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Club News

WITHDEAN YEARS: 2001/02 SEASON ON SEAGULLS TV

14 November 2017

The next instalment of Withdean Years has been added to Seagulls TV, meaning Brighton & Hove Albion supporters can now relive the club’s 2001/02 Division Two season, when back-to-back championships were secured to lift the Seagulls into the second tier.

Following the successful season that had gone before, Albion boss Micky Adams recruited a handful of players over the summer months, as Robbie Pethick, Dirk Lehman and Simon Rodger arrived on the south coast.

The Seagulls found themselves in sixth position after a promising August, but after Paul Watson’s 90th-minute winner against Stoke City at the Withdean, Albion reached the league summit.

The club then celebrated its centenary with a 2-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth, but were soon hit by the news that Adams would be leaving to become assistant manager at Leicester City in the Premier League.

Former caretaker manager Peter Taylor arrived to replace Adams, and the transition was seamless, as the Seagulls continued their fine form, winning 3-0 against Oldham Athletic in his first game in charge.

A few months into his reign, Albion sat second in the league, seven points behind leaders Reading, which set the scene for an important meeting between the sides at the Withdean under the floodlights.

Goals from Bobby Zamora, Steve Melton and Junior Lewis secured an impressive 3-1 victory over the Royals, before the teams drew 0-0 the following month at the Madejski Stadium.

Albion were dealt a blow when Zamora suffered a bad shoulder injury against Notts County, but it didn’t stop the Seagulls in their tracks, as they won 4-1 at Colchester United after scoring three times inside 30 minutes.

Lee Steele’s stoppage-time winner against Bristol City meant Albion were on the verge of promotion, and Zamora’s second-half strike at Peterborough United put the pressure on Reading to win against Tranmere Rovers.

The Royals drew the following day and paid the price for drawing nine of their final ten matches of the season, as Taylor’s team strung together seven victories in the same time, to seal the Division Two championship against Swindon Town.

The season ended with a special performance from assistant manager Bob Booker on the balcony of King's House in Hove, as the club went on their second open-top bus parade in as many seasons.


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