Having knocked out Arsenal, Rotherham were firm favourites against Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup in 1959/60. Yet it was Billy Lane’s side that prevailed, scoring six in a splendid fourth round second replay at Highbury in February 1960 in front of 32,854 supporters.Here is the programme and some photos from the game.
It was a closer affair 12 years later, as a 25-yard screamer from Ken Beamish in injury time in late April 1972 was enough to take Pat Saward’s Albion to the edge of promotion to Division Two. The matchday programme can be read here.
By the opening day of the 1975/76 season, Brighton were a much changed outfit as Peter Taylor’s wheeling and dealing led to many new faces at the Goldstone. Amongst those were the former Spurs midfielder Phil Beal, making his debut in a 3-0 success over Rotherham. Here’s Shoot! Magazine describing Beal’s ‘gladiatorial’ performance.
The Yorkshire side were at the receiving end of another defeat, with goals by future Rotherham winger Tony Towner helping Alan Mullery’s side to a 3-1 win in September 1976. Photos from the encounter can be found in a subsequent matchday programme.
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In the return match, Albion held promotion rivals Rotherham to a 0-0 stalemate at Millmoor. Ken Tiler played at right-back for Albion that afternoon. He subsequently joined the Millers in a £15,000 deal in July 1979. Here is an interview with the defender.
Other players who have played for both Brighton and Rotherham include Bill Cassidy, Alan Gilliver, Wally Gould and Mike Trusson. Jack Mansell and Billy McEwan are two former Albion players who went on to manage the Millers.
Rotherham undoubtedly held the upper hand from 1988 to 1994, winning five successive matches with the Seagulls. It began when their relegation-threatened side secured a 1-0 victory at Millmoor in March 1988. Paul Haycock’s winner was set up by former Albion midfielder Tony Grealish.
It took Peter Smith’s equaliser in October 1994 for Brighton’s hoodoo against Rotherham to end.
However, he could not stop the Millers’ success in a seven-goal thriller in the return match in March 1995. Junior McDougald, who joined Rotherham a year later, almost secured Brighton a point towards the end.