Tag Archives: graham moseley

Going great guns …but for how long?

The Arsenal v Leeds programme of April 1981 did not hesitate to rub it in:

Our win at Brighton is discussed on the Terry Neill page elsewhere in this programme, but it surely must be something of a football record. In two seasons we have met them no less than seven times, four League, one FA Cup and two League Cup (one replay) and Brighton have yet to score a goal against us, while in the same time we have scored sixteen. Brighton will still be hoping, despite this, that we meet again next season as they try to avoid relegation.

In Brighton’s first encounter with Arsenal in the 1980/81 season, Alan Mullery’s men lost 2-0 at Highbury in November. Here’s Graham Rix slotting in the opening goal 17 minutes from time:

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Three minutes later, after a bad pass from Lawrenson to Jacob Cohen, Brian McDermott capitalised to go around Graham Moseley to score the second:

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As the Brighton matchday programme noted:

In the eyes of most spectators, and certainly most of the journalists present, the Albion were a shade unfortunate not to get a point.

In the return fixture, in April 1981, at the Goldstone, Brighton lost again, this time to John Hollins’ header:

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There was almost a second for the Gunners when the ball hit the crossbar:

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So another Arsenal game, another defeat. Yet the Seagulls turned things around the following season under Mike Bailey. After a scoreless draw at Highbury, Andy Ritchie scored Brighton’s first ever goal against the Gunners in a very welcome 2-1 triumph in April 1982.

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The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue

Here are the the 12″ and 7″ versions of Brighton’s 1983 FA Cup Final song, with ‘The Goldstone Rap’ as the B-Side, released on Energy Records:

theboysintheoldbrightonblue

With superb attention to detail, the front and back covers had lavish designs that helped to soften the blow to club sponsors British Caledonian Airways, whose name would not feature on the players’ shirts on Cup Final day, due to TV regulations at the time:

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Back row: Michael Robinson, Steve Gatting, Gordon Smith, Graham Moseley, Perry Digweed, Gary Stevens, Steve Foster, Jimmy Case;

Middle row: Sammy Nelson, Giles Stille, Neil Smillie, Tony Grealish, Graham Pearce, Gary Howlett, Gerry Ryan;

Front row: Terry Connor, Chris Ramsey.

I originally bought the 12″ from one of the second hand record shops on Trafalgar Road, Brighton. Not sure how much it cost me, but it was considerably less than the £50 forked out by one of The Seagulls Love Review fanzine lads, Stefan, at a BHACHS auction at Withdean about five years ago!

You can see a dance performance to this song here:

The song can be heard in its entirety below:

In case you want to have a sing-a-long, the rather corny lyrics are:

Chorus
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
come on you seagulls, we’ll see you through
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

verse 1
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
we are the team who’ll be out there for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 2
here we are on the road to wembley way
fighting hard for our place on that day
for the pride of our town down by the sea
we’ll do our best to bring them victory

verse 3
cause we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

reprise chorus

verse 4
as we go on our way to meet the best
once again we’ll be put to the test
but we’ll play like we always try to do
we won’t give up until the game is through

verse 5
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 6
follow the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue (twice)

reprise chorus with last line sang twice

I have been told that the lyrics of Albion’s FA Cup final song were reproduced on an A4 sheet which was distributed over the counter at the Seagulls Shop.

In the end, the song reached number 65 in the UK singles chart. Not a bad achievement considering the song wasn’t all that good!

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Shoot Cover: Jimmy Case (23 April 1983)

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Some interesting thoughts from Steve Foster, going into the FA Cup Semi-Final match of 1983:

“Even now, with us just 90 minutes away from the Final, I’d swop a place at Wembley for First Division safety. We all want to go to Wembley because it would be the biggest day in the history of our club. But not at the expense of our First Division place. That would be too high a price to pay.”

Many Albion fans, who were at the Notts County game later on April 1983, cast doubt on Foster’s account here. In the County match, Foster was booked and therefore suspended from the Final. However, many supporters believed he jeopardised the club’s survival chances by trying to get himself sent off to avoid missing out on Wembley.

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Meanwhile, Graham Moseley talks of being on the verge of quitting the game after being heavily criticised by Alan Mullery.

