A classic Andy Ritchie strike for Albion against Leeds.
Brighton 2-0 Leeds
(2 May 1981, Division One, Goldstone Ground)
Andy Ritchie was Albion’s record signing at £500,000 from Manchester United in October 1980. He had a difficult first season at the Goldstone, struggling to win over supporters unhappy at the departure of Peter Ward. After a run of three goals in four matches from late November, his goalscoring touch seemed to desert him, but he put this right on the last day of the season.
Brighton were already 1-0 up thanks to Steve Foster’s smart drive in the first half. Now, in the second half, Fozzie went on to bamboozle the Leeds defence with a piece of ball-juggling. He ended with a shot that John Lukic smothered, only for Ritchie to stylishly hook the ball into the net.
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Why this goal mattered
The goal put Brighton 2-0 up and so sealed a great escape, with the Seagulls winning their final four league matches to beat the drop. The goal also boosted Ritchie’s confidence for the following season, one which he ended as club top scorer and player of the season.
Ritchie went on to sign for Leeds in 1983 before joining Oldham in 1987, where he played the best football of his career, helping the Latics to two FA Cup Semi-Finals and a League Cup Final, not to mention promotion to Division One. He has managed Oldham, Barnsley and Huddersfield and currently works as a pundit for BBC Radio Leeds and Manchester United TV (MUTV).
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