Seagulls soar over Anfield

The Daily Mirror’s headline, ‘The Seagulls have landed’, captured the moment that Brighton truly arrived as movers and shakers in the FA Cup by beating Liverpool at Anfield on 20th February 1983:


Liverpool 1, Brighton 2

Jimmy Case, a Scouser by birth, habit and conviction; went back to Merseyside yesterday and destroyed a dream. This morning the talk about Liverpool winning four trophies is silenced because Case and Brighton believed the impossible.

Liverpool manager Bob Paisley muttered “Never again on a Sunday” after Case’s 71st-minute winner had silenced the Kop and sent Jimmy Melia’s men forward to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

But Paisley was one of the first into the Seagulls’ dressing room afterwards to shake the hand of Case, the midfield player he sold to the south coast club for £300,000 18 months ago.

“Good luck to Brighton. I hope they go on to win the Cup,” said Paisley. “This is what happens when you get people saying a team can win four trophies. It just wasn’t on.”

Case, who still goes to watch Liverpool with a red-and-white scarf wrapped around his neck when they play in the European Cup, recalled with a smile: “I said it would be a dream if I got the winner. The dream has come true.”

There has been no bigger sensation in the competition this season than Brighton, bottom of the First Division, going to Anfield and knocking out the runaway leaders.

It was Llverpoors first defeat at home in a Cup tie since Mlddlesbrough best them 64 cup games ago back in 1974.

Just as significant in front of a 44,868 full house, it was Liverpool’s first defeat at Anfield since Brighton won 1-0 there last March.

Brighton hustled, denied Liverpool space, defended superbly, took their chances and deserved to win.

Acting manager Melia, as much a Scouser as Case, said: “We matched Liverpool for work-rate and that pleased me more than anything. I said we would play attacking football and we did.”

Mella particularly praised striker Michael Robinson – for whom any move to Newcastle must now walt – and centre half Steve Foster.

Brighton’s first goal came after 32 minutes from Gerry Ryan. Case sent the magnificent Robinson racing forward for a cross that Ryan side-footed past Brace Grobbelaar.

Alan Kennedy hit a post with a thundering drive and Robinson thumped a header against the bar at tne other end before Liverpool equalised in the 70th minute.

It was unfortunate that young Gary Stevens, who with Foster •and Steve Gatting, performed wonders at the back, should assist Johnston’s shot past his own ‘keeper Perry Digweed follov~ng a Kenny Dalglish free-kick.

The winner came little more than a minute later. Case got it with a 25-yard drive that was helped by a deflection from a Liverpoot defender.

Liverpool’s agony wasn’t over. Phil Neal, on his 32rd birthday, shot wide from the penalty spot after Tony Grealish had pulled down Kennedy.

Grealish protested so heatedly that he was booked by referee All Grey. “I thought I’d won the ball. It was a harsh penalty,” he said.

Afterwards Brighton headed for the south coast with their FA Cup ambitions as high as the British Caledonian flight that took them there.

In case you haven’t seen the 46 minutes of highlights on YouTube, here I have spliced it with commentary from Tony Millard and Stephen Rooke of Radio Brighton:

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