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Beesotted contributor and former Brentford FC programme writer Ian Westbrook looks ahead to Saturday’s visit from Brighton and Hove Albion.


Brighton have made a similar sort of start to the season to Brentford with two wins, one draw and two defeats from their first five games.

They kicked off the campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and also lost by the same score at Birmingham a week later to sit in the relegation zone after two matches.

Three days later they picked up their first points with a 2-0 victory at Leeds and they were really up and running at the end of the week as they beat Bolton 2-1.

They finished August by snatching a 2-2 draw with Charlton thanks to a 93rd minute equaliser from Lewis Dunk to leave them 13th in the table going into the international break.

The Seagulls have progressed to the third round of the Capital One Cup thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Cheltenham and a 4-2 win at Swindon after extra-time.

Their reward is a third round trip to League Two Burton, who won 1-0 at QPR in round two.

Brighton will be looking to make it third time lucky and win promotion this season having lost in the play-off semi-finals in each of the past two campaigns.


Sami Hyypia, who took charge of the Seagulls during the close season, is best known as a classy Liverpool central defender.

The former Finland international spent 10 years at Anfield, winning the Champions League once and the FA Cup and League Cup twice each, and played more than 300 Premier League games for the Reds.

Hyypia also won 105 caps – making him Finland’s second most capped player of all time behind Jari Litmanen.

After retiring from playing at Bayer Leverkusen, he coached with his national team before rejoining the German club and becoming manager shortly afterwards.

His job at Brighton is his first in England and on being appointed, he said: “I’m absolutely thrilled by this appointment. Brighton are an ambitious club and our aim is to take the club to the next level.”


Brighton were last at Griffin Park three and a half years ago on a Tuesday night in March 2011 and returned to Sussex with a 1-0 win which stretched their lead at the top of League One to seven points.

It was our second successive defeat since Nicky Forster was appointed as our permanent manager but was the Seagulls’ sixth win in seven games.

The only goal came in the 74th minute when Karleigh Osborne turned a cross into his own net.

The defeat could have been heavier but Richard Lee saved a 52nd minute penalty from Ashley Barnes.

Lee also superbly denied Glenn Murray in the first half while at the other end Brighton keeper Casper Ankergren made two good saves from shots by Sam Saunders.

Ankergren also stopped a Saunders free-kick late on before Osborne almost atoned for his error, but his effort in the seventh minute of injury-time flew just over the bar.

Brentford: Lee, Neilson, Woodman, Osborne, Legge, Saunders, Diagouraga, Reed (Weston 81) Byrne (Grabban 88), MacDonald (Simpson 30), Alexander. unused subs: Moore, Bean, Balkestein, O’Connor.

Att: 5,694.



This game was one of the highlights of a season which yet again ended in play-off disappointment for the Bees.

Brentford ended a run of five successive league defeats in impressive style as they hammered Brighton in front of the live ITV Digital cameras in a rare Thursday night game.

Ivar Ingimarsson powerfully headed the Bees in front from Stephen Hunt’s 22nd minute corner and we doubled the lead in the 35th minute when Ben Burgess scored from Michael Dobson’s right-wing cross.

Burgess scored a superb third just before the hour mark when he flicked the ball up in the air, turned and smashed in an unstoppable volley for his 14th goal of the season.

“That was a Premiership goal,” said delighted Bees boss Steve Coppell afterwards.

Four minutes later Burgess was involved again as he brilliantly dummied a cross to allow Steve Sidwell to slide in the fourth to complete only Brighton’s fourth defeat of the season.

The result took the Bees back up to fifth in the table – four points behind the second-placed Seagulls, who eventually went on to win the title while we inevitably lost in the play-off final after finishing third.

Brentford: Smith, Dobson, Anderson, Ingimarsson, Powell, Sidwell, Hunt. Evans, Mahon, Owusu, Burgess (Tabb 81). unused subs: Gottskalksson, O’Connor, Hutchinson, McCammon

Att: 7,475.


Liverpool loanee Joao Teixeira is the only former Brentford player on Brighton’s books.

The Portugal Under-21 international had a brief spell on loan to us last season but only made two brief substitute appearances – in the 4-3 win at Tranmere and the 2-0 defeat by Leyton Orient – before returning to Anfield.

The only other connection on the playing staff is Jake Forster-Caskey, whose dad Nicky of course had two spells playing for us in the mid-1990s and during the 2010/11 season before having a brief spell as manager towards the end of that campaign.


Craig Mackail-Smith is back in the Brighton side after spending 13 months on the sidelines after rupturing his Achilles tendon.

The prolific scorer returned for the closing matches of last season and has started four of the Seagulls’ league matches this campaign – appearing as a substitute in the other one – scoring twice.

In two and a half years at Dagenham & Redbridge he scored 38 goals in just over 100 appearances and he hit 99 in all competitions for Peterborough in a little more than 200 games. His strike-rate at Brighton is 23 goals in 94 matches.

Ex-Bee Teixeira, mentioned above, has scored two goals in four games this season and is another one to watch.


Brighton played home matches at four different home grounds between 1996 and 2011.

The 1996/97 season was their last at the Goldstone Ground in Hove – their home for 95 years.

They then spent two campaigns ground-sharing with Gillingham at Priestfield before moving into the Withdean Stadium in 1999. The stadium, built for athletics, was supposed to be a temporary solution for the Seagulls but they ended up playing there until 2011, when they moved into the brand new American Express Community Stadium at Falmer.

The stadium, one which Brentford fans are looking forward to visiting later in the season, has been chosen to host games during next year’s Rugby World Cup.

The Bees’ played the Seagulls at all three of their previous homes.

Our last game at the Goldstone was a goalless draw in March 1996, we lost 3-1 at Priestfield on Boxing Day 1998 and we won one, drew one and lost three of our league games at Withdean – although we did win an LDV Vans Trophy tie there on penalties.

Nobody will be sorry that Brighton are not playing there any more, especially away fans who, despite the visiting section being moved from one end of the ground to the other, needed binoculars to see the goal at the far end.

Ian Westbrook

You can catch Brighton fan – actor Ralph Brown’s view of the match and all things Brighton including poo-gate, Crystal Palace, why Southampton just took off and left Brighton behind … And his favourite player … Ever ..

You can also catch Beesotted’s live Bees/Brighton fan chat from the pub … Both Video and audio streams … on Beesotted YouTube and also on Beesotted Mixlr radio Channel at around 2.05pm (at the end of Birmingham v Leeds match)

For Brighton fans coming down, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match. The four pubs around the ground. The Griffin is closest to the away end. The New Inn is on the other side. And The Princess Royal and The Royal Oak (normally home fans only) are the other two options. Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) the Magpie and Stump real ale pub, Kings Arms opp Brentford station, The Globe, The Lord Nelson (all within 10 mins walk of the ground) and The Plough (if coming by tube). A quick google search and you’ll find them all.

Photo courtesy Mark Raven