vote. BBC viewers were asked to call in to vote for their favourite from the shortlist of ten provided, which included new Tottenham signing Jurgen Klinsmann’s effort against the Koreans; above left. Following the huge news that Argentinian star Diego Maradona had failed a drugs test at the tournament and would be banned, BBC One broadcast a special twenty-five-minute programme before their coverage of Argentina’s final group match, against Bulgaria, documenting his story. Above right; Bob Wilson voiced ‘Maradona – A Special Report’ which featured archive footage, news reports and interviews. This was eight years on from his infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal in the 1986 World Cup against England, so the development sparked little sympathy from the British broadcasters and provided Baddiel and Skinner with further comedy ammo.


THE FINAL

Coverage of the last match on BBC One was hosted Live from the stadium as Des Lynam attended his first World Cup Final in person. Des’s previous tournament finales had been hosted from the BBC Studio in London. He was accompanied by Jimmy Hill and Alan Hansen in a cramped box which was presumably too small to also include Terry Venables. He instead found himself sat away from his fellow pundits and up on the gantry providing his thoughts when asked by Lynam during the pre- and post-match broadcast.

BRAZIL 0-0 ITALY (AET, BRA win 3-2 on pens) World Cup 1994 Final, Los Angeles
Sunday 17th July 1994, 8.30pm Kick Off BBC One Logo

BBC Final Studio BBC Final CreditsBBC Final Credits 2

PRESENTER Des Lynam GUESTS Jimmy Hill, Alan Hansen & Terry Venables
COMMENTATORS Barry Davies & Trevor Brooking
Hosted from the Rose Bowl, California     8.15-11pm Live on BBC One (Extended to approx 11.35pm)

Trophy Lift

For details on ITV’s World Cup 1994 coverage click HERE.

Small Screen Seagulls; FA Cup Away at the Big Boys

Small Screen Seagulls 2000sWith the move to the Withdean Stadium in 1999, Brighton’s fortunes on the field began improving markedly. Whilst the 1990s was a decade of decline, slipping down the Leagues and almost into oblivion, the early part of the 21st Century was a complete reversal of this. The biggest of the FA Cup ties whilst at Withdean were actually played on the road, with four trips to Premier League sides during that period. As the Albion climbed up the Football League, the ultimate aim was to join these Big Boys in the top flight for the first time since 1983. That season, the one and only time Brighton had reached the FA Cup Final (well, technically two including the Replay) was combined with relegation from the elite League. With financial troubles and homelessness, we seemed a world away from the huge riches of the Premier League but the ambitions of the club laid there. Here, take a look at the four occasions where Brighton got that little taste of the top table as we travelled in the FA Cup away at the Big Boys. Relive the games through clips of extended highlights and round up from BBC and ITV.


 

2004/05 Round Three goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (8th January 2005); Tottenham 2-1 Brighton 

2005 R3Tot Titles MOTD Studio 2005 2005 R3Tot Intro

The 2004/05 season was Brighton’s first back in the second tier after a year away. Having won the Division Two Play Off Final in May 2004, the Seagulls were plying their trade in the newly named Championship and things had begun a lot better than the last time at this level. At the mid-way point of the season, an FA Cup trip to White Hart Lane presented Mark McGhee’s men with a chance to face Premiership opposition in the form of Tottenham Hotspur. BBC held terrestrial FA Cup rights and a report was shown on Match of the Day on Third Round Saturday, the first time teams from the top two tiers entered the fray. The show was presented by Mark Pougatch, normally a leading voice on Radio Five Live, in a busy day for him having presented the lunchtime Live match that day. He was joined in the studio in London for the highlights by Lee Dixon and Gavin Peacock, two fringe BBC pundits. Reporter Rebecca Lowe voiced the goals round up.

2005 R3Tot Carpenter crossbar          2005 R3Tot King goal 2005 R3Tot Equaliser          2005 R3Tot Celebrations

Brighton, wearing the change kit of yellow, began well and hit the crossbar after a quarter of an hour when Richard Carpenter struck one from twenty-five yards out on the half-volley (above, top left). But it was the higher Division side who took the lead just before the break. A short corner on the far side was crossed into the box. England defender Ledley King met with a header on the edge of the six yard line which looped up and over goalkeeper Michel Kuipers to bounce in (above, top right). A couple of minutes after half time, Albion found the perfect response when Carpenter did get his goal this time. It came directly from a free kick from twenty-two yards which curled round the wall and beat Paul Robinson in goal to equalise brilliantly (above, bottom left). As the game was heading for a replay, Robbie Keane won it with an extraordinary goal from the edge of the area (below, top left). Seven minutes remained when the ball was chipped in to him from the left. With his back to goal and Guy Butters pressing high, he took one touch to control with his chest before swivelling and shooting on the volley. It flew into the top corner for one of the goals of the season. Afterwards, the Irishman presented his old Wolves manager McGhee with a signed shirt and had praise for the Albion in his interview; “They didn’t give us many chances, Brighton. They were so tight and congested in the midfield.” Spurs progressed to the Sixth Round where Newcastle eventually knocked them out, whilst Brighton survived relegation from the Championship thanks to a final day draw with Ipswich Live on Sky.

