Football: The Crystal Palace - Brighton & Hove Albion Rivalry Explained

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 89 months ago
Football: The Crystal Palace - Brighton & Hove Albion Rivalry Explained

This evening, one of football's stranger feuds is rekindled when Crystal Palace travel the 45 or so miles down to the south coast for a match against Brighton & Hove Albion.

But why on earth should these two clubs, located so far apart and seldom challenging for the game's top honours, have such a bitter rivalry?

The enmity stems from an acrimonious 1976-77 season, in which the two sides, managed respectively by the combative figures of Terry Venables and Alan Mullery, squared off a remarkable five times, most notably in a highly controversial FA Cup third (yes, third) replay at Stamford Bridge. The game had it all: a wrongfully disallowed goal, a retaken (and missed) penalty, bizarre refereeing decisions, and the birth of an enduring hatred between the two sets of fans.

The rather odd stop-motion animation below attempts to explain it all, albeit from a decidedly pro-Palace point of view. For a more reasoned and balanced history, this Guardian article is required reading.

Tonight's game kicks off at 7.45pm, and on current form Brighton, who have made a promising start to their first season back in the Championship, should be victorious. Palace, on the other hand, are struggling: they are win-less in four and have failed to score in their last three league outings. Oh, and they have one of country's worst away records, whilst Brighton haven't lost in the league at the Amex Stadium, their new ground.

If they are to take anything from the game, Palace will probably need striker Glenn Murray, pinched from Brighton during the close season, to find some form in front of goal. But it'd take a very brave gambler to put serious money on the Eagles tonight.

Update: Now's probably not the time to start taking betting advice from Londonist: despite the dismal prediction above, the game finished Brighton 1-3 Palace, with the Londoners scoring all three goals in the final ten minutes of play. Adding insult to injury was the aforementioned Murray getting the third.

Last Updated 27 September 2011