Wembley – Saturday 21st May

1983 FA Cup Final

Manchester United 2 (Stapleton, Wilkins) Brighton & Hove Albion 2 (Smith, Stevens)

Manchester United : Bailey, Duxbury, Albiston, Wilkins, McQueen, Moran, Robson, Muhren, Stapleton, Whiteside, Davies

Brighton & Hove Albion : Moseley, Ramsey (Ryan), Stevens, gatting, Pearce, Smillie, Case, Grealish, Howlett, Robinson, Smith

Manchester United were the favourites, as Brighton had been relegated from the First Division that season. United had finished third in the league that season and already had four FA Cup victories to their name, whereas Brighton had never reached the final before, and had been relegated from the top flight that season.

This was so nearly another shock in a “year of the three” Final, for the first match made nonsense of the form book with Brighton, who had finished bottom of the First Division, stretching United (third) to the last kick.

The first match finished 2-2 after extra time. Gordon Smith and Gary Stevens scored for Brighton; Frank Stapleton and Ray Wilkins for United.

It looked all over for Brighton when Ray Wilkins floated United 2?1 ahead from twenty yards, but Gary Stevens levelled four minutes from the end of normal time.

Wembley – Thursday 26th May

1983 FA Cup Final Replay

Manchester United 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Manchester United : Bailey, Duxbury, Albiston, Wilkins, McQueen, Moran, Robson, Muhren, Stapleton, Whiteside, Davies

Brighton & Hove Albion : Moseley, Gatting, Pearce, Grealish, Foster, Stevens, Case,  Howlett, Robinson, Smith, Smillie

The second game on the Thursday night, started the same way the first game had, with Brighton taking the game to Manchester United. Bighton’s chances were limited to long-range drives from Jimmy Case, United goalkeeper Gary Bailey had a couple of important saves to make. This all changed on 25 minutes, with United’s first real attack. Alan Davies, who had made his FA Cup debut in the first game, set up captain Bryan Robson for a left-foot drive past Moseley into the corner of the net. Suddenly the atmosphere changed and it was the Manchester United fans who were singing loudest.

This was compounded in the 30th minute, when United went 2-0 up, giving a team a 2 goal cushion for the first time over the 2 matches. Brighton failed to clear a corner, and Davies crossed for Norman Whiteside to score with a header. This capped an incredible 12 months for the teenager, who had played in the 1982 FIFA World Cup Finals for Northern Ireland, and who had scored in the League Cup Final defeat to Liverpool F.C. earlier in the season.

Brighton were rocked but continued to press, yet went further behind just before half time. Gordon McQueen headed on a free-kick and the ball fell to Robson to tap in at the far post, for his second goal of the game. The scoring was completed in the second half when the Dutch midfielder Arnold Muhren scored a penalty. It was the third consecutive year that a penalty had been awarded (and scored) in the Cup Final replay.

Manchester United v Brighton 1983 FA Cup Final Newspaper West Sussex Gazzette
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1983 FA CUP FINAL- BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION v MANCHESTER UNITED (Exc*)
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Manchester Utd 1983 85 FA CUP FINAL Football Programmes PLUS 1985 SINGLE RECORD.
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FA CUP FINAL REPLAY 1983 - B & H A v Man Utd
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