2005 R3Tot Keane winner 2005 R3Tot Keane 2005 R3Tot Final score


2006/07 Round Three highlights

Match of the Day, BBC One (6th January 2007); West Ham 3-0 Brighton 

2007 R3WHam Titles 2007 R3WHam Studio 2007 R3WHam Comm 2007 R3WHam Team News

Following relegation from the Championship in 2006 and a poor start to the League One campaign, Mark McGhee was sacked in September and replaced by youth team coach and former Albion midfielder Dean Wilkins. Brighton’s FA Cup matches couldn’t have gone better this season, back having to begin at Round One again after a couple of years in at the Third. The first game saw a Withdean record; an eight-nil victory over non-League Northwich Victoria. This was followed up by a three-nil scoreline against another non-League outfit, Stafford Rangers. With the top teams entering at Round Three, last season’s losing finalists West Ham were drawn to play the Seagulls at their famous Upton Park stadium. Terrestrial Cup broadcaster BBC showed brief highlights of the clash with commentary during their Saturday night Match of the Day broadcast. This was hosted from Television Centre by Ray Stubbs alongside pundits Lee Dixon and Gavin Peacock. When the Premiership highlights returned to the BBC after three years away in 2004, every match was covered with a commentary and these extra voices were utilised during the Cup shows. Commentating on our tie was MotD regular Alistair Mann. The edit was only short so the teams were not displayed in full, instead opting to use the scrolling info bar at the bottom of the screen, where Arsenal defender Joe O’Cearull made his Albion debut.

2007 R3WHam Opener 2007 R3WHam Cole goal 2007 R3WHam Zamora chance 2007 R3WHam Third goal

The Seagulls wore their change kit of white shirts with blue shorts and socks. The two debutants, O’Cearull for us and Luis Boa Morte for the home side, tangled legs in the first half and risked giving West Ham a penalty. Referee Mark Halsey deemed it accidental. Tommy Fraser had a good chance for Brighton when presented with a heading chance unmarked in the centre, the connection though lacked any pace and was easy for Roy Carroll in the sticks. Right at the start of the second half, the deadlock was broken by youth graduate Mark Noble – his first goal for the club. Boa Morte’s cross on the left was flicked over by Guy Butters, then headed down by Carlos Tevez into Noble’s path to run on to. As the defender rushed to block, Noble got his shot away (above, top left) on the half-volley which Wayne Henderson in goal wasn’t quite able to keep out. Alex Revell came close to an equaliser but couldn’t quite reach to nod home from Hart’s cross as the opportunity flashed across goal. Punishment came just before the hour mark when Carlton Cole made it two (above, top right), despite Albion protesting offside. Boa Morte’s cross found Cole unmarked to sidefoot volley into the top corner. Former Seagull Bobby Zamora, on the books of West Ham having moved from Spurs, came on and was inches from netting. Yossi Benayoun made contact with the ball to send it skidding to the back post where Zamora was. Zamora tried to get the definitive touch just as it was about to touch the post and it just ended up flying back off the woodwork (above, bottom left), the offside flag would have prevented him had he scored anyway. With virtually the final kick of the match, West Ham got their third through Hayden Mullins heading home Shaun Newton’s cross (above, bottom right). Three-nil the final scoreline.

2007 R3WHam Final Score 2007 R3WHam Wilkins 2007 R3WHam Analysis

In his post match interview, manager Dean Wilkins thought his young side showed their inexperience in attack; “I think if we’d have shown a bit more calmness, a bit more awareness, within the final third once we did break I think we could have scored the first goal.” Former Albion player Alan Curbishley had newly been appointed West Ham boss and called for his fans to get behind their midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker after being on the end of plenty of abuse all season. The stats showed equal possession but West Ham dominating the shots and corners. In the studio, Gavin Peacock analysed the Clarets new look, with particular focus on how well Carlos Tevez played; “He was bright and he was lively and aggressive in his running.” The Hammers exited at the hands of Watford in the next round. Brighton’s season saw them continue to struggle as costs were tightened and the playing squad increasingly dominated by unknown youngsters. The Albion finished in eighteenth in the League One table.


2009/10 Round Four highlights

FA Cup Highlights, ITV1 (23rd January 2010); Aston Villa 3-2 Brighton

2010 R4Vil Titles 2010 R4Vil Studio 2010 R4Vil Intro

Much had changed at Brighton since the FA Cup trip to West Ham in 2007. The biggest news was the stadium, as Falmer had finally been given the go-ahead and work had begun at the site with completion due for summer 2011. The man in the dugout at Withdean had changed twice since then too. After a makeshift first season, Dean Wilkins guided the Seagulls to an impressive seventh place in the 2007/08 campaign, narrowly missing out on the League One Play Offs. Yet that wasn’t enough to keep his job and former boss Micky Adams returned to the hot seat in May 2008. Having guided us to the, then, Division Three title in 2001 before the Premiership came calling, optimism was high upon his return. However that did not work out at all, with League form slipping finishing sixteenth in 2008/09 and not improving much in the opening months of the 2009/10 campaign. Chairman Dick Knight wielded the axe in November and brought in former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder Gus Poyet for his first managerial role. With the club in the bottom six upon his arrival, he changed the philosophy of the team from long-ball to a skilful passing side. Some took to it better than others, whilst others such as Adam El-Abd were transformed under Poyet. He got off to a perfect start with a three-one away win at Southampton Live on Sky in his first match, and steadily lifted the club up the table. The FA Cup campaign began with a caretaker manager, Martin Hinshelwood took charge of the incredible four-four draw at Wycombe, before the two-nil victory at Withdean saw Poyet make it two wins out of two. In Round Two there was a closer-fought three-two win to knock Rushden and Diamonds out, whilst Torquay were dispatched in Round Three by a goal to nil at Plainmoor. The Fourth Round draw saw a trip to the Midlands to face Premier League Aston Villa, managed by Martin O’Neill. FA Cup rights had transferred from the BBC to ITV in 2008, and the commercial network broadcast their Fourth Round highlights show on the Saturday night which included a short commentary edit on our clash. Their theme tune brought in this season was by The Enemy, titled Be Somebody; rather apt for a competition known for smaller clubs making their name.

