#15: Brighton 2-1 Plymouth 31/01/2004

#15 BRIGHTON 2-1 PLYMOUTH Division Two
Saturday 31st January 2004 Image result for

PLY Titles

PRESENTER George Gavin GUEST Steve Cotterill
COMMENTATORS Ian Crocker & Gavin Peacock REPORTER Guy Havord
5.35pm Kick Off; Withdean Stadium     5.30-8pm Football League Live on Sky Sports 1

PLY Ident PLY Sponsor PLY Intro

Context of the Match: After just twelve matches back in the Second Division for the Albion, there was a familiar sense of deja vu with yet another manager leaving the club. Steve Coppell was appointed Reading boss in October 2003 following their loss of Alan Pardew to West Ham. Speculation was rife about Coppell’s departure, with him clearly not happy with the facilities and the finances, or lack of. He signed on for a further year in the summer but these short-term deals were clearly an indicator that he didn’t want to commit himself on the South Coast too long unless guarantees could be made. In December 2003, the inspector’s report on the public inquiry into the proposed stadium site of Falmer was sent to Deputy PM John Prescott. In this, it was recommended that Mr Prescott should refuse planning permission, yet another blow to this long-running saga. A public inquiry was ongoing. By this time, former Wolves and Millwall boss Mark McGhee was appointed Brighton manager. The Scot came in at the end of October with good pedigree, having won this Division with Reading in 1994 and Millwall in 2001. The latter were going well in the First Division and many saw his departure there as a surprise, but rumours emerged of a falling out between McGhee and chairman Theo Paphitis, whilst McGhee seemed to suggest his time in South London had reached its natural conclusion. His reign at the Albion didn’t get off to the best of starts, with a draw away at Peterborough before a four-one thrashing at the hands of Bristol City. Back to back wins away at Notts County and home to Wrexham got them back on track and pushing up the League again just outside the Play Off places, having inherited a decent position in the first place from Coppell. December saw just one win, a four-nil thumping of Wycombe on Boxing Day. Last week’s victory over Barnsley was the first of the new year as points were being dropped too often, costing a top two place. Plymouth Argyle led the Division having lost just three times so far all season. Paul Sturrock’s men won nine of their last ten in the League and hadn’t conceded a goal for an incredible seven matches straight, since they went top of the table in mid-December. A seven-nil demolition of Chesterfield last time out showed they were ruthless in their pursuit of a return to the second tier for the first time in twelve years. Sky Sports selected the match for Live broadcast as January came to a close. An early-evening Saturday kick off at Withdean pitted two teams on course for top six finishes.

PLY Brighton PLY Formation PLY Plymouth

The Teams: Mark McGhee side enjoyed a win last week over Barnsley, which was separated by a Leon Knight penalty. The little striker had enjoyed an excellent season, firing eighteen goals in twenty-six League appearances thus far. The disparity was clear to see, with substitute Chris McPhee the next highest goalscorer this term with just four. Ben Roberts returned to the fold in goal of late, having missed around six weeks in the early stages through injury. Michel Kuipers deputised then but himself had been out for a long period following a horrific car crash a couple of months back. He was fit enough to take his place on the bench last week for the first time since that crash and continued to be Roberts understudy here. The back line of Kerry Mayo, captain Danny Cullip and Guy Butters was a tried and trusted solid defence. One change was made from last week, with John Piercy entering the midfield in place of McPhee. Adam Virgo made his first start of the campaign in that game, having been out all season with injury. Richard Carpenter and Charlie Oatway continued to do a superb job of protecting the back line as well as chipping in with the attacks. Striker Trevor Benjamin was the latest partner for Leon Knight up top. He joined on loan from Leicester earlier in the month, this his third start but yet to find the target. Gary Hart and Jake Robinson were waiting in the wings as substitutes if required. One man who was no longer available was Robbie Pethick, who joined Weymouth on loan under their player-manager Steve Claridge. McGhee’s fellow Scotsman, Paul Sturrock, relied upon twenty-year-old goalkeeper Luke McCormick in the sticks and has delivered with seven clean sheets in a row and more than ten hours and counting since he last conceded a goal. Both he and Paul Wotton came up through the youth system, with Wotton playing in his ninth season at Argyle. Defender Graham Coughlan was the club’s top scorer when they won promotion from Division Three in 2002. Left back Peter Gilbert joined in the summer from Birmingham and forged a regular place. Paul Connolly scored an own-goal in the reverse fixture, the thrilling three-three draw back in August. Both Hasney Aljofree and Nathan Lowndes were recruited from the SPL, leaving Dundee United and Livingston respectively. David Friio top scored from midfield with thirteen so far. The manager’s son, Blair Sturrock, straddled the bench alongside the terrifically named Marino Keith. Refereeing the action was Phil Joslin.

