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Ian Westbrook is up for the cup as he looks at Brentford’s third round FA Cup opponents.

HOW ARE THEY DOING?

Brighton are having a disappointing season so far – but things may be about to take an upturn with the appointment of former Brentford defender Chris Hughton as manager on New Year’s Eve.

The Seagulls entered the Christmas period in the relegation zone after a run of one win in 18 Championship matches – a sequence which resulted in manager Sami Hyypia resigning after only six months in charge.

Assistant Nathan Jones took temporary charge for the Boxing Day game with Reading in which the Seagulls hit back from an early 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2.

Then on Monday this week they finished their festive fixtures with a 2-0 win at Fulham to climb out of the bottom three – only their fourth league win of the campaign.

This is Brighton’s third consecutive season in the Championship following promotion from League One as champions in 2011 and in each of the last two years they have lost in the play-off semi-finals as Brighton fan actor Ralph Brown mentioned in the pre-match podcast when comparing Brighton’s record the feat of Southampton – who finished runners up to them in Division 1 only three seasons ago.

WHO’S THE GAFFER?

Chris Hughton signed a three-and-a-half year contract as the new Brighton manager on Wednesday.

Hughton finished his playing career with the Bees in 1992. Signed near the end of the 1991/92 season in which we won the Third Division title, he played in the first 29 games of our campaign in Division One (now the Championship) before being injured in our December win at Sunderland and being unable to play again.

The former Tottenham and West Ham left-back also won 53 caps for the Republic of Ireland.

After returning to Spurs as coach and assistant manager for 10 years, he moved to Newcastle – leading them back to the Premier League at the first attempt in 2010.

Although he lost that job midway through the following season, he moved on to Birmingham – taking them into the Championship play-offs and the group stages of the Europa League.

In the summer of 2012 he moved on to Norwich but after nearly two years in charge he left the club in April 2014. with them battling against relegation from the top flight.

BEES v SEAGULLS IN THE FA CUP

Saturday’s match will be the fourth time that Brentford and Brighton have met in the FA Cup.

The first occasion was in the first round of the 1928/29 competition, with both teams in Division Three (South), when two goals from Jack Lane helped us to a 4-1 win at Griffin Park.

The next meeting came in the second round in 1974/75 when the Fourth Division Bees travelled to the Third Division Seagulls but slipped to a 1-0 defeat on the south coast.

The most recent tie came in the first round in 1987/88. The all-Third Division clash at Griffin Park went the way of Brighton thanks to a spectacular long-range effort from Garry Nelson and a late penalty. Albion went on to reach the fourth round where they lost at home to Arsenal.

PREVIOUS VISIT

 

This is Brighton’s second visit of the season following their league game at Griffin Park in September.
An exciting match saw us come out with a 3-2 victory – our first home win of the season.

Andrew Crofts rattled a Bees post early on and then Andre Gray was brought down by Lewis Dunk when clean through – with the defender escaping with just a yellow card.

Sam Baldock then had an effort cleared off the line by James Tarkowski before Moses Odubajo broke the deadlock when he scored from an angle on the right-hand side of the penalty area.

Gray then turned in Jake Bidwell’s cross to double the lead with his first goal at Griffin Park.

Gordon Greer pulled one back before the break but Jonathan Douglas restored our two-goal advantage early in the second half from another Bidwell cross.

Danny Holla scored a spectacular second from long range on the hour mark to keep the Seagulls in the game but we held on to claim all three points.

DANGER MEN

Summer signing Adrian Colunga has started to find the net in recent weeks with three goals in his last seven appearances including the opener from the penalty spot at Fulham on Monday.
The Spaniard arrived in August from Spanish side Getafe on a two-year deal.

The prolific Craig Mackail-Smith is always a threat while former Brentford loan player Joao Teixeira, who made two substitute appearances for us last season, is also in the squad although Darren Bent has returned to Aston Villa after the end of his one-month loan spell.

DID YOU KNOW?

Brighton famously came within a whisker of winning the FA Cup in 1983.

They faced Manchester United in the final at Wembley and took an early lead through Gordon Smith. United hit back to lead 2-1 with less than 20 minutes remaining but Gary Stevens struck in the 87th minute to force extra-time.

Deep into the additional half hour, Michael Robinson found an unmarked Smith inside the penalty area but he failed to beat goalkeeper Gary Bailey and the match finished in a draw.

United cruised through the replay 4-0 but Smith was immortalised in the name of a Brighton fanzine “And Smith must score” – which came from the commentary of BBC Radio’s Peter Jones seconds before his miss.

It completed a miserable end to the season for Brighton, who had been relegated from the old First Division.

Check out the Brentford v Brighton FA Cup podcast inc preview from Brighton fan actor Ralph Brown

Check out our previous FanStand Brighton fan interview with Ralph Brown here

Pubs in Brentford

For Brighton fans coming down, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match with four pubs around the ground plus many many more only slightly further afield.

The Griffin (Brook Road South) is closest to the away end and is very popular with away fans – but also gets very busy. The Globe (Windmill Rd .. junction Great West Road) & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) are both incredibly friendly and cozy away-friendly pubs .. frequented by away fans in the know. And are less than 10 mins walk from the ground.

Other than that, you can check out the other of the 4 corner pubs – The New Innon the other side of the ground – also popular with away fans, The Princess Royal and The Royal Oak (normally home fans only).

The Plough (Northfields Ave) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields (which is a much better option than taking the overground from Waterloo/Vauxhall to Brentford main line as tube trains are every 2 or 3 mins as opposed to every ½ hr as they are on the overground) before making your way down to the ground (normally stopping off at The Globe and Lord Nelson en route).

There is also a pub right by Brentford station always referred to as … the Pub by Brentford station.

All pubs are incredibly away-friendly .. you can wear colours … and none of the Brentford pubs (except possibly the Royal Oak sometimes) do bouncers on the door ..

For ale head to the Magpie and Stump real ale pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman can probably hold 15 of you at a push. The Brewery Tap is a cosy boozer by the river and there is a new pub just opened by Kew Bridge called One Over the Ait which is another pub with lovely river views. There are loads more too.

Parking – start at Windmill Road junction of Clifton Road and work your way up Windmill Rd … any of the roads off Windmill Rd as you head north and over the A4 Great West Road will do .. Many people park in the streets around The Globe and The Lord Nelson.

A quick google search and you’ll find them all. There are many many more too if you have an early start (or all evening)