2010 R4Vil Comm 2010 R4Vil 1st goal 2010 R4Vil Elphick goal 2010 R4Vil Young goal 

Ned Boulting was in the presenter’s chair in the London Studio for this edition, joined by ITV pundit Robbie Earle and former Brighton manager, amongst many other clubs, Steve Coppell. In the commentary box was John Rawling. He was more familiar as their voice of boxing, having covered the sport previously for Radio Five Live and Setanta, but was used over the past couple of seasons infrequently on Football League and Champions League highlights shows. Gus Poyet was relying on his prolific strike force of Glenn Murray and Nicky Forster to continue to fire together, with support from the likes of Andrew Crofts and Elliott Bennett behind them. Adam Virgo had returned to the club after a couple of seasons away and joined a defence which included academy graduate Tommy Elphick. Villa’s side included former Albion loanee Steve Sidwell in midfield and had hit scored six past Blackburn whilst conceding four in the League Cup the previous midweek. Fifty-six League places separated the sides at the start of play, and it was Villa who got off to the better start with a goal after just five minutes. Captain Ashley Young sent Marc Albrighton running down the wing. He skipped past the lunge of Elphick before crossing low for Nathan Delfouneso to steer home from close range (above, top right). Brighton responded four minutes before the break through Elliott Bennett’s corner on the far side. A number of Albion players were waiting in space in the middle. It came off Adam El Abd and landed on the six yard line for fellow defender Tommy Elphick to swivel and finish expertly (above, bottom left) for the equaliser past several claret and blue bodies in the way. Rawling rightly described them as “the Villa defence all over the place!” It took just three second-half minutes for the home side to regain the lead thanks to Young’s header. Stewart Downing stood the ball up to the back post where Young jumped highest and saw his header fly past Kuipers and in off the post (above, bottom right).

2010 R4Vil Delph goal 2010 R4Vil Forster goal 2010 R4Vil Final Score 2010 R4Vil Poyet

James Milner provided Fabian Delph with an excellent chance to score a third but Kuipers was equal to it, using his body to block effectively before the defence helped him out. The two Villans combined with less than half an hour to play and this time they did make it three-one. Milner sent Delph clear, covering defender Inigo Calderon got back to force him to check his run. However, the opportunity still presented itself and his strike on the edge of the box went through Calderon’s legs and under the diving hand of Kuipers to score and put the game to bed (above, top left). Brighton did get a consolation in stoppage time thanks to Nicky Forster to make the scoreline more respectable. The ball across was dummied and found Forster in the centre with his back to goal. He held off the defender before arching his body to swivel and shoot, much like Elphick in the first half. The finish was clinical, as you’d expect from a man who scored goals wherever he went in his career, low and hard into the back of the net past Brad Guzan (above, top right). This was the striker’s fiftieth for Brighton. It was too little too late for the Seagulls, whose FA Cup adventure came to an end at the Fourth Round stage for the first time since a trip to Manchester United in 1993. Gus Poyet afterwards admitted he was aware of the size of the task against a Premier League club; “I knew it was difficult to cope for more than an hour with the same pace, the strength of the opposition… They are not only better technically, they are better physically.” Villa progressed all the way to Wembley and the Semi Finals. After seeing off Crystal Palace and Reading, it was eventual winners Chelsea who knocked them out. Brighton continued to flourish under Poyet, who steered them to a thirteenth placed finish in League One with the foundations laid for a good season to come.


2010/11 Round Five highlights

FA Cup Highlights, ITV1 (19th February 2011); Stoke City 3-0 Brighton 

2011 R5Sto Titles 2011 R5Sto Smith 2011 R5Sto Teams

The 2010/2011 campaign was Brighton’s final one at the eleven-year temporary home of Withdean Stadium. Gus Poyet and his entertaining football side were tearing League One apart, climbing to the summit early on and never looking back. They were on course to open the new home in Falmer with Championship football and a title to boot. The good form also transferred to the FA Cup, where Brighton reached the Fifth Round – the last sixteen of the competition – for the first time in twenty-five years. After a shaky start, drawing nil-nil at home to Woking and needing a penalty shoot-out in the replay to progress, round two saw a shock draw with non-League FC United of Manchester. A four-nil win in the replay was more like it. The third round saw an impressive three-one victory over Portsmouth, Cup finalists the year before and a Division above in the Championship before a further second tier side was sent packing in round four as Watford were beaten on their own patch. This set up a meeting with Tony Pulis’s Premier League Stoke City at the Britannia. It would be a clash of styles, with Pulis known for the long ball game and utilising throw-ins, up against Poyet’s more modern, passing game. The Cup schedule was a little all over the place, with Fourth Round matches taking place at the same time owing to postponements and replays congesting matters. So ITV’s Saturday night highlights show featured action from both stages, presented by Matt Smith. The theme tune was the same as the previous year; The Enemy with Be Somebody, but the graphics went through a transformation. Commentating on the action was freelancer Jim Proudfoot, formerly of Sky Sports and Setanta but here more frequently heard on ESPN’s European Leagues and talkSPORT radio. He is also remembered fondly by Albion fans for his excited scream of “STORERRRRR!” during his South Coast Radio days, commentating on Brighton’s final game at the Goldstone against Doncaster in 1997 alongside Tony Millard.

