As the Seagulls prepare for their first evening floodlit Premier League match against Stoke at the Amex tomorrow, we look back at some Monday encounters you might have forgotten about.
1) 3 March 1986 – Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Peterborough 0
After a 2-2 draw at London Road over two weeks earlier, this 5th Round FA Cup replay was four times postponed due to the severe winter. At one point in late February Brighton and Hove was described as the coldest place in Europe . Eventually a Dean Saunders goal saw the Albion through to the quarter finals, five days later at home to Southampton. Albion lost 2-0 and haven’t progressed as far since.
2) 10 February 1992
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 New Zealand 2
A particularly bizarre friendly fixture in the middle of an ultimately unsuccessfully relegation battle. Quite why the Kiwis would want to turn out in Hove on a cold winter’s night is unclear as are the scorers and line ups, although Perry Digweed and Aussie David Clarkson definitely turned out for Albion. The Seagulls had lost away at Swindon just 48 hours earlier.
3) 21 January 2002
Chesterfield 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2
Two Bobby Zamora goals saw Albion maintain second place in League 1 (then known as the Second Division but the Third Division in old money) as just over 4,000 braved a freezing Derbyshire Monday night at that tricky January period which is three weeks after Christmas and one week before payday. Why it was played on Monday is anyone’s guess. Neither team were involved in the FA Cup the following weekend. Albion had been beaten in the 3rd round by Preston at Withdean. Remember Will Packham? No, me neither.
4) 11 February 2002
Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Reading 1
More Monday night shenanigans from early 2002. This may have been at the pleasure of the short-lived phenomenon of ITV Digital, who promised millions to Football League clubs and went off air before the ink was dry on the cheque. Bobby Zamora, Steve Melton and Junior Lewis put second place Albion into an unassailable lead on a patchwork-like Withdean pitch. Jamie Cureton grabbed one back in the last minute for Reading.
5) 24 October 2011
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 West Ham United 1
Now this was on Sky. Despite having two fit keepers, Gus Poyet brought in Steve Harper on loan from Newcastle the day before. I am pretty certain I attended a press conference at the Amex on the morning of the match at which Harper was present and determined to win his place back at Newcastle. Ironically from current Albion No 2 Tim Krul. Anyway, Liam Bridcutt trod on the ball and gifted it to Kevin Nolan, who raced away and slid it past Harper. Nolan then did that intolerable chicken dance as a celebration. Poor old Gary Dicker broke his leg and both Will Hoskins and Ryan Harley were fit enough to play. Surprises all round then.
I am aware of course Albion’s last Monday match was the promotion win against Wigan last April. What a day that was.