Reading (0) 1
Brighton and Hove Albion (1) 2
Division One (Second Tier), 4th April 2003
Steve Coppell’s Seagulls gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding the drop after winning a thrilling match at promotion-chasing Reading.
The team seemed dead and buried having lost 12 successive league matches near the start of the campaign. However, a managerial change help to revive the season.
In this game, a bizarre goal by Paul Brooker set Albion on the way. In the end, Reading finished fourth while Albion were relegated, ending the season in 23rd spot.
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31 Marcus Hahnemann- Brave and agile keeper born in Seattle. Kept seven successive clean sheets near the end of 2002, including a 1-0 win over Brighton.
2 Graeme Murty- A very consistent right-back who was runners-up in the Player of the Season award, having scooped it in the promotion season. His backpass to Hahnemann led to the quick free-kick to give Brighton the lead.
3 Nicky Shorey- Missed just three games in the 2002/03 campaign, and added composure to his undoubted skill as the season progressed.
8 Adrian Williams- Club captain who was outstanding as a centre-back. Made a welcome return to the side for the Brighton match.
29 Steve Brown- This Brighton-born defender joined on a free transfer from Charlton in December 2002.
30 Luke Chadwick- Loan signing who joined from Manchester United in February. Impressed with his immaculate control and dribbling.
11 Andy Hughes- Quick and strong midfielder who can play up front. Joined on a free transfer from Notts County in July 2001.
15 James Harper- A creative and industrious midfielder who ended up winning the club’s Player of the Season award by some distance. His deflected pass gave Jamie Cureton the chance to unleash a 25-yard drive that whistled past Dave Beasant.
25 Ricky Newman- A valuable member of the squad who returned to action after 17 months out.
16 Glen Little- Made his debut in this game against Brighton, but screwed two shots wide.
10 Nicky Forster- Leading goalscorer who later played for the Seagulls. Hit 16 league goals in 2002/03.
Sub- 22 Nathan Tyson (for Chadwick) 79 mins
Sub- 12 Jamie Cureton (for Hughes) 72 mins
Sub- 4 Kevin Watson (for Newman) 59 mins
33 Dave Beasant- Not much chance with Cureton’s incredible shot, but proved himself to be a safe pair of hands throughout the game.
2 Paul Watson- Full-back who hardly missed a game during the 2002/03 season.
3 Kerry Mayo- Finished second in the Player of the Season competition, proving a lot of critics wrong with his wholehearted displays.
4 Danny Cullip- Club captain, who won the Albion Player of the Season award for his determined displays.
20 Ivar Ingimarsson- Icelandic international who joined Brighton on loan from Wolves in February, impressing with his simple but effective play.
9 Gary Hart- Known for his energetic play on the wing and scored four goals in the campaign.
12 Richard Carpenter- His superb in-swinging free-kick was met by Paul Kitson for Brighton to gain an improbable 2-0 lead in the 77th minute.
30 Simon Rodger- Experienced left-sided midfielder born in Shoreham. Joined from Crystal Palace.
11 Paul Brooker- Made the most of Bobby Zamora’s opportunism for an easy finish that flummoxed Reading.
25 Bobby Zamora- Showed speed of thought to take a quick free-kick, passing to Brooker for a 1-0 lead.
28 Graham Barrett- An energetic forward who joined Brighton on loan from Arsenal.
Sub- Nathan Jones (for Hart) 72 mins
Sub- Charlie Oatway (for Rodger) 79 mins
Sub- Paul Kitson (for Barrett) 72 mins
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