2011 R5Sto Comm 2011 R5Sto Carew goal 2011 R5Sto 2nd goal 2011 R5Sto Shawcross goal

Elite level referee Howard Webb was the man in charge of this tie. The team line ups saw almost a full strength Stoke, with last year’s top scorer in the Cup John Carew up front. Kenwynne Jones was missing but had regulars Jon Walters, Jermaine Pennant, Rory Delap and Matthew Etherington all ready to create the danger. The back line of Shawcross and Huth took no prisoners in a physical set up. The Albion had Cup ‘keeper Peter Brezovan in goal, supported in front by Tommy Elphick, captain Gordon Greer and Marcos Painter. Elliott Bennett and Gary Dicker would look to provide Barnes and Murray with the opportunities, whilst Liam Bridcutt was the rock protecting the defence. Set pieces were Stoke’s main goal threat, be it free kicks, corners or the throw in. Rory Delap was renowned for the latter and it was exactly that which created the opening goal. Delap chucked it in to the mixer where Brezovan came to collect. He didn’t get there ahead of big John Carew who just flicked it on with the top of his head and into the net before the quarter of an hour mark. It soon became two-nil eight minutes later after Jermaine Pennant teed up Marc Wilson to cross on the overlap. His ball in was met by the head of Walters at the near post through the arms of Brezovan and gave the Albion a mountain to climb so early on. Brezovan wasn’t covering himself in glory and flapped at another punch later on, giving Walters another chance which had to be headed off the line by Greer. Barnes and Murray combined with an interchange to give Barnes a rare sight of goal but his effort was lifted high and over. The third Stoke goal came two minutes before the break and began, you guessed it, from another dangerous corner. Pennant’s ball in was flicked on at the near post to the far one where Ryan Shawcross was arriving. He lost his marker and bulleted the ball in with his head, nobody on the line and too much power for Brezovan to react in time. The Potters captain had sealed the result before we’d even reached half time, Brighton had no answer to the brute force of the red and white stripes. Substitute Cristian Baz went closest for the Seagulls in the second half but in truth it wasn’t troubling Sorensen whilst another sub – Jake Forster-Caskey – also tried his luck but it wasn’t to be and Brighton lost by three goals to nil.

2011 R5Sto Final score 2011 R5Sto Poyet 2011 R5Sto Studio 2011 R5Sto Allardyce

Gus Poyet said in his post match chat “We tried. I think the best part is we didn’t change our game.” This point was picked up on by the former Bolton and Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce in the London Studio for ITV; “If you go and watch Stoke City and do your scouting, your normal game you cannot play if it’s a passing game because Stoke don’t let you.” He said the application of constant pressure, corner after corner, broke down Brighton and the physical edge paid dividends once more for them at the Brit. It was a tactic that took Stoke City all the way to the FA Cup Final where they lost to a solitary Manchester City goal at Wembley in the process securing them a thirteenth place Premier League finish and a spot in the UEFA Europa League qualifying. The Seagulls soared to the League One title, beating Southampton by three points, to secure a dream start to life at Falmer with a promotion party. In doing so they were one step closer to that top flight dream. With the foundations in place for something special, the early years at the new ground would be about building on all these experiences gained during the Withdean years and push for that final hurdle up to the top. It was beginning to look very exciting again for Brighton and Hove Albion.


Although the Albion lost on all four of these occasions, they were reaching the stages of the FA Cup where they hadn’t been for a long time. Therefore the opposition were of increased quality. The trips to these fantastic Premier League stadiums were in stark contrast to the home ground where Brighton had played since 1999; Withdean. This spurred the players on to perform better, to show they are worthy of these fine venues and, most importantly, highlighted how much of a necessity it was that the Seagulls had one of these to call their own. The Amex opened its doors in the summer of 2011 with Brighton League One Champions and about to compete in the second tier again. Within weeks of the new campaign at the new home, Premier League teams were coming to our place and being impressed with the facilities. The next aim? To become one of those elite clubs ourselves. Withdean served us well but Falmer would catapult the club to new heights with the big boys, and the Cup would provide some great days.

Small Screen Seagulls; FA Cup in the Nineties part 1

Brighton on TVBrighton’s exploits in the FA Cup during the nineties provide a decent insight into the rollercoaster experience of being a Seagulls supporter during the most troubling of decades for the club. Throughout the decade, Brighton competed in all three Divisions of the Football League, plummeting from the heights of a Wembley Play Off Final appearance in 1991 all the way down to surviving the drop to the Conference only on goals scored in 1997. Appearances in the high court were more frequent than appearances in the latter stages of the Cup. Whilst Cup ties in the 1990s saw the Albion excite in matches against top flight giants Liverpool and thrash local side Crawley, some of the lowest lows on the pitch also happened. Non-League Sudbury Town and Kingstonian provided huge shocks whilst Canvey Island forced a replay. If ever you needed illustrating just how desperate things had gotten, this whirlwind look back should provide some insight. This is the first part, the second is available HERE.


1990/91 Round Four goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (26th January 1991); Liverpool 2-2 Brighton 

91R4 Liv Intro 91R4 Liv Penalty

Reporter Ray Stubbs voiced the goals to Brighton’s trip to Anfield in the Fourth Round in 1991 for BBC Match of the Day: The Road to Wembley. Between 1988 and 1992 the programme only held rights to the FA Cup, with League football signed up exclusively on ITV. Des Lynam presented in the studio with Trevor Brooking as an hour and ten minutes were devoted to covering the Fourth Round Saturday. Albion weren’t chosen as one of the three featured matches so the goals were around two minutes worth of Stubbs’ round-up. Division One Champions Liverpool, managed by Kenny Dalglish, hosted Barry Lloyd’s Second Division outfit in Cup tie which saw a dramatic late comeback. The Reds opened the scoring shortly after half time when Ian Rush latched onto John Barnes good chip upfield which split the Albion back line. Rush’s heavy touch forced him into a sliding finish under pressure twelve yards out, the power giving Mark Beeney no chance. At the other end, Bruce Grobbelaar produced a good save to keep John Crumplin’s effort out and just moments later it was two-nil. Ian Rush was the danger man again, beating the offside trap to latch onto Barry Venison’s through ball. Replays show he in fact fooled the linesman, as there’s more than a hint of offside. Anyhow, Rush dinked it over the onrushing goalie with his left foot to double the advantage after ten second half minutes. Brighton looked down and out but that changed with seventeen left on the clock. A long kick upfield was flicked on for Paul McCarthy in the penalty area with a shooting chance. Irish defender Steve Staunton upended the striker as he was about to pull the trigger and the Seagulls had a penalty. Mike Small made no mistake with the kick, blasting it into the top right-hand corner. And five minutes later the comeback was complete thanks to a bullet diving header from John Byrne. A deep cross from the right was headed across goal by Small to be met by Byrne unmarked at the back stick six yards out; two-two. There was no stopping that and meant a rematch was needed to decide who would progress to Round Five.

