When Albion Met Spurs To Open The Amex
After a monumental battle to secure a new home, Brighton & Hove Albion began life at the Amex Stadium in July 2011 and tonight’s Premier League opponents - Tottenham Hotspur - were the visitors on a memorable occasion for the Seagulls. Chris Hughton’s team welcome Spurs to the south coast in the Premier League tonight, but almost seven years ago Albion were gearing up for their return to England’s second tier, in their state-of-the-art 22,500-seater stadium. With former Spurs midfielder Gus Poyet in the dugout for the Seagulls, an opening friendly against the north London club was arranged and around 17,000 supporters travelled to the Amex Stadium for its curtain-raiser. Harry Redknapp brought his team to the south coast and the likes of Rafael Van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Jermaine Jenas lined up for the visitors, while Albion’s new club-record signing Craig-Mackail-Smith started up front for the Seagulls. The forward provided an assist for his strike partner Ashley Barnes to open the scoring after 11 minutes, in what was the first senior goal to be scored at Albion’s new home. Goals from Younes Kaboul and Vedran Corluka swung the game in favour of the visitors before the break, but Kazenga LuaLua equalised with a powerful strike in the second half. However, Spurs struck the winning goal eight minutes from time when Jake Livermore found the back of the net to make it 3-2. Almost seven full seasons later, the Seagulls will come up against Tottenham for a second time at the Amex - and three points will be on the line this time around, as Hughton’s side look to maintain their status as a Premier League club. 2011 starting line-ups: ALBION : Ankergren (Brezovan 45); Calderon (Vincelot, 76), Greer, Dunk, Painter; Bridcutt; Sparrow (Buckley, 75), Dicker, Lua-Lua (Bergkamp, 90); Barnes (Noone, 64), Mackail-Smith. Subs not used: Cook, Navarro. Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel; Corluka, Kaboul, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Jenas, Livermore, Bale; Van der Vaart (Defoe, 38); Pavlyuchenko. Subs not used: Gomes (GK), Carroll, Townsend, Kane.