The leaf-blowers were out early last time Manchester City came to Brighton.

Groundstaff got to work in the distant away end well before the gates opened for an autumnal League Cup tie as newly-rich City headed to Withdean in 2008.

Mark Saggers turned up early for BBC radio duties and reminisced about athletics meetings he had attended at the stadium.

The top men from the national papers were there – and were put on red alert for a while in the run-up to the game when a rumour spread that Paul Gascoigne had died.

Then we witnessed a momentous cup upset as Albion drew 2-2 after 120 minutes and won in a shoot-out.

Joe Anyinsah, who now works in sports management and as a mentor for less fortunate members of society, produced one of the moments of real quality.

His sublime first touch and then pass into the bottom corner put the hosts 2-1 up in extra-time and was the best moment of his brief Albion career on loan from Preston.

“I remember the goal – and just the excitement of the build-up to the game,” he told The Argus.

“And I remember Richard Dunne marking me.

“The goal was a nice touch, beating Kasper Schmeichel.

“I was a bit gutted when they got level because I wanted it to be the winner. But we won the shoot-out.”

A deflected Gelson Fernandes strike put City in front but Glenn Murray touched home late on after a terrific run by Steve Thomson, who had his best game for the Seagulls.

Anyinsah’s goal was cancelled out by Stephen Ireland but Michel Kuipers did his bit in the shoot-out, denying Michael Ball, as Dave Livermore, Murray, Tommy Elphick, Adam Virgo and finally Matt Richards hit the net.

Chairman Dick Knight lamented the fact that Albion still had not secured their stadium and wished 22,000 people could have seen the tie at Falmer.

Meanwhile Kuipers was amused by what he saw on a recording of Sky Sports news that night.

He said: “Only Tony Cottee was still in the studio because our game went on and on and on. The presenter was joking with him about it but he was glued to the screen.”