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MEMORIES GONE BY: 150 LEAGUE GAMES AT THE AMEX

17 January 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium reaches another milestone on Saturday afternoon, as Chelsea’s visit in the Premier League marks the 150th league game at the club’s home.

It all started on Saturday 6th August 2011, an emotional day for the club as Gus Poyet’s side walked out the tunnel for not only their first game back in the Championship, but the club’s first league game in their stunning new surroundings.

What a way to start - record signing Will Buckley came off the bench to draw the Seagulls level, before the one-million-pound man lifted the roof with a winning goal deep into stoppage time to beat Doncaster Rovers 2-1.

It proved the start of a number of exciting games to come for Albion’s supporters. Leeds United came to town in September and so did the Sky cameras, for a game which swung in the balance throughout.

Albion came back from 2-0 down to lead in the 84th, when Craig Mackail-Smith scored his second of the game, but Ross McCormack made sure of a dramatic finish, as he levelled to make it 3-3 in the dying stages.

The Seagulls almost defied the odds against Burnley in December, as they found themselves down to nine men after just 12 minutes - however, despite a spirited display at the Amex, Kieran Trippier’s stunning strike won it for the Clarets.

Albion won both battles against their south-coast neighbours, Southampton and Portsmouth, with Jake Forster-Caskey and Matt Sparrow (2) sealing a 3-0 win over the high-flying Saints, before Vicente’s late double won it against Pompey.

Leonardo Ulloa scored the first Amex hat-trick in Albion’s 4-1 victory over Huddersfield Town the following season, before the Argentine’s double and David Lopez’s spectacular free-kick secured a memorable 3-0 win over rivals Crystal Palace.

Poyet’s men notched six goals when Blackpool visited towards the end of the 2012/13 campaign - arguably seven with Dean Hammond scoring in his own net, as Albion won the battle of the seasiders, 6-1.

Chris Hughton arrived at the club after Oscar Garcia and Sami Hyypia’s periods in charge, and the Seagulls came out on top in an entertaining 4-3 victory over Birmingham City in 2015, as Albion’s current boss steered the Seagulls away from the drop zone.

Albion stretched their unbeaten league start to six games when Hull City travelled south in September 2015, but the game will be remembered most for the touching tributes to the victims of the Shoreham air disaster.

Hughton’s side found themselves 2-0 down when Charlton came to the Amex in December, but goals from James Wilson, Bobby Zamora and Tomer Hemed completed a breathtaking comeback to win the game 3-2.

Fulham were dispatched 5-0 towards the end of the season, and Hemed scored a hat-trick for Albion, with Bruno and Anthony Knockaert adding to the scoreline as Hughton's men ended the season in fine form.

Into the 2016/17 season - an emphatic 5-0 victory over Norwich City made Albion’s intentions crystal clear, as Glenn Murray scored his first hat-trick for the club since returning for a second spell.

Wednesday returned to the Amex after losing in the play-off final against Hull City, and the Owls looked destined to take a 2-1 lead after Murray was sent off for handball and the referee awarded a penalty.

But David Stockdale produced an incredible double save to keep out Fernando Forestieri’s efforts in quick succession, before Anthony Knockaert showed Albion’s character to win it in the closing stages.

Then came the moment that Albion’s supporters had all been waiting for - a 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic secured the club’s promotion to the Premier League and fans gathered on the pitch after the full-time whistle to start celebrations that ran long into the night.

After a long summer of anticipation, Manchester City opened Albion’s first-ever Premier League campaign at the Amex, and despite holding Pep Guardiola’s star-studded team for 70 minutes, the current league leaders found the back of the net twice to take all three points.

Albion’s first Premier League victory came in September when West Bromwich Albion made their first visit to the Amex, and Pascal Gross put his name in the history books, scoring the club’s first Premier League goal as the Seagulls ran out 3-1 winners.

Chelsea will make their first-ever league visit to the Amex on Saturday afternoon, and Hughton's team will be looking to send Albion's supporters home with a positive result, as the Amex moves to 150 league games and counting.


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