Albion striker Liam Dickinson has been dropped from today’s FA Cup side after he was photographed out on the town hours before calling in sick to training.

The pictures were taken in West Street, Brighton, at 1am on Tuesday - less than 48 hours after manager Russell Slade was sacked for a string of disappointing on-field displays and hours before a team training session.

The club is understood to have responded by dropping Dickinson and banning all Albion players from nights out in central Brighton until further notice.

Dickinson, a £300,000 summer signing, was snapped by photographers cataloguing student binge drinking antics at 12.56am.

He told The Argus he had been for a meal at Wokmania with another, unnamed player, and was on his way home when he helped a girl to a car waiting to pick her up.

He said he had no part in the Carnage UK pub crawl, which was featured in The Argus and The Sun this week amid controversy over the promotion of binge drinking among young people.

Dickinson told The Argus it was a coincidence he was helping the girl when the photos were taken.

He said: “I saw two girls holding another girl up.

“She collapsed in front of us. Her mum or her auntie picked her up in a car. I picked the girl up and put her in the car.”

“I didn’t want to just leave her. Anybody else would have done the same thing.”

When his picture was featured on The Sun’s website it triggered gossip among eagle-eyed visitors to Albion web forum North Stand Chat - and difficult questions from the club’s interim management.

An investigation was launched into whether he had breached the club’s code of conduct.

A club spokesman said: "We're aware of the incident, and will investigate the circumstances surrounding it. Any course of action will be kept in house, and at this stage we have no further comment to make."

The Argus learned yesterday Dickinson had been dropped from today’s FA Cup clash at Wycombe.

On Thursday he said the team were “knuckling under” and training hard ahead of the game.

Stand-in manager Martin Hinshelwood quizzed him about the photos at Withdean this week after they came to the attention of club chairman Tony Bloom.

Dickinson was unavailable yesterday.

The striker was signed from Derby County in July, since when he has scored four goals.

He most recently found the net in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Hartlepool - when the team’s erratic performance was the final nail in the coffin for Slade’s Albion career.