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PARALLEL LINES: READING

20 August 2016

The connections and similarities between Albion and Reading.


The kit
Brighton and Reading have both donned yellow and blue away kits. The Royals sported blue and yellow hoops in September 1992, which caused a problem when they donned these colours for the match at the Goldstone in the Second Division. Many years later, in 2009, Brighton’s yellow and navy stripes was considered too close to Leicester’s home strip. Instead, the Seagulls turned out in an emergency all-yellow strip to hold the eventual League One title winners to a highly-creditable 0-0 draw.

The Football League

Both clubs entered the Football League in 1920 after they departed the Southern League. In the Third Division (South) matches between Brighton and Reading in October 1920, the Albion had the edge, winning 1-0 at Elm Park thanks to Jack Doran up front. He scored in the 2-2 draw at the Goldstone a week later.

The players
When the Seagulls defeated Reading 2-1 in April 2003, the Royals included Nicky Forster in their starting line-up. He eventually played upfront for the Seagulls from 2007 to 2010. On their bench was Steve Sidwell, who recently had a productive loan spell with the Seagulls and returned to Albion in 2016. Loanee defender Ívar Ingimarsson was on duty for Albion that day, and eventually moved to Reading later that year.

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The bosses
Steve Coppell and Mark McGhee have managed both clubs. Coppell very nearly led the Seagulls to a miraculous escape from relegation in 2002/03 before departing for the Royals. McGhee guided the Seagulls to promotion back up to the second tier of the Football League a season later, thanks to a 1-0 Play-Off Final victory against Bristol City. The former Scotland international striker had started his managerial career as player-boss at Elm Park in 1991, helping a highly-entertaining Royals team to top of the second tier by December 1994.

The glory
1987/88 was historic for both clubs. Under Barry Lloyd, the Seagulls returned to the Second Division at the first time of asking. It was the last-ever promotion in the Goldstone era, culminating in a splendid run of seven wins in the last eight games. For Reading, the campaign is best remembered for their Wembley glory, defeating First Division Luton Town 4-1 in the Simod Cup. Unhappily for the Royals, they also suffered relegation from the Second Division.


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