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BLAST FROM THE PAST: PRESTON

13 January 2017

A look back at two previous matches between Albion and Preston in 1978/79.


The Albion crowd enjoyed a goal bonanza at the Goldstone in September, a day to forget for the Lilywhites’ Mick Baxter who scored two own goals in his side’s 5-1 defeat.

Gerry Ryan, Peter Ward and Paul Clark completed the scoring for the Seagulls, while Ian Cochrane scored Preston’s late consolation goal. In the reverse fixture in February, Brighton lost 1-0, with Alex Bruce scoring his sixth goal in six Second Division matches.

Nobby Stiles’s side finished the season in seventh, while Brighton won promotion to the top flight in second place.

1978/79 season’s highs and lows

August: Newly-promoted Cambridge defeat Brighton 2-0 at the Goldstone, but Peter Ward’s double against Sunderland kick-starts the promotion push.

September: In a topsy-turvy month, the Seagulls lose 4-1 at Leicester City before a fighting 2-2 draw at promotion-chasing Stoke City. The month ended on a high with the emphatic 5-1 win over Preston. 

October: Brighton give a scintillating performance in a 3-1 win at Burnley in the League Cup, but lost 3-0 at Turf Moor in a Second Division fixture against the same opposition later in the month. The team respond to a painful 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace by beating Fulham 3-0 with new boy Gerry Ryan scoring twice.

November: A single Mark Lawrenson goal is enough to take the Seagulls to the quarter finals of the League Cup for the first time ever.

December: The Seagulls give a highly-creditable performance against league champions Nottingham Forest and current League Cup holders, but lose 3-1 to go out at the City Ground. While significant train problems mean many Albion supporters miss the game, the occasion lifts the side who enjoy a bumper festive period, winning four games out of four.

January: Mark Lawrenson scores one of the club’s greatest individual goals against Wolves in the FA Cup at the Goldstone, but the Seagulls lose 3-2.

February: A 3-1 victory over Leicester sees Brighton hit top spot for the first time in the campaign. Paul Clark comes off the bench to score the only goal in Albion’s 1-0 victory at Fulham.

March: It’s promotion form, as the Seagulls win four games and draw three in March, with Peter Ward’s two goals at Bristol Rovers showing he was a class act.

April: Martin Chivers scores his only goal for the club in an entertaining 3-3 draw at Orient, while home victories over Charlton, Bristol Rovers and Blackburn edge the Seagulls closer to promotion. The latter game is remembered partly for a smoke bomb going off just as Teddy Maybank gave Albion the lead.

May: The Seagulls have done it! A 3-1 victory at St James’ Park guarantees promotion for Alan Mullery’s men. Horton, Ward and Ryan score the Brighton goals, all in the first half. 

Little known fact
The 5-1 win at the Goldstone included no less than six players that would play for both Brighton and Preston by the end of their careers: Gary Williams, Peter Sayer, Mark Lawrenson, Harry Wilson, Michael Robinson and Eric Potts.

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