Brighton and Hove Albion

Saturday 26 April 1997

Brighton 1 Doncaster Rovers 0


All tickets sold out in 48 hours. Capacity: 11,500. East Terrace Central and North closed as unsafe.

Home League games since Steve Gritt joined: 3-0 Hull C., 1-1 Colchester U., 3-0 Rochdale, 5-0 Hartlepool U., 1-0 Exeter C., 3-2 Swansea C., 2-1 Northampton T., 4-4 Leyton O., 2-0 Cardiff C., 1-0 Barnet, 1-0 Wigan Athletic. Plus 3-2 win against Fulham in the AWS Cup, with a golden goal winner in extra time.


Conditions: continual rain throughout the morning, and all through the match without respite. Fitting weather conditions for the last game, as all the fans on the open part of the East Terrace got thoroughly drenched.

Darren Moore (Doncaster) dived in with a reckless tackle from behind on Ian Baird (Brighton). In the tussle that followed Darren Moore threw a punch and Ian Baird was attacked by two Doncaster players. The least Ian Baird could do was push Darren Moore away, just in front of the dugouts, so the coaching staff and other players got involved for the biggest punch-up on the pitch in Goldstone history. Darren Moore and Ian Baird were sent off. 18 mins.

Craig Maskelll (Brighton) had an overhead kick in the penalty box diverted just wide.

HT. 0-0

1-0. Stuart Storer (Brighton) volleyed in from close range, after his own shot was punched off the line only to Mark Morris whose header hit the bar and the Doncaster defence was in turmoil and unable to clear. 67 mins. Doncaster had so many defenders in their own penalty area they got in each others way.

FT. 1-0

Doncaster adopted spoiling tactics for the draw they needed to be safe. Nervous Brighton were unsettled by the loss of Ian Baird after 18 mins.

Brighton team: Ormerod , Humphrey, Tuck, Minton, Johnson, Morris, Storer, Mayo , Baird, Maskell, McDonald (inj. sub Reinhelt). Subs: Martin, Hobson, Reinhelt
Attendance: Capacity 11,314 (Doncaster did not take their full allocation). Largest in Division 3. 2nd largest at promoted Fulham was 10,588. Largest of the season. Biggest gate since the New Division 2 game against Port Vale in 1993-94 when a crowd of 15,423 watched a 1-3 defeat and Brighton finished 14th. 1,000 fans outside in gardens and on garage roofs without tickets.

Performance: Average 5/10. Defence were excellent, but attack was punchless

Atmosphere: Very Good 8/10 Extremely noisy, but tense. Chanting throughout the match from all corners of the ground and one hour preceding kick-off, and afterwards. Fans jumping up and down on all four corners of the ground after the goal.

Entertainment (football): Below Average 4/10.

Policing: Very Good 8/10.

Other Bottom of the Table Division 3 Results:

Hartlepool 4 Barnet  0
Leyton Orient 2  Hereford  1
Exeter 1 Chester  5
Mansfield 2 Darlington  1


These results mean it is between Brighton and Hereford for the last place and demotion. Albion need a draw at Edgar Road in the last match away at Hereford. All the other clubs are safe.

Home record v. Doncaster R .League P 7 W 5 D 2 L 0 G 12-1 FA Cup 5-0 win. Average attendance: 10,769.

Average crowd for all Goldstone League games against all opponents was 10,500. This included the pre-War games when attendances were much lower.

On 19 October 1997, Brighton visited Belle Vue and lost 0-3 to Doncaster Rovers for their sixth consecutive defeat, before a crowd of 2,055 supporters, under the Managership of Jimmy Case.

Brighton have played Doncaster Rovers at the Hove only on 7 occasions prior to the very last match at the Goldstone Ground. The first match as a F A Cup encounter in 1931-32 in which Brighton won 5-0. Generally Doncaster R had proved a poor attraction in the bottom two divisions and all crowds have been well below average.

Brighton last entertained Doncaster R. in the Old Division 3 in 1987-88. Albion won 2-0 with two goals from the prolific Garry Nelson, before 7,142 supporters.

Four meetings between the clubs have been in the Old Division 3 in 1966-67 when the teams drew 0-0, in 1969-70 when Albion won 1-0, and in 1970-71 when Kit Napier scored the first of Brighton's goals in a 3-0 victory, besides the win in 1987-88. In all these seasons apart from 1969-70, Doncaster R. were relegated.

Brighton first played in the League Division 4 against Doncaster Rovers in 1963-64. Brighton won at the Goldstone 4-0 with Johnny Goodchild scoring twice from the wing. In the other Division 4 match in 1964-65 Doncaster Rovers were to score their only goal at the Goldstone in a 1-1 draw, before the largest crowd to see a match between the two sides of 16,523, when Bill Cassidy scored for Brighton.
Hereford U. v. Brighton 

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