Video of the Day: Nottingham Forest vs Brighton & Hove Albion, September 1981
Without even kicking a ball, this was not a particularly good weekend for Brighton & Hove Albion. At the top of the Football League Championship, Burnley and Middlesbrough both won to open a chink of daylight between themselves and Brighton, who stay in third place in the table and now have a potentially tricky trip to the East Midlands tonight to play Nottingham Forest to look forward to if they wish to cut that gap at the top. Time, it feels, might not be on Brighton’s side at the moment.
For this morning’s video, we’re going back to Brighton’s last – and to date only – spell in the top flight of English football. Promoted in 1979, the club had endured two seasons of relative struggle once in the First Division, finishing in sixteenth place in 1980 and only just above the relegation places – needing to win their last four matches of the season to avoid the drop – a year later. This little winning run did allow a little optimism to creep into Albion’s preparations for the new season, though, and a run of two wins, three draws and just one defeat from their opening six matches of the new season saw a little confidence growing as they took the field to play Nottingham Forest on the last weekend of September.
Nottingham Forest were no longer the champions of England or Europe and had finished the previous season in seventh place in the First Division. They also went into this match in encouraging form, with three wins and two draws from their first six matches lodging them in fifth place in the table. Curiously, Gordon Smith’s goal for Brighton made it into the 1982 Chuck Norris films Forced Vengeance, but the producers of the film opted to overdub the commentary. The original, featured here, comes from Hugh Johns.
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