PLY Gavin PLY Cotterill PLY Studio

Presentation Team: This season Ian Payne presented all 12.30pm kick offs on the Saturday, be it Premier or Football League, with George Gavin hoovering up the rest of the Live games from the Three Divisions. With this match being a Saturday 5.35pm start, it was Gavin in the hotseat at Withdean. Often this slot would be presented from the Sky Studios as the day’s goals were shown after the match, but tonight they were on location in the South West corner behind the running track. Up on the makeshift gantry amidst all the scaffolding was our guest, Steve Cotterill. He’d been out of the game since he was sacked as assistant to Howard Wilkinson by Sunderland in March 2003. Prior to that he forged a successful early start to management with Cheltenham, his home town. He took them into the Conference in his first full season in charge, going on to lift them into the Football League two years later. Further success occurred when they beat Rushden and Diamonds in the Division Three Play Off Final in 2002, securing his third promotion in five seasons and a remarkable rise up the Divisions. Having taken Cheltenham probably as far as he could, he moved to Stoke that summer as they were promoted up behind the Albion into Division One. It didn’t work out in the Potteries as he surprisingly resigned after just thirteen matches and joined Sunderland as number two. As a player, he started his time in the non-Leagues with Cheltenham and Burton before top flight Wimbledon signed him up in 1989. In his four years there he didn’t really get a foothold in the team due to injury and actually spent eleven League matches on loan at Brighton in 1992, during which time he bagged four goals. He moved to Bournemouth to spend the final three years of his playing career, enjoying a better run in the team. More recently he has appeared in the media spotlight as a studio guest for Sky’s various lower League coverage. In the commentary box were Ian Crocker and Gavin Peacock. Whilst Crocker was the undisputed League number one commentator, Peacock was a new name to proceedings. Son of former Charlton player Keith Peacock, Gavin spent most of his career at Queen’s Park Rangers at the beginning and end. Spells with Bournemouth and Gillingham came before big moves to Newcastle and, probably most famously, Premiership Chelsea. The midfielder had an eye for goal, finishing top scorer for the Blues in 1995. When he retired in 2002, he moved into the media with the BBC across their various magazine shows and highlights as well as occasional Sky Sports appearances. He combined this with a strong Christian faith, preaching in his local church as his footballing time drew to a close. Completing today’s line up was regular reporter for Divisions Two and Three, Guy Havord. Having gained prominence as a commentator for the world feed 3pm Premiership matches for the final few years in the 90s, he also covered Live Spanish League games for Sky. A move to the ITV Sport Channel to lead their Football League commentaries followed before they went into administration and he ended up being made redundant. When he rejoined Sky towards the end of the 2002/03 season, he worked as a reporter for Sky Sports News and the League. From this season he took over from David Jones as the touchline reporter on top flight pay-per-view channel Premiership+, covering the weekly game.

