Brighton and Hove Albion (Home)
FA Cup 3rd Round
Saturday 8th January 2005
are struggling at the wrong end of the Championship, but have won
their two of their last four League matches against Gillingham and
Watford and drawn the other two with QPR and Wolverhampton
Wanderers. Placed 18th in the table, the Seagulls had been
hoping to build on their promotion via the play-offs last
season. But Mark McGhee's team have had a tougher time in the
old First Division this time around. Having sold off Danny
Cudlip, Darren Currie and Steve Claridge recently and with former Spur
John Piercy's retirement on top of it, they have been left a bit light
on regular players, with the squad making strange reading as there is
not a great deal of depth to it.
There are some poor teams in the Championship this season, but Brighton should have enough about them to stay up, especially as star striker Leon Knight has said he wants to stay on.
Goalkeeper Michael Kuipers is the man in possession of the gloves. The Dutchman was formerly at Bristol Rovers and has been a consistent performer in the Seagulls goal, which is just as well, as Fulham reserve keeper Ross Flitney is the cover and he has had little first team exposure.
The defence is one of the stronger areas of the side. Kerry Mayo has been a regular and provides a bit of pace at left back, alongside Guy Butters in the middle. The ex-Tottenham player has had a very good career since leaving the Lane, but returns with a solid reputation as a central defender and with a goal against West Ham this season (plus one other), he needs to be marked tightly at set-pieces. With two England Under-21 defenders in Adam Hinshelwood and Daniel Harding, Brighton have some up and coming defenders, although the manager has threatened to drop Harding after a few poor games when he was being touted with a move to the Premiership. Hinshelwood is the son of the former Palace defender and has learned a lot from his Dad in making his way into the first team at the Withdean. His future is unsure, as his contract is up in the summer and speculation still surrounds his signing of a new contract.
QPR fan Charlie Oatway (who's middles names are the entire 1976 Rangers side) is a combative midfielder and one who will be looking to test the resolve of the Tottenham midfield and plays there with the club's recent signing from Chelsea - Alexis Nicolas. The Cyprus Under-21 midfielder had impressed on loan and then Brighton made the deal permanent. Aussie Paul Reid joined from Bradford City and has become a favourite, while veteran Richard Carpenter might find the pace a bit much as he enters his 33rd year, although 21 year old Dean Hammond might provide some younger legs in the middle of pitch if required.
Adam Virgo has been converted from a defender into a forward this season and he has responded by becoming the top scorer for the club, so far this season. He is a muscular forward, who will provide an old fashioned centre forward test for Ledley King, who will be used to this approach, or Naybet, who might not be. Playing alongside former Chelsea forward Leon Knight, who has had various partners in the shape of Mark McCammon, Gary Hart and Congo striker Maheta Molango. Hart and McCammon can play in midfield, to provide McGhee with an alternative for the side.
I think Brighton will most likely flood the midfield and stick just Virgo up front, to try and frustrate Tottenham, while having an option to hit on the break. They will not be used to the quality that is required in the Premiership and while anything can happen on the day, I feel that Tottenham, in their current form, will be too good for the Sussex side. Having said that, they will try and get forward to test the Tottenham defence, with the full backs always keen to over-lap, but whoever Martin Jol chooses to put out for this FA Cup tie, there should be enough solidity to progress to the Fourth round ...
For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
MEHSTG was unable to obtain a View From The Other Side.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : - Sean Davis (knee); Simon Davies (virus)
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION : - (-);
|Tottenham Hotspur 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1 (Half-time score : 1-0)|
|Premier League||Venue : White Hart Lane|
|Saturday 8th January 2005||Kick Off : 15.00 p.m.|
|Crowd : 36,094||Referee : Alan Wiley (Burntwood)|
|Weather : Cold, very windy|
|Teams : -|
Kelly (Marney 73)
Mendes (Yeates 79)
|Brighton and Hove Albion
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
|Brighton and Hove Albion
|Cards : -|
Edman (kicking ball away) 64
|Brighton and Hove Albion
Carpenter (not retreating 10 yards
at a free-kick) 53
|Match Report : -|
The battling Brighton team that blew into
White Hart Lane produced a good performance, without a hint of fear,
but the difference in class was shown by Robbie Keane's finishing that
won the right to progress to the Fourth Round for Tottenham.
