Brighton v Everton
9th April 1983
Everton: Arnold, Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins, Richardson, Ainscow, Johnson, Sharp, Heath, Sheedy.
Brighton: Moseley, Gatting, Ramsey, Grealish, Foster, Stevens, Case, Ryan, Robinson, Smith, Smillie
We have to travel back all the way to April 1983 to find the last time Everton made the long journey to the south coast to take on Brighton and Hove Albion.
Everton in their away strip of all white started the game cagey at first, looking slightly apprehensive to take the game to Brighton on their own turf. It took until around the 40 minute mark for any real incident to take place, but when it did, it kick started a classic.
With plenty of time on the ball, the Brighton full back Ramsey played a causal pass back, only to find that on this occasion he was far too casual in possession. His lazy backpass to his stranded goalkeeper, who was way off his line, was anticipated well by the niggling Kevin Sheedy. The ball ricocheted off the shins of Sheedy on the edge of the Brighton box and rolled neatly into the corner of the net to put the visitors from Merseyside 1-0 up and send the travelling fans into a frenzy.
Just before half time however, Brighton had a rare chance to equalise, and nearly did, if it wasn’t for the bravery of Everton’s goalkeeper Arnold, who saved well with his legs.
In the second half, Brighton came out sharper and looking more dangerous, after clearly being directed to take the game to Everton more. However, for the majority, they failed to create a clear cut chance.
It was Everton who went close next, twice in fact, as efforts from Richardson and Sheedy came close to pushing Everton into a comfortable lead.
This was the wake-up call Brighton and their home support needed as rally cries from the terraces got the South coast team riled. A looping header from Smith came close.
Stevens had a fantastic chance to finally snatch the equaliser for Brighton but the in-form Arnold saved well again with his legs.
Brighton were eventually rewarded for all their pressure when the referee awarded a penalty to The Seagulls, after a trip on striker Foster following a fizzing cross from the right.
Gordon Smith stepped up to take the penalty and thundered it at the post, with Arnold diving on the rebound. The Everton men dashed to their goalkeeper to congratulate him on keeping them in the game, only to be cut short by the referees whistle. Much to Everton’s frustration, the referee ordered a retake of the penalty after the goalkeeper was adjudged to have stepped off his line before it was taken.
After several minutes of protesting and numerous yellow cards being brandished to the furious Everton players, the penalty was eventually retaken by Smith who fired the ball in the exact same corner. Arnold guessed right again, but unfortunately this time, couldn’t stop the ball from zipping into the corner of the net to make the score 1-1.
Moments later, Brighton had the ball in the Everton net again, only for it to be ruled out for a push by the striker bursting through on goal.
From the resulting long-punted free kick, the Everton frontline found the Brighton defence napping and after an initial strike on goal from Adrian Heath was saved well by the Brighton keeper, the ball bounced out to Kevin Sheedy to prod the ball home and steal all three points for Everton with the last kick of the game .
The travelling support went wild and their team ensured they had something to smile about on the long journey home.
-Rich ( @Richie3986 )