PLY Theatre of Trees PLY Tunnel  PLY Coming Up PLY Div 1 goals

The Coverage: Saturday 5.35pm was the main Live slot for Sky’s Football League broadcasts since regaining the rights from ITV Digital in 2002. This season Sky would continue the broadcast until 8pm in order to incorporate the Division One goals from that day, as well as comprehensively wrapping up the analysis from the Live game. This particular start time allowed the scores to come in from the 3pm kick offs on Gillette Soccer Saturday, air some post-match interviews and get Jeff Stelling’s pundits reactions and round it all off before leaving at 5.30pm on one of the numbered Sky Sports channels, whilst they carried on over on Sky Sports News until 6pm. This did mean we were pretty much straight into the Live action when the Football League broadcast began, with less than five minutes for pre match build up. The theme tune, graphics and overall look were as they were when Sky last visited Withdean back in August for our two-one victory over a much-fancied QPR. Like with that match, just a five minute build up allowed very little time to talk up the game so host George Gavin and his guest Steve Cotterill barely said more than a couple of sentences before the teams were in the tunnel. That signalled it was time to hand to the commentary team of Ian Crocker and Gavin Peacock. At half time, the stats showed Brighton’s dominance in a deserved two-nil lead. Five out of six attempts were on target for the Seagulls. Guest Steve Cotterill put Plymouth’s disappointing half down to a lack of tempo on their part, believing Paul Sturrock would be mentioning that at half time. He was very impressed by Leon Knight’s “work rate, his hold up play” and pleased he got a good goal. After the final whistle and the post-match advert break, more than twenty minutes of the programme remained to wrap up this match as well as see some of the day’s goals. The full-time stats showed a more equal match than it read at the interval, with Brighton shading the attempts on target seven to five. Man of the Match was given to Danny Cullip, who spoke with reporter Guy Havord afterwards. He thought the first half was the decider; “It was important to start well, we played really well for forty-five minutes. It’s hard to keep that up for ninety minutes but we dug in at the end and got the result we deserved.” He played down the prospect of another promotion, saying there was still a long way to go in the season and they would enjoy this victory first and foremost. Back on the gantry, our studio team reviewed the key moments from the clash beginning with Trevor Benjamin’s opening goal. He was praised for his ‘tireless’ effort all day and showed superb strength to create his chance. Leon Knight impressed Steve Cotterill and believed that if Knight didn’t get that knock at the start of the second half, he may well have gone on to deliver further in this match. Manager Mark McGhee told, in his interview with Guy Havord, how good a game that was for his side; “I think the first half was the best performance since I came here. I think on a very difficult night we still tried to pass the ball. We knew we didn’t want to take Plymouth on in a sense just at their own game, they’re very good when they’re direct and physical, we didn’t want to just do that so we got the ball down.” He was also pleased with the character of the second half to maintain the advantage. Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock gave credit to the Albion, calling it “men against boys first half.” The final ten minutes of the show was given over to showing all the goals from Saturday’s Division One matches, as was the case in this slot all season. The studio pairing talked through the action and incidents. This included another win for high-flying Norwich over Sheffield United, an unfortunate own goal from West Ham’s Tomas Repka, Crystal Palace defeating Wimbledon in the ‘Selhurst Park derby’ and Steve Sidwell netting for Reading’s first home win in six. After a recap on the scores and Division One table, it was time to go as another broadcast came to a close.

PLY Kick Off PLY Comms PLY Benjamin goal PLY Benjamin

Story of the Match: Brighton’s task was a difficult one. Plymouth were top of Division Two and goalkeeper Luke McCormick hadn’t conceded in over ten and a half hours of football, dating back to December 13th. The wind swirled around Withdean on a dark January evening. The club needed the assistance of a tree surgeon on the day of the game to ensure the seats weren’t at risk of falling branches due to the gales. Never a dull moment at the Theatre of Trees. Cries from the crowd of “We want Falmer!” could be heard loudly around the ground as the Albion kicked off, shooting from left to right in the first half. Ben Roberts had to be sharp off his line after ten minutes to smother the ball, frequently getting caught in the wind, as Lowndes tried to latch onto it. But Brighton looked good early on down the channels, with pace and power in the shape of Knight and Benjamin causing the defence issues. And in the twelfth, that’s where the opening goal arose from. Virgo’s throw down the line found Knight, he shrugged off the defender amidst some shirt pulling to cross in with his left. A couple of Plymouth headers cleared only as far as Carpenter on the edge. He then used his head to nod it back into the danger zone. Trevor Benjamin expertly blocked off his opponent using his sizeable frame to turn and get a shot away. As McCormick rushed out, two covering defenders tried to get back towards the line. Benjamin’s low shot bobbled up off Connolly and into the net, bringing Argyle’s club record clean sheet run to an end. Co-commentator Gavin Peacock noted “It’s not a great strike, but he concentrates on getting it on target – that’s all he can do there, on his left foot, a little bit of luck to ricochets into the back of the net.” Confidence was up as John Piercy, absent for the previous three games through injury, tried his luck from long range; comfortable enough for the ‘keeper. The lead was doubled with just over ten minutes to go before the break. Adam Virgo showed nice trickery on the right wing to nutmeg his marker and escape down the flank. His low cross was driven into the centre, missed by Benjamin but following up at the back stick was Leon Knight. The little man was in the right place at the right time to slot home for two-nil Brighton. His shot went through ‘keeper McCormick, the pace just beating him on the way in. Commentator Crocker brought us the stat that “rather surprisingly it’s the first time he’s scored a League goal here from open play since October” for Leon Knight, netting for the twentieth time this campaign bolstered by his excellent penalty record. No better time to adjust that than the present!

