Cup fever was in the air when Brighton & Hove Albion drew Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup third round in September 1969. Freddie Goodwin’s Third Division Albion side had already beaten Portsmouth and Birmingham. They fancied their chances at the Goldstone against mighty Wolves, skippered by future Brighton boss Mike Bailey.
The Evening Argus reported that Albion's early season form was being boosted by energy drinks, then considered a secret weapon!
The local paper also marked the occasion with a splendid colour souvenir supplement as 32,539 people watched Brighton narrowly lose 3-2.
Albion did register a 1-0 victory in a pre-season friendly in August 1977, thanks to a goal from Peter Ward. A photo of Brian Horton from this match was used on the cover of home matchday programmes throughout the 1977/78 season. Indeed, the Brighton v Cambridge publication also features match action inside.
Mark Lawrenson scored a superb solo goal for Second Division Brighton against Wolves in the FA Cup in the 1978/79 season. Sadly, no video footage exists. Nevertheless, you can read a match report of the slender 3-2 defeat here.
By 1979/80, Alan Mullery’s Seagulls had soared to Division One, and star striker Peter Ward notched up the club’s first ever hat trick in the top flight with all three of the visitors’ goals at Molineux in December 1979.
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Ward hit another two in the return fixture in April 1980. Brighton eventually ran up an astonishing sequence of nine successive victories over Wolves from 1979 to 1989. Memorable wins included the opening day of the 1980/81 season, when Gordon Smith and John Gregory scored in a 2-0 success. Many photos from this hot afternoon can be seen here.
Then in 1981/82, an Andy Ritchie goal sealed a 1-0 victory at Molineux, taking Brighton to fifth in the First Division, their highest-ever league placing. Here is the table on 22nd September 1981, with Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all below the in-form Seagulls.
Another notable victory came towards the end of the 1984/85 season, when a 5-1 triumph for Chris Cattlin’s Albion meant that Wolves were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history. Frank Worthington (2), Steve Penney, Alan Biley and Terry Connor all scored on the day. Here is the matchday programme.
The final win in this golden sequence of nine consecutive victories came at Molineux in September 1989. Barry Lloyd’s team raced to a 4-1 lead at half-time before Wolves hit back after the break.
After Dean Wilkins broke the deadlock, it took a Robbie Dennison free-kick equaliser in the return fixture at the Goldstone three months later to finally halt the run.