R194 Liv equaliser 91R4 Liv Scoreline

 

Round Four Replay extended highlights

Sportsnight, BBC One (30th January 1991); Brighton 1-1 Liverpool (2-3 AET) 

BBC Sport 1991 Sportsnight 1991 91R4R Liv Rider 91R4R Liv Studio

The Replay at the Goldstone ground four days later was covered extensively by midweek BBC round-up show Sportsnight. The long running highlights programme dated back to the end of the 1960s. It featured action from multiple sports, similar in approach to the weekend Grandstand but with the emphasis on recorded highlights, as opposed to Match of the Day which principally covered football. David Coleman anchored the programme for the first five years until 1972 before Tony Gubba took the reins. It was during his era that the show moved from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. Live and recorded European Cup football, Cup replays and internationals would regularly take place in midweek and Sportsnight would be there to cover it. With football playing a key part of the schedule the programme would usually only be on air during the regular season. The theme tune was instantly recognisable, with its fast tempo and news-style beat. For this ninety-minute Wednesday night edition of Sportsnight, Steve Rider anchored proceedings from Television Centre in London. He had been the regular host of the show since joining the BBC from ITV in 1985, taking over from boxing commentator Harry Carpenter. Prior to switching, Rider reported for ITV’s Saturday afternoon strand World of Sport and covered Olympic Games, golf and football, all of which he went on to cover for the Beeb. In the studio alongside Rider was Tottenham boss Terry Venables. He was a regular in the pundit’s seat for the Beeb since the mid-80s and covered World Cups and European Championships as well as England internationals for the corporation. It wasn’t just the Brighton versus Liverpool clash that would feature on this programme, as action from other Fourth Round Replays followed; with Arsenal at Leeds as well as games at West Ham and Sheffield Wednesday. The introduction reminded us of Brighton’s good record against the Reds in recent FA Cup seasons, knocking them out en route to the Final in 1983 and then again the following season when the clubs were a Division apart. Describing the match action was the one and only Barry Davies in his 22nd season with the BBC.

91R4R Liv Brighton 91R4R Liv Liverpool

Both team line ups were strengthened from the original tie. For Brighton, manager Barry Lloyd was able to select Robert Codner in at number ten after suspension, taking Bryan Wade’s place. Up front were Mike Small and John Byrne, the two scorers at Anfield. Dean Wilkins captained the side from midfield with former Norwich man Mark Barham and ex-Chelsea winger Clive Walker on the flanks. Long-serving goalkeeper Perry Digweed had been at the Albion for a decade now, as had defender Steve Gatting. The latter was part of the starting line up in the 1983 FA Cup Final. He was partnered for tonight’s match by nineteen-year-old Irishman Paul McCarthy. Full backs John Crumplin and Gary Chivers both moved to Sussex towards the end of the eighties. That decade was one of dominance for tonight’s visitors, but Kenny Dalglish’s Champions had enjoyed just two wins in their last eight games. His line-up was packed full of household names such as captain Ronnie Whelan, who returned after nine matches out with a hamstring injury. Also selected were talisman John Barnes, goalscoring hero Ian Rush and the three Steves – Nicol, Staunton and McMahon. If the game were to go all the way to penalties then goalie Bruce Grobbelaar would fancy his chances, after his wobbly-legged antics did for Roma in the ’84 European Cup Final shoot-out. The Reds had even more strength on the bench, with Peter Beardsley and creative playmaker Jan Molby the two allotted options to choose from. Second Division Brighton would be in for a tough task to replicate the latter stages form displayed in the first match against this back-to-back title hunting Liverpool. The referee at the Goldstone was Brian Hill. Commentator Barry Davies set the giant-killing scene by reminding us of the Seagulls excellent Cup record against Liverpool; “Looking for lightning to strike for the third time. ’83, ’84, would it be ’91 as well?”

91R4R Liv Opening goal 91R4R Liv Small one one

Brighton went close very early on when Codner headed a cross on, Ronnie Whelan’s flick almost took it into his own net but landed just shy of the post. The usual suspects were just getting into their stride for the away team, with Rush and Barnes both having efforts off target. Barnes was sporting gloves and black tights, the January South Coast chill too much for the England international. But the Redmen were warmed up when McMahon broke the deadlock after ten minutes (above, top left). It all started with a poor goal kick from Perry Digweed which immediately invited pressure back. Steve McMahon robbed the defence to set Barnes in behind. His left footed strike was pushed away by Digweed but following up at the back post sliding in was McMahon ahead of McCarthy. Undeterred by this setback, Brighton went close to scrambling an equaliser soon after. Clive Walker’s free kick was into the danger zone where John Byrne couldn’t quite connect how he would have liked, Grobbelaar to the rescue to block aided by his defence. It would be the Albion who struck next with an equaliser through Mike Small (above, top right). Walker tried his luck from twenty yards out, the connection wasn’t quite right for the shot but it did find its way to Small on the penalty spot, via a deflection, with no Liverpool defender in sight. He did well to take it down with his first touch before blasting it low into Grobbelaar’s bottom-left hand corner. Barry Davies’ initial call was “Offside, surely? No it’s not! No it’s not. Small has scored.” Replays didn’t really clear things up too much, the definitive angle wasn’t to be had, but Brighton did not care one jot! The linesman didn’t raise his flag and the goal stood. With nine minutes to go in the first half it was one-one.

