Still looking for a new ground
A decision will be made in the next five weeks as to whether a new stadium can be built at Falmer and the Brighton fans will be making one last bid to persuade John Prescott when they march to the Labour Party Conference next month in Brighton.
For now they must get on with playing their football at the less than adequate Withdean Stadium and they are not doing too badly despite the small attendances at the athletics track.
They survived relegation by just one point last season, they were involved with Crewe and Gillingham on that final day, but a draw at home to Ipswich was just enough to see them safe.
Manager Mark McGhee made some changes to his squad, some of which were forced on him when he lost both Dan Harding (on a Bosman to Leeds) and Adam Virgo who moved to Celtic for a £1.5 million fee.
He’s been able to strengthen with eight new signings, four of them permanent and another four currently on loan. The first of the permanent signings was the vastly experienced Jason Dodd who was released by Southampton after playing 399 league games for them.
Dodd was soon joined by a signing that is unique, a player who was won for his club in a competition run by the league’s sponsors Coca Cola. The fan won Brighton a new player, both transfer fee and wages, and McGhee signed Bury midfielder Colin Kazim-Richards who scored his first goal for his new club last week.
Paul McShane and goalkeeper Wayne Henderson signed from Manchester United and Aston Villa respectively on loan deals and that was that before the start of the season. Like many other clubs though, Brighton have added to the squad since with four more signings.
French midfielder Sebastien Carole has signed form Monaco along with Alexandre Frutos a midfielder from Metz, whilst two more goalkeepers have come in on loan, Florent Chaigneau from Rennes and Southampton’s Northern Ireland keeper Alan Blayney who had a spell with Brighton last season.
They have made a so, so start to the season and are just two points above the Clarets with eight points. Away from home they have lost just once, at Hull, but the other three have all been drawn. Leading scorer is Leon Knight who has bagged three goals for them, whilst Dean Hammond has two.
to see all Brighton’s results this season.
Wayne Henderson missed last week’s game against Coventry with a back injury, and was replaced by Alan Blayney. Fit again he will return to the side with manager Mark McGhee claiming it to be only fair following the outstanding performances this season from the Villa youngster.
He’ll play because regular first team goalkeeper Michel Kuipers is ruled out with a shoulder injury and he is one of four players definitely out of the Brighton side. The others are Adam Hinshelwood, who like our Wayne Thomas has suffered a cruciate ligament injury and Jason Dodd and Mark McCammon who both have ankle injuries.
McCammon is probably relieved not to be in the squad this season, back in April he was substituted at half time and after an argument he was told to make his own way home.
McGhee is expected to name the following side: Wayne Henderson, Gary Hart, Paul McShane, Guy Butters, Paul Reid, Sebastien Carole, Richard Carpenter, Dean Hammond, Albert Jarrett, Leon Knight, Jake Robinson. Subs: Alan Blayney, Charlie Oatway, Colin Kazim-Richards, Alexandre Frutos, Gary Elphick.
to see the full Brighton squad.
Steve Cotterill will be able to select from the squad that beat Barnsley plus loan player Karl Bermingham who was ruled out on Tuesday when Manchester City didn’t give him permission to play.
Wade Elliott was also out on Tuesday with the injury sustained at Plymouth but the club report that he is fit, that Wayne Thomas is the only player now out injured, so he will come back into the reckoning.
Although he played for the first time this season in Wednesday’s reserve game at Chester it is very unlikely that Danny Karbassiyoon will be anywhere near ready for the first team yet and is not expected to feature.
The big decisions for the manager are whether to bring back fit again captain Frank Sinclair and whether to play Gifton Noel-Williams who was rested on Saturday. He has hinted that Gifton will play but I suspect that, having conceded just one goal in three games, that he will leave the back four as it is for now.
That should see us lining up: Danny Coyne, Michael Duff, Keith Lowe, John McGreal, Jon Harley, John Spicer, Micah Hyde, James O’Connor, Garreth O’Connor, Gifton Noel-Williams, Ade Akinbiyi. Subs from: Brian Jensen, Duane Courtney, Frank Sinclair, Chris McCann, Graham Branch, Wade Elliott, Karl Bermingham, Kyle Lafferty.
Last season’s game ended in a 1-1 draw with Ade Akinbiyi getting his first Turf Moor goal in a claret & blue shirt.
The club had emblazoned ‘More than 90 Minutes’ all around the ground as the team came out in a special pink looking shirt for the ‘500 Miles’ but we got a lot less than 500 miles and closer to 45 minutes after switching off at half time.
We looked all set for a win after Ade gave us the lead and Brighton simply hadn’t been in it during the first half but that all changed in the second half when they pulled level and came close to going on and winning it and in the end we were fortunate to get a point.
The teams were,
Danny Coyne, Michael Duff (Lee Roche75), Gary Cahill, John McGreal, Mo Camara, Dean Bowditch, Micah Hyde, Tony Grant, James O’Connor, Graham Branch, Ade Akinbiyi. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Joel Pilkington, John Oster, Jean-Louis Valois.Brighton:
Alan Blayney, Adam Virgo, Adam El-Adb, Guy Butters, Paul Reid, Daniel Harding, Richard Carpenter, Charlie Oatway, Dean Hammond, Mark McCammon (Jake Robinson 45), Chris McPhee. Subs not used: Ramon Shaaban, Kerry Mayo, Joe Dolan, Alexis Nicolas.
Previous 20 Seasons
Eyres Swan Nogan
Little Ian Moore
Click HERE to see all our results against Brighton starting with an FA Cup win in the early sixties.