PLY Knight goal PLY Knight celebration PLY Lowndes goal PLY Man of the Match

Leon Knight celebrated his goal by running towards the camera behind the goal, a celebration that would be used in future title sequences on both Sky and ITV’s coverage of the Football League. The half drew to a close with the Albion well on top, and deservedly so, against the League leaders. Outside of the two goals there wasn’t too much else of note from either side but Brighton looked decent playing the ball around and looking for opportunities. Plymouth made a double substitution at the break in order to salvage something from this, with Marino Keith and Steve Adams entering the fray. For the Albion, John Piercy picked up a little knock towards the end of the first period in a fierce fifty-fifty ball. He tried to run it off but was abundant at the resume of play that he could continue no longer. It was a shame for Piercy having just had a spell out injured already, he was replaced here by Gary Hart. A ball in the face affected Leon Knight for a brief spell, visibly hurt by the contact. Plymouth applied the pressure in the second half far more so than they did in the first, with greater spells of possession and half-chances being carved out. Ben Roberts almost contributed to them getting one goal back when he came way out of his goal in an attempt to claim a high cross on the edge of his box. He dropped the catch and couldn’t reclaim before Lowndes took it on. Thankfully there were two defenders waiting on the line to clear away when Lowndes tame effort trickled towards goal. With less than half an hour to go, it showed how quickly a game could turn out of nowhere. Sloppiness crept in to Brighton’s game, gifting possession away easily and a slip from Roberts almost presented a golden chance. Charlie Oatway and Danny Cullip defended resolutely throughout and were always there to help out though. Chris McPhee replaced Knight with a quarter of an hour remaining to provide some fresher legs and relieve the pressure off the defence. Brighton’s best chance in the closing stages fell to Guy Butters. A corner was taken quickly, short to Paul Watson. He whipped in a tantalising cross which was flicked on. Butters was stood at the far corner of the six-yard area and volleyed excellently. McCormick showed why nobody had scored past him prior to tonight in seven matches with a brilliant push onto the bar and over to deny what would have been a wonderful goal. The final few minutes became very nervy though when Nathan Lowndes finally did pull a goal back out of nothing. A long punt forward from their own half saw a flick on from Cullip’s head fly towards the Brighton goal. Ben Roberts dived down just managing to keep it out, but couldn’t keep hold of it. Lowndes reacted quickest to the loose ball to stab home from two yards out. Argyle were not to repeat their trick of the reverse fixture when two goals in the final nine minutes rescued a point for them at Home Park, tonight they ran out of time. It finished Brighton two Plymouth one and a huge result for the Seagulls in their push for another change of Division. The table left the Seagulls in fifth place after this win, whilst Argyle remained top of the shop and well placed for automatic promotion.

PLY Table

BRIGHTON 2 PLYMOUTH 1
Benjamin, Knight Lowndes

PLY Goal PLY Replay

PREVIOUS; #14 BRIGHTON 2-1 QPR 18/08/2003

NEXT; #16 SWINDON 0-1 BRIGHTON 16/05/2004

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

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

FCUM Titles

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

FCUM Ident FCUM Bumper FCUM Intro

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

FCUM Manchester FCUM Brighton FCUM Formation

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

FCUM Stubbs FCUM Cotterill FCUM Dublin FCUM Beer

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

FCUM Dressing Room FCUM Bennett Preview FCUM Kick Off FCUM Comms

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

FCUM Pitchside FCUM Analysis FCUM Axis FCUM Coming Up

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

FCUM Bennett aston FCUM Attempts FCUM In Game Chat FCUM Sub

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

FCUM Interview FCUM Sandaza

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

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

FCUM Replay

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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.