It’s a Seaside Knockout – Ryan wrecks Liverpool’s day out

Tomorrow, it’ll be exactly thirty years since Brighton’s tremendous FA Cup 4th Round humbling of mighty Liverpool in January 1984. As a Second Division side, the Seagulls beat the League Champions 2-0 on ‘The Big Match Live’ thanks to two goals in two second half minutes from Gerry Ryan and Terry Connor.

A great image from the game can be found on the Football Association Yearbook 1984-1985, with Tony Grealish in a midfield tussle with Graeme Souness, while Steve Gatting watches on:

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Meanwhile, Match Weekly covered the game in its feature article the following fortnight, via interviews with Gerry Ryan and Jimmy Case:

Gerry Ryan and Terry Connor celebrate after the match

Gerry Ryan and Terry Connor celebrate after the match

Seaside sensations Brighton capped a season of shocks when, for the second year in succession, they sent FA Cup favourites Liverpool spinning out of the competition.

“Match” brings you the inside stories and the best pictures from the Fourth Round stunner.

Seagulls hero Gerry Ryan came down to earth this week to re-live his FA Cup fairy tale.

Gerry set South coast Brighton on their way to yet another sensational Cup victory over Liverpool by scoring the opening – against the League champlons for the second year running.

The Irish international rocked Anfield last year with Brighton’s opener in the Fifth Round… and he repeated the trick in this season’s tie at the Goldstone Ground.

And the scourge of Liverpool admits: “It’s unbelievable. To beat the best team in Europe twice in the FA Cup is magnificent, but to score on both occasions really puts the icing on the cake for me. I*11 never forget it.

“The goal at Liverpool was a simple tap-in after some great work by Michael Robinson but it will always be special because it helped set up a victory at Anfleld •.. and not many teams achieve that•.

“My effort last week was more spectacular, although I thought the referee was going to blow for offside when Tony Grealish lobbed the ball over the heads of Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen.

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“Fortunately, Phil Neal had played me on so I raced towards the penalty area and struck the ball past Bruce Grobbelaer.”

And just 60 seconds later, the Second Division club had wrapped up another sensational victory when Terry Connor put Brighton 2-0 ahead.

liverpool1984v4

“Even though that goal killed them off, the rest of the game was very nerve-racking.”

Gerry admits that the early departure of skipper Graeme Souness with a hamstring injury had a big bearing on the result. He says: “Graeme is a major influence on the side and his loss unsettled them.

“This victory was more satisfying than the one at Anfield because we deserved to win. Last season we were very lucky because we were under the cosh for most of the 90 minutes.

“Liverpool could have been over-anxious. Our win at Anfleld last season hurt their pride and they must have been really keyed up to beat us.

“Even though we’ve beaten them twice in the last year, I still regard them as the best. I thoroughly expect them to finish the season as League Champions and European Cup holders.

“Brighton have done the rest of the teams still left in the FA Cup a big favour by knocking out the favourites and Gerry says: “Anyone can win it now – even us.

The Second Division club’s win has once again got the South coast fans buzzing and dreaming of s dramatic return to Wembley, where they were beaten last season 4-0 by Manchester United in a replay.

‘There aren’t many quality teams left in the Cup now and we must fancy our chances because we’ve got players here who can rise to the big occasion; “But I’m afraid to think about the prospect of returning to Wembley at this early stage,” says Gerry, who joined Brighton from Derby for £80,000.

“Before dreaming of another Wembley visit, we’ve got a few more games to play and Watford are going to be really tough in the next round.”

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‘It’s anyone’s Cup,’ says Jimmy Case
Jimmy Case believes Brighton can take Liverpool’s place in the FA Cup Final … so taking the glorious ride down Wembley Way for the second year in succession.

Explains Jimmy: “Most people would have forecast Liverpool as one of the finalists.

“Having beaten them again, we SHOULD go all the way. No disrespects to our next opponents Watford but that’s the feeling at the club now.

“Looking at the teams left in the competition, it’s anyone’s Cup.” Jimmy was speaking just 24 hours after Brighton’s latest shock victory over the League champions and he told ‘Match’: “It still hasn’t sunk in. I just can’t believe it.

“This has to be an even greater achievement than when we knocked them out of the Cup last season.

“People might have thought us lucky last time but this proved it was no fluke.

“The lads were really keyed-up and it was a really great all-round team performance.

“Against a team like Liverpool, every player has to be on top form and, on this occasion, everyone played their part.

“It was certainly one of our best performances of the season.

“The defence kept Ian Rush and Michael Robinson pretty quiet and, in goal, Joe Corrigan made some vital saves at crucial times.

“The midfield was biting all the time and wide men Neil Smillie and Steve Penney were both on song.

“It seemed to stun Liverpool when we scored our second goal but they slowly started coming back into the game.

“They put on a lot of pressure in the last quarter of an hour but I would say they began the game a little apprehensively.” Jimmy could only watch from the sidelines as he served out a one-match suspension and, as the celebrations died down, he admitted his problem now could be getting back in the team …

“I’m still in the Cup but, after that last performance, who knows if I’ll be selected for the next tie?”

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