“My confidence was completely shattered and I was as close to packing it all in as I now am to playing at Wembley. But I stuck with it, and this is my reward.”

Moseley went on to make many outstanding saves in the FA Cup semi-Final against Sheffield Wednesday. However, there was a sting in the tail as when Alan Mullery returned in 1986, one of his first changes to personnel was giving Moseley a free transfer.

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Panini Football 81 – a Brighton watershed

Brighton fans may have initially balked at getting a sticker album with Crystal Palace’s Gerry Francis on the cover, but I’m sure they got over it!

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Besides, Palace’s season was a disaster. They even had four different managers during the course of the 1980/81 season, none that could arrest their slump. Even Ray Wilkins’ side, Manchester United, sacked theirs, ex-Albion player Dave Sexton, at the end of their own disappointing campaign.

And Brighton? It was a watershed season for us too. Potentially Albion’s strongest squad had flattered to deceive. Peter Suddaby had played a major role in 1979/80 but injury meant he never did play in the new all-blue Adidas kit. Mullery resigned at the end of the 1980/81 season, and the reliable John Gregory was another departure, to QPR. While he stayed, Graham Moseley was deeply unsettled, rocked by a loss of form, the signing of Perry Digweed as well, as Mullery’s stinging criticism of the erstwhile number one keeper at the Goldstone:

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Interesting to see Mark Lawrenson listed here as a midfielder. He had performed that role admirably in the second half of 1979/80. Would Albion fortunes have been different had he stayed there in 1980/81? He, alongside Ward and Horton, also departed the Goldstone not long after the publication of this album. We are also treated to a rare shot of Peter Sayer in our new fangled Adidas kit. Sayer was an unused sub on the opening day match against Wolves before leaving for Preston North End.

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Notable absences here are Perry Digweed, Gary Stevens and Andy Ritchie, all of whom made a significant number of appearances during the course of the season.

This album is notable for the first appearance of team groups being made up of two stickers rather than one. Looking through the album, there are some alignment issues with some team groups, but happily, the Brighton one looks fine.

Second Division clubs were also given the half and half treatment, and it’s possible to clearly see Ray Clarke at his new club, Newcastle United. Even Third Division clubs were covered by Panini at the time, albeit with a single sticker team photo. 15mm tall in Charlton’s team sticker was Mike Bailey. Little did Albion fans know it in 1980/81, he would be man to bring forth a new era to the Goldstone, and a whole lot of new player stickers to collect!

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Miracles can still happen

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It was one of the shocks of the season in 1979/80. Nottingham Forest, European Cup holders, had been unbeaten at the City Ground in the League since returning to Division One. Brighton, newcomers to the top flight, had endured a difficult start, without a win in their last nine League matches, and at the bottom of the table.

Well, you know the rest. It proved the turning point as the reshaped Seagulls, Suddaby in defence, with Lawrenson in midfield and Clarke up front, embarked on a run that took them clear of the relegation positions by Boxing Day. However, it all began with this result at the City Ground, as reported by John Vinicombe in the Evening Argus:

The astounding result at Nottingham was certainly no fluke and may hopefully hoist morale to cope with the critical situation facing the club. If Albion can go from their worst performance to upset the European champions in such sensational fashion, there is, surely, reason to hope for better things.

After a week of intense activity at the Goldstone. including abortive transfer deals concerning Peter Ward, the signing of Peter Suddaby and suspension of Teddy Maybank, it looks as though Albion are getting down to the essential task of putting their own house in order.

And not before time. Alan Mullery made four changes for the Forest game, having satisfied himself that Mark Lawrenson was fit and Suddaby was the man to step into the breach.

In almost no time at all, the team has changed dramatically, and the new spirit brought about by the shake-up was much in evidence at the City Ground.

The return of Lawrenson, to play for the first time in midfield made for greater fluency, but Mullery still has not got the side quite right. A training injury prevented John Gregory from turning out.

Almost without exception Albion were unrecognisable from the outfit that conceded 11 goals in the previous three matches.

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They thrived on Gerry Ryan’s 12th minute goal, and, while Forest dominated territorially, we were treated to the spectacle of every man jack battling to keep Forest out instead of abject surrender.

At 31, Suddaby has brought a much needed wise old head to the defence. On the evidence of this one game, he did well to contain Garry Birtles.