The yellow shirt count in the Brighton end was probably not as high as the club shop would have wanted, but their was a wave of colour and of yellow balloons that floated onto the pitch. It was reminiscent of a Cup Final and that was what it was for the First Division side, but they nearly took the 'silverware' on the day. It all started early on, with Robinson saving from Hart and Knight, but the closest they came to opening the scoring was the former Gillingham midfielder Richard Carpenter hit a drive from 25 yards out that hit the angle and bounced back into play after a quarter of an hour. Spurs had a chance near the start when Defoe had a shot blocked by ex-Spur Guy Butters, who was captain for the day.
Stephen Kelly had been picked for the side in place of the rested Pamarot and he enjoyed a good game, with the opportunity to push on down the right. His surge in the 20th minute found him in space, but the ball would not come down for him to get a shot in. Carpenter was belying his age and got into the box again on 26 minutes, to hit a left foot volley that went well wide of the post. Spurs had their turn to hit the woodwork just on the half hour, as King took a quick free-kick to Edman, who put in a cross to Kelly's head. The ball was nodded into Keane's run and he deftly flicked the ball over Kuipers, but the ball came back off the crossbar for the second home game running for the Irish striker.
Then, just five minutes before the interval, Spurs took the lead. It came from a dead ball situation, but this time it was a short corner, with Ziegler putting the cross into the box, where Ledley King timed his run to meet it and as the ball floated up off his head, the Brighton keeper was left rooted to the spot. As he tried to get back, the trajectory of the ball beat him and the ball hit the back of the net to give Spurs a 1-0 advantage.
But the visitors were playing an attacking game with two up front and a long ball freed Knight on the left. As he broke into the area, Kelly produced a well-timed challenge to block the ball as the little Seagulls striker shot. Leon Knight is a lively forward and he was alert to win a header (something he did with alarming regularity considering his lack of inches) and Robbo had to rise to tip the ball over the top, when it looked like it might drop just over him.
We all expected the side to get a rocket at half-time from Jol for their slack first half showing, but they came out even more lethargic for the second half. A dubious free-kick was given for a jump by Ziegler on Hart and when Carpenter ran up to take it, there was a clear gap for him to shoot low into the bottom right hand corner of the Spurs goal from 25 yards out. It was a poor goal to concede, as it was soon after the restart (something we seem to be doing a lot lately) and it was bad positioning of the wall that allowed a sight of goal from the free-kick.
Carpenter seemed to be in the thick of it all and soon picked up a yellow card when Brown took a quick free-kick that hit the Brighton midfielder, who was not ten yards away. This moved the ball ten yards closer to the Gulls goal and Defoe stepped up to hit it, but it flew over. The equaliser had spurred Brighton into attacking Tottenham more and this left a bit more space to play. They found joy down the right with Mendes and left with Edman. Defoe got played in on the left and he turned inside to hit a low shot that Kuipers could not hold, but recovered just before Keane got there.
The act of kicking the ball away got Edman a caution and the ball was progressed towards the Spurs goal, with Harding knocking in the free-kick that Hart got a firm header to. Robinson was alive to the effort and produced a good save to turn it aside for a corner. It was then that Tottenham began to move players forward, with Gardner, in for Naybet, came out of defence with the ball and with the Brighton players backing off, he hit a shot, but it had too much height to trouble Kuipers on this occasion. In the 77th minute, the Dutch keeper was called into action as Ziegler hit s left footed shot from in front of the right hand side of the box and the goalie tipped it round with a good diving save.
With the pressure building on the Brighton goal, it took a moment of Keano magic to turn the tie in Tottenham's favour on 83 minutes. Edman played a delicate ball into Robbie, who took it on his chest and hit a volley on the turn past Butters behind him and Kuipers in goal to score a memorable goal. It was the sharpness and awareness that we have come to expect from him, despite his performance, which had not been great on the day and was the focus of a lot of criticism from the Spurs crowd. However, he never stopped wanting the ball and showed what he could do given the right service.
With just ten minutes left, Martin Jol had introduced young forward Mark Yeates. A lively runner with the ball and one for the future, he produced a couple of late runs which tantalised the visiting defenders in their area, but he was unable to apply a suitable finish to the moves. The second saw him and Jermain break two-on-one, but the delay in providing a bal in to Defoe was not appreciated by the club's top scorer !! Still, anyone who has seen Yeates play will know that there is a lot more to come from him.
In truth, the match was not a good one for Spurs, with a performance that was well below par from those they have produced lately, but they were fortunate in having Keane to score the goal he did, when Defoe was having a quiet game. The ball was played in the air far too often and only when it was kept on the floor, did Spurs obtain any joy from the Brighton back four. But their ball will be in the velvet bag for the Fourth Round draw and sometimes, you need a bit of luck or magic ... after all ... it is the magic of the FA Cup and these things even themselves out over the course of the season ... or so we have been constantly told this week !!
