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12 June 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Turf Moor

Following back-to-back championships for Brighton & Hove Albion, their 2002/03 First Division campaign got underway with a tough fixture against Burnley at Turf Moor.

The Clarets agonisingly missed out on the play-offs the previous season, as they finished just outside the top six on goal difference, while Albion arrived in England’s second flight as major underdogs.

There were no additions to Albion’s matchday squad, as all 15 players had been involved in the club’s promotion the previous season, with Martin Hinshelwood replacing Peter Taylor in the managerial hotseat.

Prized asset Bobby Zamora led the line for the Seagulls, while youth graduate Adam Hinshelwood made his debut for the club, as he started the game in central defence.

The hosts were hot favourites to get their season off to a flyer with all three points, however Albion winger Steve Melton opened the scoring in the 29th minute, to shock the 14,738 supporters in attendance.

Five minute after the break, the Seagulls were handed a numerical advantage when Arthur Gnohere was sent off for the home side, which gave Albion the initiative to push forward in search of a second goal.

In the space of four second-half minutes, Albion’s lead stretched to 3-0 as goals from Paul Brooker and Zamora stunned both sets of supporters.

Lee Briscoe pulled a goal back for Burnley in the 90th minute, but the points were already signed, sealed and delivered, as the Seagulls impressively announced their arrival in England’s second tier.

ALBION: Kuipers; Watson, Pethick, Hinshelwood, Mayo; Melton (Rogers 35), Carpenter, Oatway, Brooker; Hart (Wilkinson 69), Zamora (Marney 86).

SUBS NOT USED: Patterson (GK), Virgo.

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