PRE-SEASON PROFILES: Brighton & Hove Albion

By SFC Media time Thu 05 Jun First team

Saints make another trip along the coast on Thursday 31st July for a friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls qualified for the Championship play-offs at the end of last season after sneaking into sixth place on the final day of the regular campaign by a point, at Reading’s expense.

They were beaten in the play-offs over two legs by Derby County and parted company with head coach Oscar Garcia later that month.

At the time of writing, Brighton remain without a manager as they seek to go one better next season.

Last season they recruited former Saints midfielder Dale Stephens from fellow Championship side Charlton Athletic. He played 14 times for the Seagulls following his January move there, scoring twice. Stephens had a six-game loan spell at St Mary’s towards the end of the 2010/2011 season.

The Seagulls’ main threat last season came from Argentine striker Leonardo Ulloa who bagged 16 goals, including the winning effort that took Brighton into the top six on the last day.

This was a regular fixture over three seasons as Saints and Brighton both earned promotion out of League 1 in 2011.

In that year, Saints were dramatic 2-1 winners on their last trip to the Withdean. David Connolly cancelled out Ashley Barnes’s first half strike on 84 minutes, before José Fonte crashed in a last-minute winner to keep Nigel Adkins’ men in the hunt for promotion.

Upon promotion into the Championship both sides recorded 3-0 wins over each other. Rickie Lambert’s hat-trick secured a victory for the hosts at St Mary’s, but Albion secured their revenge with a 3-0 success at the Amex after Lambert was sent off for the visitors. Jake Forster-Caskey put Gus Poyet’s Brighton into the lead, before Matt Sparrow added a late double to claim all three points.

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