91R4R Liv Disallowed 91R4R Liv Rebound 91R4R Liv Extra Time 91R4R Liv Byrne goal

The second period began with Liverpool looking threatening. They were nearly gifted the lead when Crumplin’s backpass was intercepted by Nicol. Luckily his shot across the face of goal crept just wide of the post. Brighton looked dangerous too and were denied the lead when referee Hill blew for, well, something but it was really not clear why. It appeared that Grobbelaar just lost out when coming to claim Wilkins’ corner and with two players on the goal line when Mike Small cleverly back-headed the ball into the net there was no question of offside. Hill was well placed (above, top left) so he must have seen something the viewers didn’t. Up the other end Liverpool managed to miss when a goal seemed a certainty. Steve Staunton had a shot from the far side of the area which went right across the face of goal towards the back stick. Waiting there was McMahon who looked like he’d be getting another close range finish but he couldn’t quite get a touch and it chipped up off the post (above, top right) and flew towards the other corner of the goal, landing just the right side from a Brighton perspective. “An amazing escape!” cried Davies. Chances continued to come for both sides, with Dean Wilkins looking to score from distance on many occasions. The closest came from a quickly taken free kick thirty yards out, Grobbelaar stayed alert to tip over. The sides couldn’t be separated within the ninety so Extra Time was required, with Liverpool using it to strengthen by bringing on Jan Molby. Grobbelaar was still failing to claim cleanly from corners, which looked like Brighton’s best chance of scoring another. “Some of the scrambles in the Liverpool six yard area have been quite unreal for a side of their pedigree,” Davies summarised. In the eighth minute of Extra Time, John Byrne scored to give the Seagulls the lead for the first time in over three hours of these Cup ties. Codner headed the free kick taken from inside the Albion half. John Byrne latched onto it and outpaced Gary Ablett, who stuck a leg out which just aided the striker. “A golden touch at the Goldstone Ground!” Byrne finished past Grobbelaar into the corner with a fabulous first time strike (above, bottom right). The packed Goldstone almost lifted the roof off, with one or two even straying onto the field in celebration. ‘Que Sera Sera’ began to ring round the famous old ground as memories of ’83 came flooding back for those in attendance.

91R4R Liv 2-2 Scoreline 91R4R Liv Winner 91R4R Liv Final Score

Just fifteen more minutes for Brighton to hold out as the second half of Extra Time got underway. But Liverpool struck an immediate blow. Substitute Beardsley made an immediate impact as it was his ball to Ian Rush which created the equaliser. The bobbling pass was taken on by Rush with his first touch, before firing an unstoppable shot into Digweed’s top left-hand corner from the edge of the area. It was a magnificent finish to make it two-two. Into the closing stages and Liverpool completed a comeback of their own to finally win the tie. With six minutes remaining it was the man who kick started tonight’s goals off who netted the final one; Steve McMahon. He started the move off and several neat, first time passes later he was behind the Albion back line, set free by Rush, and with Wilkins unable to quite cut it out, McMahon opened his body up and finished clinically past Digweed (above, top right), sending the 1,500 away fans into rapturous applause. The final score, after Extra Time in the replay, was Brighton two, Liverpool three. Barry Lloyd believed the introduction of Jan Molby to be the deciding factor when speaking in his post-match interview (below, left). “The change was when he came on the pitch and they shored their game up a wee bit and that was the difference.” Lloyd was in fine spirits, laughing with Barry Davies at the “marvellous” game, pushing the Champions all the way. Back in the studio, pundit Terry Venables (below, right) was full of praise for the Seagulls; “They certainly had them on the rack there for a long time and all credit to Brighton. They give it every shot they had there and there was some incredible scrambles from both sides. I thought it was a terrific Cup tie.” The first talking point of the analysis was on whether Mike Small’s goal was offside or not, with Venables believing him to be “well offside”, but replays were still not providing a definitive answer. He believed the disallowed effort should have stood and saw nothing wrong with it, the refereeing decisions therefore evening themselves out. The Reds faced Everton in Round Five where they lost one-nil, whilst the Seagulls did go on to make it to Wembley in May 1991; in the Division Two Play Off Final where Notts County took the spoils.

91R4R Liv Lloyd 91R4R Liv Venables


1991/92 Round Three goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (4th January 1992); Brighton 5-0 Crawley 

92R3 Cra Intro 92R3 Cra Opener

Des Lynam was in the chair as usual to host Match of the Day: The Road to Wembley for this Third Round programme, one of the most anticipated dates in the calendar as the big boys and the minnows have the potential to go head-to-head. Brighton, still managed by Barry Lloyd, were drawn to face fellow Sussex club Crawley for the first time in a full fixture. The semi-professional Southern Premier Division side were enjoying their best ever FA Cup run but were no match for the Albion, themselves having a poor season. After losing out on promotion in the Play Off Final at Wembley just seven months earlier, Brighton’s Cup campaign got off to a five-star start. Gerald Sinstadt voiced the best of the action in the round-up, with the home side “in their deck chair stripes.” Striker Mark Gall got the scoring underway in the twenty-fourth minute (above right) after controlling a long punt forward with his chest before sidestepping the defender and rifling it through the goalkeeper. Thirty-four-year-old Clive Walker doubled the lead with a nicely taken curler from the edge of the box that had a hint of a deflection on the way to deceive the ‘keeper. A young Ian Chapman made it three (below left) with a fantastic finish from a similar position, Sinstadt described it as “a ferocious finish” into the top corner, it bounced down off the crossbar. Into the second half and Chapman scored again, this time from the penalty spot as he sent the goalie the wrong way. The foul wasn’t shown, presumably to cram this many goals into a sub-two-minute report! The action was rounded off by Raphael Meade, who hit home a volley from seven yards out after Bryan Wade’s effort rebounded off Winterton in goal. A terrific win in front of the highest home attendance of the season, Sinstadt pointed out the positives for the away side; “Crawley’s consolation was a share of a £110,000 gate receipt.” The Seagulls reached Round Four for the third season running.

