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Look Back: Reading 2002

6 March 2014

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It was wet and unpleasant but it was the biggest game of the 2001/02 campaign so far as title rivals Reading came to Withdean.

Peter Taylor had taken over from Micky Adams, after the popular manager had moved on to Leicester City, and continued the fine work laid before him as the Seagulls went in search of back-to-back championships.

In Albion’s way were Reading but a decisive victory over the table toppers could seriously swing the pendulum in Brighton’s favour, and that is exactly what happened.

Steve Melton, Bobby Zamora and Junior Lewis grabbed the goals as a ruthless Albion stormed to a 3-1 victory with Jamie Cureton’s late goal the only blemish on an otherwise perfect night.

Current first-team physio Paul Watson played in the fixture and told, “Reading were the big spenders and top of the league, and were the team to beat as far as we were concerned.

“It was February, I remember the pitch was horrendous as usual at that time of year, but everything just clicked and we won 3-1.

“It not only closed the gap at the top but it was the game which turned the tide in our favour.

“We proved to ourselves that we could win the league and we didn’t look back.”

Indeed they didn’t as Brighton eventually overhauled the Royals and secured a second consecutive league title and a return to the second tier of English football.

Albion v Reading:
Saturday 8th March, kick-off 3pm
Albion v QPR:
Tuesday 11th March, kick-off 7.45pm
Albion v Ipswich Town:
Saturday 22nd March, kick-off 3pm

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