Brighton (0) 1
Bristol City (0) 0
Division Two Play Off Final, 30 May 2004
Danny Wilson’s Bristol City side had finished third in Division Two with five more points than Albion, but needed two late goals in the second leg to overcome Hartlepool in their play-off semi final.
The Seagulls also had a dramatic escape from defeat, with Adam Virgo’s 120th-minute goal in the second leg bringing Mark McGhee’s team back to 2-2 on aggregate with Swindon.
With leading Bristol City scorer Lee Peacock out, the Seagulls had a great chance in the final. Although the Robins had territorial advantage, they could not create many clear-cut chances, and Leon Knight’s 84th-minute penalty for the Seagulls led to scenes of jubilation across Sussex.
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Ben Roberts- As the league season reached its climax, Ben had not been beaten in 632 minutes. In the final, he caused panic in the Albion box by spilling a corner.
Adam Virgo- Fondly remembered for his flying, late header in the semi-final against Swindon. Known for his superb long-range passing. Showed this in Cardiff, hitting a wonderful diagonal ball which Chris Iwelumo squandered in the second half.
Danny Cullip- Club captain who lifted the Play-Off trophy in his third promotion campaign with the Albion.
Guy Butters- A very consistent season led to Butters scooping the Albion Player of the Season award.
Dan Harding- A tough-tackling midfielder currently with Eastleigh. Left the Seagulls for Leeds in June 2005.
Gary Hart- Very popular with Albion supporters for his wholehearted approach to the game. His fine substitute performances in the semi-finals won him a place in the starting line-up at the Millennium Stadium.
Charlie Oatway- Tenacious midfielder who went on to serve Albion as first team coach under Gus Poyet.
Richard Carpenter- A constant performer who fired Albion into the lead in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Swindon.
Nathan Jones- Albion’s first-team coach under Sami Hyypia and now under Chris Hughton. In the Play-Off Final, he provided much of the Seagulls’ momentum in the first half from the left.
Leon Knight- Hit the bar in the first half with a great 20 yard free-kick. Scored the winner from the spot in the 84th minute with a hard, low drive to the left past Phillips.
Chris Iwelumo- Formed a ‘little and large’ partnership with Knight after joining the Albion on loan in March 2004. Came more into the game in the second half, fluffing one effort. Fouled by Danny Coles for the priceless penalty.
Sub: Paul Reid (for Carpenter 62)- An attacking midfielder signed on loan from Bradford City on transfer deadline day.
Sub: John Piercy (for Jones 78)- Skilful, versatile player whose season came in fits and starts due to injury.
Steve Phillips- Excellent shot-stopper, conceding just 37 goals in 46 league games in 2003/04.
Louis Carey- A cultured right-back who was selected for the PFA Division Two team of the season for 2003/04.
Tony Butler- Hard-working centre-back. Had a great chance, but hooked a loose ball in the Albion box over the unattended goal.
Danny Coles- A promising centre-back who had an excellent season. Even so, it ended sourly. Coles clipped Iwelumo on the back of his heels to give away the penalty.
Matt Hill- A near ever-present defender, especially known as a good header of the ball.
Tony Rougier- A right-winger and striker who was on loan to Brighton in the previous campaign.
Tom Doherty- Had a great match, showing superb vision with his passing. Went close with a curling free-kick in the first half.
Brian Tinnion- Veteran midfielder who helped City take control of the midfield battle in the second half.
Craig Woodman- Promising left wing-back who was a regular in the middle of the campaign before winning his place back in the play-offs.
Lee Miller- Having been recruited from Falkirk, he scored a respectable nine goals despite not being in the best of form.
Christian Roberts- Scored the goal that took Bristol City to the Play-Off Final.
Sub Luke Wilkshire (for Tinnion 82)- Skilful midfielder bought from Middlesbrough before the 2003/04 campaign, impressing with his performances.
Sub Scott Murray (for Miller 62)- Right-sided midfielder who rejoined Bristol City on transfer deadline day after moving to Reading at the start of 2003/04.
Sub Marc Goodfellow (for Butler 88)- Scored a memorable equaliser against Hartlepool in the play-off semi-final with a 88th minute header.
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