Look back on the memorable 2003/04 season and a historic fixture for Albion against City.
Leon Knight may have been in superb goalscoring form, with five goals in just three Division Two matches in November; yet his first-half penalty was all the Seagulls had as a positive following a 4-1 home defeat to Bristol City at Withdean Stadium.
Luke Wiltshire, Lee Miller and Aaron Brown inflicted the damage, before defender Matt Hill applied the coup de grace in the second half.
The following month, the Robins launched a spectacular run of 11 successive league victories, rising from ninth to first. Their form fell away somewhat thereafter, drawing 0-0 with the Seagulls at Ashton Gate in late April, before finishing third.
Despite a low average attendance of 6,248, Mark McGhee’s Albion side proved a dogged side in the promotion hunt, finishing one place behind.
In a dramatic finale, albeit in a dour game, Leon Knight’s second penalty against Bristol City during the season, this time at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in May, was watched by a worldwide audience, and clinched promotion in the Play-Off Final.
2003/04 season’s highs and lows
August: Leon Knight begins the season with two doubles, against Oldham and previous club QPR.
September: The Seagulls continue their unbeaten record at home, with Knight scoring in good wins against Chesterfield and Sheffield Wednesday, lifting Albion to second spot.
October: Having hit the top spot by winning 3-0 against both Blackpool and Grimsby, the wheels fall three successive defeats, including a first home defeat, against Stockport.
November: Albion lose 3-1 to Lincoln in the FA Cup and also suffer in the league. Even so, a crucial 2-1 win at Notts County, thanks to another Knight double, puts an end to the bad run.
December: Mark Ghee’s side show indifferent form but a 4-0 thumping of Wycombe, including two goals from John Piercy, keeps spirits high.
January: Trevor Benjamin gets his first goal in a fruitful loan spell in a 2-1 win over Plymouth
February: Benjamin continues to revitalise Albion’s promotion charge with three more goals in February, including one in a 3-0 home win over Bournemouth.
March: The Seagulls win four games out of five to hit fourth spot, beating Colchester 2-1 at Withdean.
April: The form tails off but a 0-0 draw at Bristol City keeps Albion in Play-Off contention.
May: Brighton have done it! After late drama overcomes Swindon in the Play-off Semi-Final, Knight’s penalty against Bristol City secures promotion in the Final at Cardiff.