Alongside, Steve Foster needed no second bidding to give his all. For a 21 year old, Foster reads a game well, and he encourages by example. He is one to watch for the future, and I don’t just mean Albion.

Good enough to be selected for England Under-21’s last season, he is better placed in First Division to display his improving talents to advantage.

The way Ward has been play!ng lately has given him and his admirers less satisfaction than usual. But at Forest he teased and tormented the club whose manager, Brian Clough, pulled out of last week’s deal.

The way in which Ward turned the defence, took players on and lasted the pace in heavy going suggested that he wanted to prove Clough wrong again and again and again.

Why Ward did not go to Forest is not at all clear after a week of bitter recriminations. There was indignation from chairman Mike Bamber, and a remark by Clough on ITV that he had tried to contact Muliery: “I could never get through to him.” •

Afterwards, Bamber proferred his hand to Clough and thanked him for not signing Ward. “‘You have done us a great favour.”

Yet. only a week previously Ward’s morale was low after a swap with Gerry Daly had fallen through, and the chairman dropped the broadest of hints that there was no place at the club for disenchanted players.

Now, after the Forest victory, the mood has changed, which is nothing surprising in the kaleidoscope world of football.

All managers don’t lie and cheat in the manner suggested by Tommy Docherty, but some peculiar strokes are pulled. I hope now that we have heard the last of the will he – won’t – he – go stories surrounding Ward.

He has a vital role to play in Albion’s battle for survival, and I don’t think it wilt take much now for Mullery to get a settled side.

For a start, the goalkeeper question is resolved, and Graham Moseley is undisputed No. 1. It was Moseley’s penalty save a minute from the break that changed the course of the entire match. Had he not taken a hint from Lawrenson, who thought John Robertson’s kick would go to his left, then we might have seen a different result.

Albion never gave Forest an inch, but the stimulus of an equaliser might well have buried them at the bottom. Now they have handed that unenviable place to Bolton.

Only one step up, maybe, but vital progression. At last, there is a ray of light, although Ipswich and Derby, second and third from bottom, are three points clear.

The selection of Lawrenson for right midfield poses the question of where Gregory will slot in. It is unthinkable that a fully fit Gregory could not command a place, and the arrival of new faces and emergence of the tremendously promising Gary Stevens means there is fierce competition.

This is a vital ingredient, and now the squad, numerically speaking at least, is more in keeping with a First Division roster.

So, the age of miracles is not past. It was Forest’s first home licking in 52 League matches since April 1977, in the Second Division when Cardiff did the trick.

A so-necessary first away League win for Albion was their first since they clinched promotion in the final match at Newcastle. The rapture then was matched by the sheer incredulity at Forest.

The sight of Ryan wrong footing Peter Shilton and just giving the ball enough pace to carry over the line left Forest numb.

The decision of referee Alan Seville in awarding Forest a penalty rendered Albion speechless; well. almost. It appeared to me, both at the time and watching Match of the Day, that Foster made a legitimate challenge and did not push Larry Lloyd down.

Judging by Lloyd’s size, it would need a steam shovel to knock him off balance.

Martin O’Neill sandwiched between them, and when Seville blew and pointed to the spot Lloyd walked away pondering the unpredictability of football.

It was a moment when all that Albion had striven for could have been erased with one grotesquely harsh decision.

Fortunate!y, Moseley heeded Lawrenson’s advice, and Albion went in ten-get tall. He had earlier saved one-handed from David Needham, who hit a post shortly after Ryan goal.

At half-time, Clough withdrew Tony Woodcock whose last appearance it was before joining Cologne in a £650,000 transfer.

The arrival of Ian Bowyer. the sub, improved Forest’s urgency, and two-thirds of the way through they slung everything at Albion.

It was then that Stevens cleared virtually off the line from Birtles, and as the climax boiled Foster’s head was everywhere.

When Albion went off, they were greeted on the touchline by Bamber, while Mullery roared his appreciation from the stand, where he must remain by FA decree until the end of the year.

Perhaps when he comes down, Albion will go up.

