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WITHDEAN YEARS: 2005/06 SEASON ON SEAGULLS TV

20 December 2017

After avoiding relegation on the final day of the 2004/05 season, unfortunately Mark McGhee’s team were unable to pull off a similar recovery the following campaign, as Brighton & Hove Albion returned to the third tier of English football.

Supporters can relive the club’s 2005/06 Championship season on Seagulls TV, and despite it being a disappointing end result, there were still plenty of memorable moments throughout Albion’s seventh season at the Withdean Stadium.

Academy graduates Adam Virgo and Dan Harding both left the club before the start of the season, with the former moving to Celtic for £1.5 million and the latter joining Championship rivals Leeds United.

After Albion supporter Aaron Berry won a competition with Coca-Cola, the Seagulls purchased promising forward Colin Kazim-Richards with the £250,000 prize money, as the 18-year-old arrived from Bury.

Wayne Henderson, Paul McShane, Jason Dodd and Federico Turienzo also joined the club, as the Seagulls prepared for their opening day fixture against Derby County at Pride Park.

Dean Hammond gave Albion an early lead against the Rams, but Paul Peschisolido replied soon after to make it 1-1, and that’s how it finished as both teams took a share of the spoils.

Albion’s first victory of the season came against Plymouth Argyle at the Withdean towards the end of August, with Jake Robinson and Richard Carpenter scoring the goals in a 2-0 win on the south coast.

Next up was a memorable visit to Elland Road, where Albion went 2-0 and 3-1 ahead against Leeds - but Jonathan Douglas struck in the dying stages to prevent McGhee’s men from recording an unexpected victory in Yorkshire.

Kazim-Richards began to show his potential as he scored a brilliant solo goal against Coventry City, but with Albion sitting bottom of the league table, they soon came up against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Paul McShane wrote his name in Albion’s history books, heading the winning goal in the 79th minute against the club’s arch rivals, which sparked jubilant scenes in the away end on the full-time whistle.

Off the pitch, there were champagne celebrations before Albion’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town, as the club reacted to being given permission to build their new stadium at Falmer.

But these celebrations were short-lived as Lewes District Council challenged the verdict after spotting a factual error in the decision letter, meaning the struggle to secure a new ground continued.

Back on the pitch, the Seagulls went nine games without a victory, ending with back-to-back wins over Hull City and Queens Park Rangers at the Withdean, before another three consecutive defeats over the New Year period.

Gary Hart scored the winner in a 2-1 victory against Leeds on the south coast to give Albion’s supporters hope, but seven defeats in eight games followed, which increased the club’s likelihood of being relegated.

Albion recorded impressive victories over Millwall and Ipswich towards the end of the campaign, but hopes of a great escape were dashed when Sheffield Wednesday won 2-0 at the Withdean to relegate the Seagulls back to the third tier.

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