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - LEDLEY KING
|Job done ! But not well
done - an uncomfortable victory against a well organized and
disciplined Brighton side enjoying their big day out. Brighton
brought 6,000 fans with them which, on their back garden size ground,
is almost a full home gate and they made their presence felt despite
the chants of “You’re just a town full of faggots !”
Spurs followed a sluggish first
half performance with an at times clueless second half one and but for
Robbie’s exhilarating strike in the 83rd minute, we would
all have been heading down to the seaside for a replay on their
You could have probably written
this script though. Raw, blustery, January day against highly
motivated lower league opposition – romance of the cup etc
etc. The same combination did for a number of premiership teams
on the day and the fact that Spurs went through first time is at least
a testimony to the way in which we’ve banished complacency against
Brighton closed down the space
from the off and for most of the match the midfield looked like the
underground at rush hour. Jermain and Robbie struggled to make
an impact with just Keane’s header against the bar in the 31st
minute to savour. By that stage Brighton had already hit the
woodwork themselves when goal scorer Carpenter struck the upright from
25 yards. Carrick was well marshalled by the same player and
Ziegler was particularly ineffective on the left throughout the match
apart from one fine long range shot that Kuipers pushed round the
5 minutes before half time King
scored the opener with a looped header from a Ziegler cross and as
half time came most of us expected the next 45 minutes to produce at
least two or three more goals. However, within two minutes
of the restart Brighton had equalized with a well struck free kick
past Robinson into the corner of the goal. The sloppy set piece
work by Spurs was symptomatic of the afternoon - Brighton always
looking the better organized and physically stronger side.
After the equalizer Spurs
seemed to fall increasingly into a pattern of hoisting long high balls
up to Fredi Kanoute to bring down. The only problem was no one
seemed to have told them that Fredi wasn’t playing and Brighton’s
tall defenders (ex-Spur Butters in particular) handled them with ease.
As the frustration began to
mount we had the sight of the dwarf sized Leon Knight almost out
jumping Anthony Gardener (at least a whole person taller) and you
started to get the feeling it was all going to go wrong.
Brighton earned themselves nine corners in all and Robinson had to
make a fantastic save from Hart before sanity returned. Marney
replaced Stephen Kelly on 73 and his more direct style seemed to give
us a little more space.
Mark Yeates came on for the
ever reliable Mendes on 78 and within five minutes his cross into the
box saw Keane, with his back to goal, bring the ball down and turn in
one movement before lashing the volley into the net. A
Premiership quality strike by Keano to redeem a very average all round
A huge sigh of relief went
round the ground and the goal seemed to break Brighton. Yeates
began to get acres of space on the left wing and should have made it
4-1 before the end but he dwelt so long on the ball that I was able to
go off to the toilet, get a pie, come back and still see him miss both
Three nervy minutes of extra
time passed before this tricky episode finally came to a close.
Brighton were applauded off by the remaining Spurs fans and Robbie
Keane gave Mark McGhee his shirt (McGhee was his first manager).
I have spoken to a number of
Brighton fans since the game and they complained that the Spurs fans
were too low key. I did have to explain to them that despite
their rather inflated view of themselves, a match against Brighton for
us is not really a big deal. The equivalent fixture for them
would be Port Vale at home.
I didn’t have a problem with
the atmosphere personally. We had our “Mendes from the half
way line” to enjoy and it was a cold Saturday after New Year,
against lower league opposition. It was our 7th win in nine
games and we didn’t have to keep getting up from our seats to shout
about wanting a new ground !
Highlight of the match: Chelsea
0 Scunthorpe 1 rolling across the jumbotron screen.
Spurs Man of The Match: King
|Other scores from the FA Cup third Round this weekend :|
|Birmingham City||3||Leeds United||0||Saturday|
|Cardiff City||1||Blackburn Rovers||1||Saturday|
|Coventry City||3||Crewe Alexandra||0||Saturday|
|Derby County||2||Wigan Athletic||1||Saturday|
|Hartlepool United||0||Boston United||0||Saturday|
|Hull City||0||Colchester United||2||Saturday|
|Ipswich Town||1||Bolton Wanderers||3||Saturday|
|Manchester United||0||Exeter City||0||Saturday|
|MK Dons||0||Peterborough United||2||Saturday|
|Oldham Athletic||1||Manchester City||0||Saturday|
|Preston North End||0||West Bromwich Albion||2||Saturday|
|Rotherham United||0||Yeovil Town||3||Saturday|
|Sheffield United||3||Aston Villa||1||Saturday|
|West Ham United||1||Norwich City||0||Saturday|
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