Ryan’s gem
Twelve minutes: The fleet-footed Ward pierced Forest, and the move was carried on by Lawrenson and Horton. From the chip, Clarke headed down to Ryan, who withstood a heavy challenge from Lloyd. Having wriggled through, Ryan placed his clincher to perfection. The gentleness of the touch only increased Forest’s agony. 0-1.

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Graham Moseley’s yawn

A rarely seen Albion team photo for 1979/80, but look who’s over yonder, there a-yawning?

moseleysyawn

Why it’s first choice keeper Graham Moseley!

This photo was sent by Kevin (thanks Kevin!) who said:

It was given to me by a family member who didn’t appreciate it, as he is a Chelsea fan. I took it to a far better place and now hopefully will be hung somewhere at home. This family member trained with albion at some point but never went on to play pro.

As Jimbo26 put it on North Stand Chat:

Looks like Moseley had been at the Hove Park Tavern the night before. Good lad!!

Thankfully, Mose perked up enough for this other snap to be taken:

79-80v8

Back row: Giles Stille, Teddy Maybank, Malcolm Poskett, Gary Williams, Mike Kerslake, Gerry Ryan.

Middle row: Steve Foster, Andy Rollings, Graham Moseley, Eric Steele, Martin Chivers, Mark Lawrenson, John Gregory.

Front row: Paul Clark, Peter Sayer, Brian Horton, Peter O’Sullivan, Peter Ward.

It was this version that made it in the quite spectacular Evening Argus wallchart that was given away to readers before the 1979/80 season:

79-80

Despite Moseley’s sleepiness here, it certainly wasn’t a boring season as Brighton proved themselves worthy competitors in their debut campaign in the First Division. By mid-September, many fans would have given up on filling in the results, especially with the Seagulls regularly getting beaten by this point. Credit to the original owner of the wallchart for taking the time to complete the stats to the season’s close!

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The Brighton goalkeeper shirt of the late 1970s

Once I found a green Bukta jersey with black logo on eBay, there was no stopping me! I won the auction for a tenner in late July and then hatched plans to get the classic round Seagulls badge added – and hey presto! – I now have a replica of the goalkeeper top worn during the late 1970s. And yes, I appreciate the number of people for whom this has any sartorial interest is probably rather limited.

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As far as minor variations, the tight-fitting top was worn by goalkeeping rivals Graham Moseley and Eric Steele from the 1977/78 to 1979/80, sometimes with the Bukta lettering, and sometimes with the Buk symbol…

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Sometimes, it featured both the Buk and logotype, as Graham Moseley ably demonstrates…

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There was even a red version, for the times when Brighton played a team with green on their kit, such as Norwich City. The Old Football Shirts website includes the red goalkeeper’s top here.

Green or red, it would be a stretch to describe the goalkeeper’s shirt as a design classic. However, it’s undoubtedly associated with the good times at the Goldstone, so much so that there was even an Eric Steele poster in the centrefold in the Derby v Brighton programme of October 1986, with him proudly wearing his Albion clobber seven years on together while showing off John Vinicombe’s ‘Up, Up and Away’ book celebrating Brighton’s rise to Division One in 1979. You read it right – a Brighton poster in a Derby County programme!

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(Although those shorts look rather like the blue Bukta ones, they’re actually Derby’s of 1986/87).

Talking to Harry Brown, Steele is optimistic about Derby’s chances that season:

“Things are on the move here,” Eric says confidently. “It reminds me of my very happy stay at Brighton. I was part of the Seagulls set up from February 1976 till October 1979, when I moved on to Watford. In that time we moved from the Third to the First Division in three seasons, and I have very happy memories of the Goldstone and its fans. We packed them in up to 25,000 in fact, and I can see it all stirring again just like that here at the Baseball Ground.

Eric believes, as most of his team mates do, that Derby County can equal Brighton’s feat, and maybe even improve on it, by going from Third to First in two seasons. “I want to taste yet another Third to First Divsion success, and I believe it is ‘on.’ That’s why I stayed here to battle it out with Mark (Wallington).

Last May’s promotion here was the fifth in which Eric has been involved during his career – the two with Brighton; from the Fourth to the Third with Peterborough; and from the Second to the First with Watford. He reckons he will contribute to the sixth right here at the Baseball Ground.

