Just in

Brighton reach the FA Cup semi finals

For the first time since 1983 Brighton have reached the FA CUP semi finals. In the year of “Smith must score” and Jimmy Melia’s dancing shoes we beat Manchester City en route to Wembley so the omens are good.

Yet in the 88th minute, two goals down to Millwall and the New Den in full voice in the cold wind and rain, the Seagulls had to dig deep to retrieve the situation.

This we did with two goals the second an inexplicable lapse by David Martin who diverted a cross that was probably going wide into the net in the 94th minute.

In extra time we were disallowed a goal for offside which VAR would have given.
This was not the only decision last weekend that VAR would have overruled as Swansea had every reason to complain about the Manchester City goals.

It’s absurd that VAR is not used as non-Premier Grounds like Swansea’s Liberty Stadium or the New Den. Further UEFA’s procedure is for the VAR panel to ask the referee to reconsider his decision before the camera but the FA actually use the panel to overrule the referee which undermines his authority.

Other correspondents have written of the decline of the FA CUP since 1983.

One reason for its devaluation is playing the semi finals at Wembley. Even as I write we do not know when our tie will take place over the weekend of 7/8 April.

My clever neighbour at the Amex always works things out like the date of the game itself . As Manchester City are playing Spurs in the Champions League on the following Tuesday Saturday looks the most likely.

Brexit is 10 days away and the semi final 18 days.

I am out of the country and if I decide to go it will take some time organising.

Wembley should be kept back for the final and the semi final between a northern and southern club played at the London Stadium, the new White Hart Lane, the Emirates or Stamford Bridge.

About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts