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Complete Withdean Years Collection Now On Seagulls Tv

By Kieran Cleeves • 25 January 2018

The final instalment of Withdean Years has been added to Seagulls TV - giving supporters the chance to look back at Brighton & Hove Albion’s 2010/11 League One-winning campaign, which ended the club’s 12-year stay in spectacular style.

Starting with the 1999/00 Third Division season and ending with promotion to the Championship ahead of the club’s move to the Amex Stadium - 12 season’s worth of match action can now be viewed on the Seagulls TV archive.

Albion’s stay at the ‘Theatre of Trees’ concluded in breathtaking style, as Gus Poyet’s team mounted an unlikely charge for the league title and succeeded with flying colours - winning the title with four games remaining.

The season started with the announcement that American Express would be sponsoring Albion’s new ground in Falmer, with the American Express Community Stadium roughly a year from being complete.

The Seagulls travelled to the Algarve for a pre-season training camp, and there were numerous additions to Poyet’s squad, including the likes of Matt Sparrow, Casper Ankergren, Ashley Barnes and Gordon Greer.

Sparrow made a fine start to his Albion career, scoring twice on his debut against Swindon Town in a 2-1 victory, which started off a run of just one defeat for the Seagulls in their opening 15 league games.

Kazenga LuaLua also returned to the club on loan for the season, and Poyet’s men sealed an impressive 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle at Home Park, with Barnes and Tommy Elphick on the scoresheet.

Summer signing Francesco Sandaza scored a stoppage-time winner at the Withdean against Oldham Athletic to send Albion top of the League One table towards the end of September.

Three successive victories in October included an impressive 4-0 win against Charlton Athletic at the Valley, before another brilliant 3-0 away victory when Albion played promotion rivals Peterborough United at London Road.

Five games without a league victory was ended with three consecutive wins in January, including the 5-0 thumping of Leyton Orient at the Withdean, as well as a dramatic late victory over Exeter City at St James Park.

With West Bromwich Albion loan signing Chris Wood adding to Poyet’s options up front, supporters were enjoying a new brand of football on the south coast, as the team embraced their manager’s ideas and patiently played out from the back.

Off the pitch, fans began to secure their season tickets for Albion’s first season at their new ground, and it started to look increasingly likely that the Seagulls would be playing Championship football if they could continue their impressive form.

Albion approached a jam-packed month of March which included eight matches in the space of 29 days, and the club’s supporters were in for a memorable few weeks, as Poyet’s team pulled off something quite special.

An outstanding run of eight consecutive victories, which started with a 1-0 win over Yeovil Town and ended with another 1-0 success over Dagenham & Redbridge, put the Seagulls within touching distance of reaching the second tier.

The Daggers were to visit to the Withdean just weeks after the reverse fixture in east London, and after a dramatic contest that swung in the balance throughout, Ashley Barnes struck the vital goal to win the game 4-3 and seal Albion’s promotion.

After jubilant scenes on the pitch that evening, Albion dusted themselves down and won 3-1 at Walsall a few days later to secure the League One title ahead of promotion chasers Southampton and Huddersfield Town.

Huddersfield won 3-2 in the final game at the Withdean, but it did nothing to dampen Albion’s spirits as the players lifted the League One trophy after the game and said an emotional goodbye to their home of 12 years.

To relive Albion’s 2010/11 season on Seagulls TV, and the other 11 Withdean Years instalments, please click here.

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