He sees the same sort of individual flair emerging here as it did at the Goldstone when he was a Brighton player. “Then we had Mark Lawrenson, who has gone on to great things at Liverpool, Derby-born Peter Ward who was getting us goals galore, Welsh international Peter O’Sullivan, and Brian Horton, now the player-manager at Hull.”

Steele made it promotion number six when with Derby County who won the Second Division championship in 1986/87. He left for Southend at the end of that campaign. When he was loaned to Mansfield in March 1988, he made one last appearance at the Goldstone.

As for the Seagulls’ Bukta goalkeeper shirt, it officially gave way when Brighton switched to Adidas from the start of 1980/81. However, in the pre-season photo shoot for that campaign, the green Adidas shirt was clearly not yet ready and so an extra Albion badge had to be sewn on to conceal the Bukta logo, to create a rather bizarre look. That’s one retro Albion goalkeeper’s top I won’t be emulating!

Tony Knight, Graham Moseley and John Phillips

Tony Knight, Graham Moseley and John Phillips with a seagull on each nipple

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FKS’ last hurrah: Soccer 83-84 stickers

Poor FKS. They once dominated the ’70s football sticker scene with fabulously grandiose album titles such as ‘The Wonderful World of Soccer Stars Gala Collection.’ Which suitably sideburned and flared young kid wouldn’t want to be in on that? By 1983/84, probably due to the intense competition from Panini, FKS had reached the end of the line with the rather dubious ‘Soccer 83-84’ series. Following on from their ‘Soccer 82′, it appears that they were trying to cover two seasons’ worth of top flight soccer with this inept collection. Here are the Brighton players:

Graham Moseley

Graham Moseley

Chris Ramsey

Chris Ramsey

Graham Pearce

Graham Pearce

A stray ball seems to be trying its darnedest to try to muscle in on the limelight behind Moseley’s shoulder. But is this really true? As you can see, the grass behind Moseley and Ramsey looks suspiciously unnatural in its greenness, especially as the unaltered green on the side of Ramsey’s arm rather gives the game away. The mixture of the head and shoulders shots of these players and the zoom-in on Graham Pearce’s head bestow an untidy look for this collection. No wonder Chris Ramsey looks uncomfortable.

Steve Gatting

Steve Gatting

Tony Grealish

Tony Grealish

Steve Foster

Steve Foster

Similar gripes with Messrs Gatting, Grealish and Foster here. Given where FKS had appeared to have swiped their photo shot of Tony Grealish from, you can understand why they had to put on a faux-grass background.

Gary Stevens

Gary Stevens

Jimmy Case

Jimmy Case

Gary Howlett

Gary Howlett

A nice, genuine photo of Jimmy Case, fresh from the barbers, follows another manipulated one of Gary Stevens. And whoa! An intensely dim shot of a young and rather frail-looking Gary Howlett. Suffice to say, if you met him in a dark alleyway, I don’t think you’d be that scared.

Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith

Gerry Ryan

Gerry Ryan

Some more bog-standard and doctored head and shoulders shots of some of Albion’s attackers follow. It’s like FKS were trying very hard to emulate Panini here, whereas some of the action shots that the company had previously used would probably have been more interesting to the young collector.

Neil Smillie

Neil Smillie

And then the final insult! Sticking in a shot of a player in a Crystal Palace kit on a Brighton page. Yeah, thanks, FKS! A bit like putting a sticker of Mo Johnston in a Celtic shirt within a Rangers sticker double-spread, I don’t think that would have gone down too well on the south coast at the time.

No need to be too resentful to FKS, though, after a stay that had lasted since the late 1960s. The company had introduced new ideas such as actual albums for affixing your stickers, something we take for granted today. Now, though, the game was up.

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New arrivals hold the key in 1980/81

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The 1980/81 Albion squad was probably the strongest in the club’s history. At least on paper. With their first season of top flight football behind them, Brighton looked to build on their experience, and were bolstered by Michael Robinson and Gordon Smith, two £400,000 captures. The Robinson-Ward striking partnership appeared to promise an avalanche of goals while Mark Lawrenson and Steve Foster seemed likely to keep things solid at the back.