92R3 Chapman goal 92R3 Cra Scoreline


1991/92 Round Four highlights

Match of the Day, BBC One (25th January 1992); Bolton 2-1 Brighton 

92R4 Bury studio 92R4 Bury teams

Brighton’s reward for a demolition of Crawley was a trip to Third Division Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park. The ingredients were there for a potential Cup upset, with the higher Division team travelling to the lower League club. Fourth Round Saturday though was hugely depleted by adverse weather, with only five ties surviving. BBC Match of the Day salvaged three of them to get the featured highlights treatment; West Ham hosting giantkillers Wrexham, Leicester versus Bristol City and, finally, our very own trip to Bolton filled the seventy minutes that Saturday night. This was our first MotD commentary edit since March 1986! Des Lynam hosted in the studio with Trevor Brooking. Des talked us through the two line-ups before handing to our commentator. For Phil Neal’s home side, former Celtic striker Andy Walker was banging in the goals as was Tony Philliskirk, both began up front. A young Alan Stubbs became a regular this campaign whilst Tony Kelly was impressing at the back. As for the Albion, much had changed from last season’s Fourth Round appearance, as both Mike Small and John Byrne had since been sold on and the experience of Steve Gatting was lost to Charlton. Form too had dipped, not winning in any of December’s five matches. The line-up at Bolton included John Robinson in midfield and a reserve partnership at the back due to injury and suspension which resulted in Nicky Bissett and Paul McCarthy getting the nod in place of Gary Chivers and Gary O’Reilly. Goalscorers in Round Three – Raphael Meade, Ian Chapman and Clive Walker – all looked to add to their Cup tally. Having to juggle things around due to the numerous postponements presented the opportunity for Ralph Dellor to do his one and only commentary for the show. Dellor was best known for his cricket work and was a big part of the Test Match Special team for many years. With Bolton wearing their familiar strip, the Albion had to wear their away kit which Lynam described as “Bolton in white, Brighton in..well, the other colour.” The famous ‘Chewit wrapper’ red and white kit.

92R4 Bury Meade goal 92R4 Bury aston

Around ten minutes of match action was afforded. The first action of the highlights edit was a chance for Brighton. Crumplin’s free kick on the half way line bounced up on the edge of the box for Meade to challenge with the goalkeeper. Felgate punched but the loose ball fell to Bryan Wade. He dragged his shot wide under pressure from the Bolton captain. Bolton’s first effort was a long ranger from Tony Kelly, no problem for Beeney in the eye-watering green and black shirt with white and red shorts. They nearly took the lead when Darby’s shot went just wide. Wanderers continued to pepper the Albion goal, with Kelly having another hit from outside the area which needed to be pushed away well, right at the end of the half. The whistle came just at the right time for the Seagulls as the final act saw Philliskirk’s header crash against the crossbar. The second half continued in the same manner, with Patterson going close before Andy Walker finally broke the deadlock for the home side. The chance arose from Green’s quick throw on the near side which was flicked on by Philliskirk. Walker reacted quicker than McCarthy in defence to poke home from just a couple of yards for one-nil. Brighton’s equaliser came out of the blue starting with a long hit and hope forward by Ian Chapman. A touch from his strike partner on halfway immediately sent Raphael Meade clear on goal behind the defence. He took two touches to maintain the momentum before sliding and toe-poking the ball as he beared down on goal (above left). By taking it early he gave the covering defender no opportunity to make a tackle and also caught the ‘keeper flat-footed to the delight of the travelling Seagulls ten minutes into the second half. The winning goal came from a terrible error by Paul McCarthy who stumbled and handled the ball as it skipped up awkwardly off the turf. It presented Tony Philliskirk with the chance to convert from the penalty spot, which he duly did with his trusty left foot (below left) as nineteen minutes remained. The Whitemen held out for another famous FA Cup win, having knocked holders Liverpool out in Round Three. Derby ended the run in Round Five, whilst Brighton were relegated into the third tier at the end of the season, finishing just one place above the bottom.

92R4 Bury penalty 92R4 Bury Scoreline


1992/93 Round Two goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (5th December 1992); Brighton 1-1 Woking 

93R2 Wok Intro 93R2 Wok Headed goal

The Albion knocked out Hayes two-nil in the First Round to set up another clash with a non-League club in Round Two, as Woking came to Sussex. Gerald Sinstadt once again rounded-up the action from third-tier Brighton’s FA Cup tie as part of his report on Match of the Day on BBC One. The BBC had highlights rights to both League and Cup from this season’s formation of the FA Premier League and so the best of the Second Round games were slotted into a seventy-five minute programme alongside the top flight League action presented by Des Lynam. Therefore just thirty seconds were needed to showcase the two goals at the Goldstone. Sinstadt’s voiceover began, like previously, with a comment on the Albion’s kit and skilfully managed to link in the club’s off the field problems; “Brighton, wearing the converted sun blinds, emerged from the shadow of the Inland Revenue and the threat of a winding-up order to take the lead against Woking.” This was in reference to the financial struggles Brighton were facing, debts built up and the board’s rescue plan was refused – planning permission for retail units on the site of the ground was rejected. Manager Barry Lloyd was increasingly having to focus on these matters and sell his best players just to stay afloat. On the field, the Albion’s goal came from a deep cross on the near touchline by John Crumplin. Scottish forward Andy Kennedy leapt highest to head home (above right) in the first half. That lead lasted almost an hour before Shane Wye (bottom left) reacted to a misplaced header to drive home his low volley along the ground and past Mark Beeney to equalise. A replay was scheduled for eleven days time, coincidentally on the same day the Seagulls next had to answer to the taxman in the High Court.

