Seagulls' wings are clipped by Wotton

Brighton 0 - Plymouth Argyle 2
Click to follow
The Independent Online

History is bunk and the Rt Hon Michael Foot might, once upon a time, have happily agreed with that, but the Plymouth Argyle fan - and former Labour Party leader - would still have realised the significance of this win last night.

History is bunk and the Rt Hon Michael Foot might, once upon a time, have happily agreed with that, but the Plymouth Argyle fan - and former Labour Party leader - would still have realised the significance of this win last night.

Foot, now 90, was in attendance here and was possibly the only fan in the ground who could have seen Argyle's last league win in Sussex back in 1952, when he was a mere whippersnapper at the age of 38. A few more can remember the Devon team's last win at this level, 12 years ago.

It is a four-and-a-half hour journey by road from Plymouth to Brighton, but those who had endured the A-roads at least had something to cheer at half-time when Argyle had a deserved lead even if the goal itself owed a lot to luck.

When Paul Wotton lined up to take a free-kick from 40 yards out, there was more than the odd titter that he should even be bothering from that distance, especially as Albion were so miserly in defence last year.

However, this season that has all changed since the Seagulls conceded three goals in losing to Reading on Saturday. When Wotton struck after 10 minutes, Michel Kuipers could only parry it back among the players and after a couple of ricochets the linesman adjudged Brighton's Danny Cullip to have glanced it over his own goal-line.

The Seagulls appeared grounded and things got worse just a minute before half-time. Mark McGhee's men, who were promoted through the play-offs in May, failed to hold out to the interval as Daniel Harding brought down Marino Keith. That earned the midfielder his second caution and a red card and from the ensuing penalty Wotton drilled his shot past Kuipers.

Wotton's long-range efforts were a constant source of worry to Kuipers, who was making his first home appearance since last October and a certain degree of rust was apparent in his decision-making and handling. If Wotton was not trying his luck then it was Keith instead, drifting in front of the home defence. What it meant was that Brighton were unable to break out of their own half as they struggled with their deficit of players.

Brighton (4-5-1): Kuipers; Mayo, Cullip, Butters, Vergo; Harding, Nicolas, Reid (Jones, h-t), Jarrett (Robinson, 58), Currie; Molango (Hart, 81). Substitues not used: Hinshelwood, May (gk).

Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): McCormick; Worrell, Coughlan, Wotton, Gilbert; Capaldi, Hodges (Lowndes, 81), Lasley, Adams; Crawford (Milne, 69), Keith. Substitues not used: Larrieu (gk), Evans, Doumbe.

Referee: A Hall (W Midlands).

Comments