A first top flight trip to Brighton
Had Reading beaten Huddersfield Town yesterday to join Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion in promotion to the Premier League then we would have been set to play two more teams in top flight football for the first ever time.
In our first ever Premier League season our games against Hull and Wigan were firsts in the top league and in 2014/15 we came up against Swansea for the first time. In the season just finished it was both Bournemouth and Watford.
A Reading win yesterday would have seen us play top flight football against the Berkshire club for the first time but Huddersfield beat them on penalties to become the Premier League’s 49th club which leaves Brighton as the only newcomers for us.
Brighton, who in 1997 came as close to losing their Football League status as we did ten years earlier, have played once previously in the old First Division. That was for four years between 1979 and 1983 at a time when we were switching between the Second and Third Divisions.
They were close to going up last year, missing out on goal difference to Middlesbrough for the runners up spot they claimed this year with Newcastle winning the league on the last day. Of course, it is not that long since we played Newcastle at the top level, just a couple of seasons ago with the New Year’s Day 2015 game at St. James’ Park the last occasion.
We’d drawn 1-1 at home with George Boyd scoring our goal and in a bizarre game at Newcastle, in which we were forced to make three first half substitutions, we equalised three times through a Paul Dummitt own goal, Danny Ings and Boyd to earn a point.
It’s some years since we were last top flight opponents of yesterday’s play-off winners Huddersfield. We were regular opponents in the 1950s until Huddersfield’s relegation in 1956 and the only season we’ve since met at the top was in 1970/71. That season saw two away wins with Huddersfield winning 3-2 at the Turf with Alan West and Steve Kindon scoring our goals. Later in the season a Colin Waldron goal gave us a 1-0 win at Leeds Road.
For those who think football started in 1992, by the end of next season we will have played 31 different clubs in the Premier League.Share this page :