Football / FA Cup: Crumplin cheers Brighton

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The Independent Online
Woking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Brighton and Hove Albion. . . . . . . . . . . . .2

JOHN CRUMPLIN'S first goal of the season, a header five minutes from time, enabled Second Division Brighton to overcome the GM Vauxhall Conference side, Woking, in their FA Cup second-round replay at Kingfield last night. It was no less than they deserved.

That goal may have done more than help Brighton to a third-round home tie against Portsmouth. Earlier in the day, Brighton had faced a winding-up order, from the Inland Revenue and others, for over pounds 400,000. That had been adjourned until 10 February, and the receipts from the Portsmouth game may be crucial to a club almost pounds 3m in debt. Their manager, Barry Lloyd, said the victory was 'a help to everyone' at the club.

Woking were hoping to rival their remarkable FA Cup run of two seasons ago, when they reached the fourth round after memorably beating West Bromwich Albion 4-2. Indeed, for the first half-hour, Woking looked capable of doing so as they moved the ball around in midfield with great composure.

After only seven minutes, Woking took the lead. Dave Puckett, the former Southampton forward, crossed invitingly from the left and Trevor Senior showed that he has lost little of his goalscorer's instinct at the age of 31, reaching the ball ahead of the covering defence at the near post and sending a sharp volley into the roof of the net.

Brighton had started tentatively. Now they were nervous. An old head was needed and Clive Walker, their 35-year-old winger, supplied it. His darting runs gradually helped to restore their self- belief and, after 32 minutes, Dereck Brown's slip let in Robert Codner, who sent a decisive shot past Laurence Batty. Suddenly Brighton were a different side.

In the second half, they were altogether more aggressive, although they did not often manage to trouble Batty. Five minutes from time, however, the pressure told. Walker crossed from the left, Gary Chivers returned the ball from the right and Crumplin's header deflected off Kevan Brown and over the unfortunate Batty.

Woking: Batty; Fleming, L Wye, K Brown, Alexander, S Wye, D Brown, Biggins, Senior, Puckett (Buzaglo, 86), Fielder. Substitute not used: Steele.

Brighton and Hove Albion: Beeney; Chivers, Chapman, Wilkins, McCarthy, Bissett, Wilkinson (Crumplin, 66), Kennedy, Nogan, Codner, Walker. Substitute not used: Edwards.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).

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