When third tier Albion pushed Manchester United all the way

And If You Know Your History aims to explain and highlight some of the incidents, matches, people, players, and situations – occasionally weird, occasionally wonderful – that combine to make Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club what it is.

By Dan Tester • 26 September 2023

By The Argus
Kurt Nogan and Paul Parker challenge for the ball.

Albion have enjoyed a record equalling run of victories against Manchester United, defeating them in our last four Premier League outings.

In the 1990s, it was a different story. 

As Albion bumbled along in the third division, supporters would eagerly await a cup draw with the hope of drawing one of the big boys, and an away trip. In 1992/93 it happened twice.

By The Argus
Ryan Giggs scored the only goal of United's 1-0 win over us in the FA Cup in the 1992/93 season.

After beating Colchester United 2-1 on aggregate, Albion were drawn against Manchester United in the League Cup second round. A pulsating first leg at the Goldstone Ground finished 1-1 after a great strike from Danny Wallace put the visitors ahead, before Matthew Edwards buried a perfect Ian Chapman cross to equalise in front of a jubilant North Stand. The game will be remembered, though, as the debut of a certain David Beckham. And a colourful welcome to the professional game from the Albion fans.

A fortnight later, the stripes headed to Old Trafford that was being redeveloped. In front of a crowd of just 25,405, a trademark Mark Hughes volley gave the home side a narrow win.

In January, Albion faced Portsmouth in Hove in the FA Cup third round. Second-tier Pompey were without their goal machines of Guy Whittingham and Paul Walsh but were expected to dispatch their hosts with ease. But, Matthew Edwards stunned the Hampshire side to set up another trip north to the red half of Manchester in round four.

By The Argus
Dean Wilkins looks to get away from Paul Ince.

Albion striker Andy Kennedy was hauled down by Peter Schmeichel in the first half but the referee waved play on. A strong Dean Wilkins tackle of the edge their box resulted in a direct free-kick which was perfectly executed by a player slowly making his name in the game – Ryan Giggs.

So, three games against Manchester United – who would go on to win the top division for the first time in 26 years – and one goal scored.

Thankfully, things are very different these days.