Well, here’s a treat for you. The match report from the Evening Argus, by Sydney Spicer, after the famous rout in front of the Match of the Day cameras on 18th September 1976. Brighton scored 7 – yes, (seven)!
Alan Mullery must be a past master at giving players a rocket! Brighton were being held to a 2-2 draw by lowly York at half-time – and then manager Mullery went into the Goldstone Ground dressing room to talk to his boys. The result? Albion swept to an impressive triumph with five more goals.
This put them back on top of the Third Division.
Afterwards, Mullery said: “I had a few words to say in the interval! They went out for the second half with an entirely different attitude.
“After we scored the third goal, the floodgates were open. I don’t think we will ever play much better. It was superb.”
Indeed, it was.
In a splendid team performance 20 year-old Peter Ward, so quick in turning with the ball, was outstanding. Peter O’Sullivan and the leggy Ian Mellor in his first full game of the season were thoroughly impressive and substitute Gerry Fell who replaced centre forward Fred Binney after 50 minutes led the bemused York defence a merry dance.
This was an inspired substitution by Mullery, who explained: “Fell was eager to get on and run at them and I felt he could pass them on the flanks.” It all went to plan.
Brighton went ahead in 22 minutes with a delightful goal. Ward, seemingly hemmed in, turned smartly and sped past two defenders before lodging the ball in the far corner.
Five minutes later Steve Piper rammed home the second from Brian Horton’s free kick and Brighton looked to be on their way.
Not just yet, though. Dennis Burnett breasted down a Jimmy Seal cross which he could have headed clear and there was Jim Hinch a yard or two out to slam the ball home on the half hour.
To the further embarrassment of Brighton, Piper dallied over a clearance and Brian Pollard nipped in and scored from an acute angle.
After the break we saw a supercharged Brighton. In the 50th minute O’Sullivan took a pass from Ward to score from 30 yards, and Ward would have quickly added a fourth had not Peter Scott run across to kick away for a corner.
But after 60 minutes a sweeping move – so typical of Brighton’s more open play in this half – involving Ward and O’Sullivan, resulted in the simplest of chances for Mellor.
Three minutes later O’Sullivan crossed for Fell to head the fifth and, with Brighton taking the York defence apart with ridiculous ease, Ward scored from an O’Sullivan pass in 71 minutes and, to complete the slaughter, Mellor headed home Fell’s centre five minutes from the end.
York’s Northern Ireland international defender Peter Scott let in the scorers for the last two, and his afternoon’s misery was increased by a booking for upending Fell on one of his deadly runs. James was also booked for dissent.
Wilf McGuinness, York’s manager, put on a brave face on this crashing defeat, admitted: “Every time Brighton attacked in the second half they looked like scoring.”
Brighton: Grummitt, Tiler, Wilson, Horton, Cross, Burnett, Mellor, Ward, Binney, Piper, O’Sullivan. Sub: Fell
York: Crawford, Scott, Woodward, Joy, Topping, James, Pollard, Holmes, Hinch, Cade Seal. Sub: Downing.
(Thanks to Guy for supplying the match report)