Brighton finally in control of their own destiny as Marrs makes it third time lucky

Sent Her Forward takes a look at the background to Brighton’s Premier League title success

Brighton celebrate winning the FAW Premier League Southern (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHAFC)

Brighton are deserved Premier League champions – but they haven’t finished yet (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHAFC)

Two years ago James Marrs took his table-topping Gillingham team to Brighton for a crucial end-of-season game that could have all but sealed the Premier League title. Continue reading

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Astonishing cup comeback reveals Brighton’s new strength of character

Brighton celebrate one of their six goals against West Ham United (Jan 11 2015) Photo: Geoff Penn/BHA

Brighton staged a sensational comeback, with four goals in 12 minutes (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHA)

Brighton (Blackie, Barton 2, Somes 2, Boswell) 6-2 West Ham United (Sherwood, McCrea)

Brighton have torn many teams apart this season on their way to the top of the FAW Premier League, but their victory today in the second round of the FAW Cup represents a new dimension to their continuing evolution into a genuinely top-class side. Continue reading

Ten-goal Brighton restrict Gillingham youngsters’ development

Action from Brighton Reserves v Gillingham Reserves, Jan 4 2015

For much of the game Gillingham seemed to be in awe of Brighton’s talented team

Brighton Reserves (Blackie 4, Somes 3, Perry, Talbut-Smith, Baker-Carroll) 10-0 Gillingham Reserves

Reserve leagues are a minefield for clubs and their managers. Are they really just platforms for younger players to learn their trade and fight their way into first teams, or does the very existence of a league format mean they should be taken seriously as competitions in themselves? Continue reading

Brighton lay down the gauntlet to Premier League title rivals

Brighton & Hove Albion 2 (Somes 2) Queens Park Rangers 0

Action from Brighton v QPR, Nov 9 2014

Brighton’s passing-and-movement game clicked in the second half against QPR

Brighton went back to the top of the Premier League, taking advantage of a lack of games elsewhere, with a victory over Queens Park Rangers that was far more convincing than the scoreline suggests. Continue reading

Goal-happy Brighton and Pompey head for the top

Round-up of the weekend’s action around the South East

Lucy Quinn scores for Portsmouth v Keynsham Town Sep 14 2014 (Photo: Matt Underwood)

Quinn grabbed her fourth goal of the season in Pompey’s 6-0 win over Keynsham Town (Photo: Matt Underwood)

South Coast Super League hopefuls Brighton and Portsmouth confirmed their credentials with goal-laden victories on Sunday. Continue reading

Gillingham save face but not points as clinical Brighton cruise to victory

Brighton 3 (Barton, Gibbons, Somes) Gillingham 1 (Crinean)

Simon Ratcliffe, Gillingham, and James Marrs, Brighton during Brighton v Gillingham 040914 Photo: Julian Hart

Gillingham’s new and old managers were in opposition for the first time (Photo: Julian Hart)

In the end the masters outdid the apprentices. Brighton, bolstered by five members of the Gillingham team who won the corresponding fixture last May, predictably beat those they left behind in the great exodus that followed manager Jamie Marrs’ switch to the south coast in the summer.

The win will come as no surprise to anyone who has witnessed the sensational close-season events that saw no fewer than 11 of the Gills’ talented squad switch to Brighton to play for the coach they regard so highly.

It was deserved – and could have been by a bigger margin. But it was not the annihilation that some might have feared, as Simon Ratcliffe’s mixture of senior pros, emerging youngsters, fringe players and reserves eventually gave a decent account of themselves in a match with a little more baggage and piquancy than your average Premier League game. Continue reading

Gills triumph in the margins to maintain quest for treble

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Gillingham

Brighton and Gillingham players shake hands before kick-off May 11 2014

Gillingham’s third win over Brighton this season was also their narrowest

Football’s successful players and teams are often separated from the also-rans by the finest of lines.

Talent and attitude take players a long way. Ability to carry out the required tactics in the cauldron of competition, and to think clearly when mayhem surrounds you, may prove the ultimate difference. Continue reading