Brighton & Hove Albion and Reading have played out a number of cagey encounters in recent years, with just four goals scored in the last four meetings between the two clubs.
The very first match between the two sides on the south coast was in an Old Third Division fixture back in October 1920, as Albion and the Royals shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
Since then the Royals have had the edge in the overall head-to-head record boasting 34 victories compared to 29 for Albion, with 28 fixtures ending all square.
The Berkshire side went on a seven-match unbeaten run against the Seagulls between August 2004 and January 2014, but that streak was ended in last season’s third round FA Cup tie when Andrew Crofts fired Albion to victory.
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Here are three memorable matches between the two sides:
8th March 2014
Albion 1 Reading 1
The Seagulls battled out a draw against fellow play-off contenders Reading at the Amex, having played most of the second half with ten men. Albion took the lead after 17 minutes when Chris Gunter headed David Lopez’s cross into his own net, but six minutes into the second half Albion captain Gordon Greer was dismissed for his second yellow card following a late challenge on Adam Le Fondre. Reading then had the momentum and equalised through Royston Drenthe just after the hour mark. Tomasz Kuszczak then came to Albion’s rescue with a superb save to deny on-rushing Jobi McAnuff 10 minutes from time, before Will Buckley forced Royals keeper Alex McCarthy into a vital save in stoppage time. It was Albion celebrating on the final day of the season though, as Leo Ulloa’s late header against Nottingham Forest sent the Seagulls into the play-offs at Reading’s expense.
11th February 2002
Albion 3 Reading 1
Albion ended Reading’s 11-match unbeaten run and went to within four points of the then league leaders with this victory at the Withdean Stadium. In difficult conditions, Albion eventually broke the deadline on the hour mark when Gary Hart’s clever back heel allowed Zamora to sweep home his 26th goal of the season. Zamora turned creator for the second goal, chipping the ball over the defence for midfielder Steve Melton to volley home for only his second league goal of his career. The league’s top goal scorer Zamora bagged another assist when he set up loanee Junior Lewis for his first Brighton goal, before Jamie Cureton grabbed an injury consolation for the visitors. Once again Albion ended the season the happier of the two sides, as Peter Taylor’s men topped Division Two to complete the impressive feat of winning back-to-back league titles.
League Cup First Round
28th August 1974
Albion 2 Reading 2
Albion welcomed Reading to the Goldstone for a first round replay following a 0-0 draw at Elm Park a week earlier. The replay started in the same manner as the original tie with both sides defending well and cancelling each other out. It was Reading who eventually broke the deadlock with ten minutes remaining when Barry Wagstaff fired the visitors in front. Fred Binney leveled for Albion when he converted from the spot with six minutes left to send the game to extra time. The Royals took the lead once more just a minute into extra time through John Murray, but Andy Rollings leveled in the 113th minute to send the tie to a second replay. The second replay ended goalless in Berkshire before eventually being settled back at the Goldstone in September, when the Royals won 3-2 to progress to the second round. It’s the only time that an Albion League Cup game has gone to a third replay, with the tie lasting a total of seven hours.