It certainly didn’t pan out that way, which is perhaps testament to the outstanding contributions that Ray Clarke and Peter Suddaby made to the Brighton side. They both had a profound effect on Albion’s season when they joined mid-way in 1979/80. Their departures certainly coincided with a downturn in Albion fortunes, despite the opening day success, a comfortable 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the sunshine at the Goldstone in August 1980.

An outstanding article by Dave Spurdens dissects the functioning of the Brighton team at the time:

Last season the First Division induced in Brighton the sort of timorous insecurity common to squatters awaiting removal from their borrowed abode.

No mean appraiser of life’s realities in the big league, Alan Mullery saw clearly that reinforcements would have to be moved up if Brighton was to grow from a rather crotchety tenant to an established mortgagee.

The departures of Ray Clarke, Peter Suddaby and Andy Rollings to pastures new heralded the expected re-jig and after a series of wrangles Mullery forked out a million pounds and came up with Gordon Smith, signed from Rangers, Ray McHale, the generator behind Swindon’s surge, Moshe Gariani, spotted in Israel during a club trip and finally, after much ado, Michael Robinson (below, middle), the Manchester City reject, unloaded by Malcolm Allison in a cut price deal.

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Robinson went to the Goldstone Ground hopefully to prove that Allison had been right to buy him in the first place, but hopefully remiss in sending him packing after one short season.

Apart from those four it’s the same Brighton and at the end of the day success will depend on these players being better than those they have replaced, coupled with the experience of more prolonged First Division status.

Mullery’s prognostications that Brighton will cause a few surprises started off with a bang when Wolves, the team many tip to challenge the leaders, were reminded that the supposed no-hopers from the south would certainly not help them in their aspirations and were duly beaten by them 2-0.

The blend looked good. Smith, everybody in Brighton averred, was another Trevor Brooking. McHale’s industry was commendable and Robinson, if nothing else, confirmed that he was unlikely in the next few years to halve his value again. Robinson, whom nobody apart from Malcolm Allison thought a near million-pound player, now has to prove that he is a near half-million player.

The next game was not so auspicious but nevertheless, despite defeat, demonstrated Brighton’s senior status against another of this year’s tips for the great ‘Nick the title off Liverpool’ campaign, Ipswich.

Taken all round in victory and defeat, this new-look Brighton is a tight outfit with a very solid back four, a midfield that is directed by skipper Brian Horton and a front line that once gets to know itself could produce problems for even the best.

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Horton (above), a ubiquitous character, has an influence in the three lines slotting into the back whenever Mark Lawrenson takes off for advanced territory, running the midfield and going on occasional forays behind his front three whenever the opportunity presents itself.

In four seasons at Brighton, since he arrived from Port Vale, he has matured into an integrating force with a strong sense of how to exploit time and space. His influence gives Brighton a varied tempo and a less predictable pattern of advance.

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Horton (above) plays a complete midfield role and his defensive work is tenacious and very professional.

Unlike his two midfield colleagues, who allow players to steal goalside oblivious of the pressure it puts on the back four players, Horton is an expert tracker and uses his experience to transfer marking responsibilities when he feels he is being pulled too far away from crucial zones.

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McHale (above), though he operated well forward, is an industrious player busily looking for possession from the man with the ball, but he is not so aware of the damage those without the ball can do.

Neil McNab falls into the same trap of being less than attentive to those who ghost behind his area of concentration. On the ball, he has the look of threatening competence as he moves forward with control. The final pass is often less incisive than anticipated, and some of his forward probes are too easily read by those who should be troubled by them.

Brighton’s build-up when started by Horton or full-back John Gregory is patient and constructive, but tends to be a fifteen-yard game which is easily closed down by good defenders or by teams that fall off and vacate the midfield space.

With a build-up like this, one waits frustratingly for the breakthrough from the back or the run into space which has been created by the diagonal drift of their build up.

So often play develops from the right to left, dragging opposition players with it and leaving large spaces into which back or midfield players should be running in order to exploit opportunities on the blind side.

Even when they are developing their game around the midfield, and where the opposition is turned minimally, there is still a great need for play to be switched once the options have closed down on one flank or the other.

If there was a major reason, in their second game, why their opponents could sit reasonably comfortably it was this tendency to attack in straight lines.

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It has been generally accepted by the Seasiders that (above) Lawrenson’s best role is at the centre of the back four.