93R2 Wok Equaliser 93R2 Wok Scoreline

 

Round Two Replay goals

FA Cup Special, Sky Sports (16th December 1992); Woking 1-2 Brighton 

93R2R Wok Scoreline 93R2R Wok Celebration

Richard Keys was in the studio this midweek as Sky Sports wrapped up the story of the Second Round of the FA Cup with voiceover reports covering the Replays. In a clip that screamed early 90s telly, the goals were soundtracked by fast guitar and drum beat that ITV’s Gladiators would have probably liked. Reporter Nick Collins leant his dulcet tones to the short report, which began by referencing the Albion’s High Court appearance earlier in the day. With around £400,000 owed, negotiations would carry on for much of the rest of the season before the sale of Mark Beeney to Leeds in April ’93 for £350,000 just about bailed us out. Brighton had to be bailed out on the pitch a lot sooner in Surrey when Woking took an eighth minute lead. Steve Biggins crossed for ex-Reading striker Trevor Senior to turn home from six yards. Robert Codner burst through the middle of the park to equalise with a fine strike on the edge of the area and celebrate with the travelling support who had spilled onto the turf (above right) ten minutes before the break. As Extra Time loomed, Brighton struck a winner with five minutes remaining. A cross into the box was headed beyond the back stick where Gary Chivers was waiting. He flicked it back into the middle where John Crumplin dived for a header. It took a huge deflection off a nearby defender to loop up and over the despairing ‘keeper’s dive (below left) and in. A huge let off for Brighton, on and off field, to the relief of Barry Lloyd (below right), not that he was in any mood to show it. The Third Round saw fellow Southern region club Portsmouth travel to the Goldstone and were swiftly dispatched one-nil. After that? Only Manchester United at Old Trafford!

93R2R Wok Winner 93R2R Wok Barry Lloyd


1992/93 Round Four goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (23rd January 1993); Manchester Utd 1-0 Brighton 

93R4 ManU BBC Lynam 93R4 ManU BBC Giggs

This was Brighton’s fourth consecutive appearance in Round Four of the FA Cup and their fifth in six years. In 1993 it was Premiership title-chasing Manchester United who hosted the Albion, in front of a packed house at Old Trafford. Match of the Day was on The Road to Wembley once more as Des Lynam hosted the best of the action from Television Centre with Trevor Brooking and Alan Hansen. Lynam explained Brighton were “desperate for some kind of result to help out with their current financial predicament.” The match received a short one-minute round-up voiced by reporter David Davies, who went on to join the FA the following year. It began with what looked like a penalty for the Seagulls as Andy Kennedy went down under pressure from goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, the referee disagreed. Next, Clive Walker stood a cross up from the left which Nicky Bissett got his head to but went agonisingly wide as Schmeichel was caught out. A let off for a sluggish Manchester United who showed their class in the second half with a fantastic bit of skill from Welsh winger Ryan Giggs (above right). He played keepy-uppy with three touches before flicking it over the head of Steve Foster to get into the penalty area. It led to nothing and the breakthrough goal was not forthcoming. United thought they had it when Lee Sharpe’s cross was headed back across goal by Keith Gillespie to Brian McClair centre just a couple of yards out (below left). He turned the ball into the net. The linesman came to the Seagulls rescue. But the Premiership Champions-elect would ultimately not be denied as Giggs curled home a terrific free-kick with less than a quarter of an hour to play. A result which came to the relief of Red Devils midfielder Paul Ince (below right).

93R4 ManU BBC Offside goal 93R4 ManU BBC Ince

Also; FA Cup Special, Sky Sports

93R4 ManU Sky intro 93R4 ManU Sky No pen

Sky Sports held Live and highlights rights to the FA Cup in a joint deal with the BBC and had done since the channel’s inception in 1991. Their round-up show, presented by Richard Keys in the studio, included a one-minute report on Brighton’s trip to Old Trafford. It was voiced by reporter Tony Lockwood, this time sans backing music. This report began with a look at the penalty which wasn’t given (above right), with the behind the goal angle perhaps suggesting minimal actual contact. The Nicky Bissett miss (below left) gets worse every time you see it, with Walker’s cross being flapped at by Peter Schmeichel and landing right on the head of Bissett with the goal gaping just four yards out. He had to angle his body in order to jump for the ball which must have hampered the accuracy, as the power was achieved and would have given the ‘keeper no chance if on target. After showing the disallowed goal, they showed the excellent Ryan Giggs free kick which separated the sides. From the angle behind the goal (below right) you follow the ball’s flight path all the way in from just outside the box to nestling in Beeney’s net. “At nineteen, Giggs is one of the hottest properties in the game,” claimed Lockwood. He certainly would be that. United went on to lose to Sheffield United in Round Five of the Cup but did claim the inaugural Premiership crown. The Seagulls consolidated back in the third tier (new Division Two) and finished in ninth spot despite the surrounding financial problems forcing the sale over the past year or so of many of their top players. Unfortunately for much of the rest of the decade, it would be all downhill from here.

93R4 ManU Sky missed chance 93R4 ManU Sky Goal


This look back over Albion’s FA Cup adventures in the 90s continues with part two which can be accessed HERE.

 

#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.

WRE Stubbs WRE Barnes WRE FlynnWRE Studio

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

WRE v Arsenal WRE Teams WRE Kick Off WRE Comms

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

WRE MOTM WRE Interviews WRE Poyet WRE Odds

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

WRE Injury WRE Sub

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

WRE Penalty WRE Final Score

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

WRE Coming Up

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

WRE Replay

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

Highlights Titles Highlights Studio

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

Highlights Commentator Highlights Final Score

 

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

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

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

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

FCUM Titles

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

FCUM Ident FCUM Bumper FCUM Intro

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

FCUM Manchester FCUM Brighton FCUM Formation

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

FCUM Stubbs FCUM Cotterill FCUM Dublin FCUM Beer

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

FCUM Dressing Room FCUM Bennett Preview FCUM Kick Off FCUM Comms

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

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

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

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

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

FCUM Replay

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

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

 

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

#31: Woking 1-1 Brighton 16/11/2010

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

WOK Titles

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

WOK Ident WOK Bumper WOK Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

WOK Ashley Barnes WOK Subs WOK Red Card WOK Sparrow

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

WOK Penalties WOK Poyet

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

WOK Draw

WOKING 1 BRIGHTON 1 (2-2 AET)
Greer (Own Goal). Sogbanmu Sparrow. Bennett. Brighton win 3-0 on penalties.

WOK Replay1 WOK Replay

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