2 March 2010


Some younger fans, confused by the plentiful league shake ups that have occured since, may be a lunaware of how close we came to getting back in the top flight some 18 years ago.

Notts County beat us in the play off finals on June 2nd 1991, we took around 35,000 fans to Wembley and lost against a team who had been struggling in the 4th divison just two years previously.

Anyway, it was tough times, and the start of the darkest period in Albions history.  If we had won the match, our first fixture of the next season would've been Manchester United away, instead we lost 0-2 at home to Tranmere Rovers!

Barry Lloyd was his usual pleasent self in the post-match write up;

“We never picked up at set pieces, and that's a crime. In the end it cost us the game,” said Brighton manager Barry Lloyd. “We were never alive enough at free kicks and corners and Notts cashed in. Having said that, I thought the score flattered them a little bit because we didn't deserve to be beaten 3-1. In the first half we were the better side and they scored against the run of play. But even 1-0 down at half-time, I thought we could get back into the game. Then the second goal killed us off. I'm just a bit disappointed because we let ourselves down in crucial areas.”

Seagulls full-back Steve Gatting added: “Notts took their goals well and we couldn't argue with that, but I don't think they were three goals better than us. I'm bitterly disappointed because we really thought we had got a good chance of getting into Division One.”

Skipper Dean Wilkins said: “I felt we played the better football in the first half until they scored from the set piece. And when the second went in our whole day fell apart.”

I nicked that from a Notts website here, where you can also read more match reports and look at some of the pictures from the day.

The reason for posting this today is that Nott's manager back then was a very young Neil Warnock.  Warnock has a soft spot for Albion as a consequence of that game and the way us fans conducted ourselves after the matcs.  In a 2004 interview he described Albion as "a super club and (they have) super fans".

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