Certainly with he and Steve Foster at the heart of the defence there is a solidarity that will stand them in good stead whenever they play.

Brighton’s resources probably dictate this policy, lacking the luxury of being able to use players in their perfect role.

I thought Lawrenson playing in front of the two centre-backs last season was more effective because of the strength of his forward runs, and he didn’t have the worry of leaving gaps at the back.

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Foster (above) is playing better than ever alongside Lawrenson, with tireless courage and aggression.

There are those who feel him to be one of the best young centre-backs in the country. Against Ipswich, it was interesting to see him with the two favourite contenders for the spots currently held so securely by Thompson and Watson.

Under far greater pressure, Foster made several early errors – especially when it came to picking up high balls on the edge of the box. But once he settled down, he looked the equal to anybody aspiring to international status.

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At full back, Gregory (above) turn in his usually immaculate performance both defensively and creatively when he plays the ball forward, but his energy in getting forward into good space seems seriously curtailed. Whether through disinclination or orders, only the player and his manager can know.

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On the other flank, young Gary Williams (above) gives the impression that, unless he tightens up on his jockeying to players who run at him withthe ball, he could be in for a skinning before the season gets much older.

The rest of his game seems to be developing well and the way he linked up with the centre-back in the middle when his partner had been pulled out wide suggests he is learning his craft quickly.

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Behind this promising back four Graham Moseley (above) looks quick and agile, enjoying the confidence of those in front of him.

There are times when he could be more positive in his communication but I suspect his diffidence may be prompted by the perpetual dialogue conducted by Foster just in front of him.

The 1980/81 season turned out to be another one of struggle as Brighton’s reshaped side blew hot and cold in the First Division. After the opening day victory over Wolves, it took another six games to record another League victory. Peter Ward left for Nottingham Forest in the middle of a ten match winless spell from late September that saw Brighton vacate the League Cup and marooned at the bottom of Division One by mid-November. Then, a surprise 1-0 win over League leaders Ipswich Town kick-started a brief run of good form. After another slump in the New Year, when Brighton won just twice in fifteen matches, the Seagulls saved themselves with a miraculous spell of four wins in four matches at the end of the season.

This late form showed what Mullery’s most accomplished looking side was capable of. However, it was not without its flaws, as journalist Dave Spurdens capably showed. Although Michael Robinson came good with 22 goals, this did not fully paper over the cracks. When Mike Bailey took over in the summer of 1981, another re-jig of the squad was in the pipeline.

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Graham Moseley: My Brighton nightmare

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From Match Weekly in 1981/82:

Graham Moseley has emerged from a ‘nightmare’ six months under Alan Mullery to reclaim his place as Brighton’s number one goalkeeper.

Graham looked set to leave the Goldstone Ground after being dropped from the team last season and publicly blamed by manager Mullery for Brighton’s poor League position. He was banished to the reserves and replaced by £150,000 Fulham reserve Perry Digweed.

“Last season was a nightmare for me. I fully expected to leave Brighton because I saw no future for me there. It hurt the way Alan treated me – I felt it was very unfair. He never gave me a chance. There was no way I could play for him again so I put in a transfer request and was set to go. I wouldn’t have minded being dropped if he had told me first. Instead he blasted me in the press. He even stopped my first team bonus money and made me stay at home when the squad went on an end of season tour. Confidence was at a very low ebb but Alan never made any effort to comfort me. Playing in the reserves was like being unemployed. All I could do was play well and hope that someone would buy me.

When Alan Mullery resigned as Brighton boss in the summer of 1981, Mike Bailey’s arrival gave Moseley a second chance:

“I went to see Mike as soon as he arrived because I was still on the transfer list. He told me that all slates were clean and that I’d get a chance to prove myself. There’s a new confidence in the side this season and that’s been reflected in our start to the campaign. Mike has brought in some very good players and competition for places is fiercer than it’s ever been before. We’ve got to establish ourselves in the First Division and I think we’re capable of finishing in the top half of the table. On a personal note, it’s tremendous to be playing for a manager who’s willing to help me. Mike Bailey has given back my will to play.”

By the end of the season, Moseley had re-established himself at the club, playing 30 League games with Brighton in 13th spot in Division One, their highest ever finish.

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