The possibility of facing West Brom and Derby back-to-back in a cup competition will jog the memory of Albion ambassador Alan Mullery and long-standing supporters.

The Seagulls will play host to Derby in the fifth round of the FA Cup on February 16 if they get through tomorrow night's replay at West Brom.

Rewind to the 1970's, Mullery's Albion had that pair as League Cup opponents in one of the most memorable campaigns in the club's history.

Albion are the team to be shot at now, a Premier League side up against Championship rivals.

Back in 1977 they were the underdogs pulling off a giant killing at West Brom to clinch a tie against two-time title winners Derby.

Mullery's team were in the third tier, carrying all before them in the league and upsetting the odds in the League Cup.

West Brom were not their only top flight victims. After knocking out Southend in round one, Bobby Robson's Ipswich were beaten 2-1 in a second round replay at the Goldstone following a 0-0 draw at Portman Road.

It was a remarkable win achieved with ten men in the days when only one substitute was allowed.

Graham Cross headed home late-on after Phil Beal had been stretchered off and Peter Grummitt's goal came under relentless pressure.

Having seen off top flight opposition for the first time in 43 years, Albion travelled to the Hawthorns more in hope than expectation for the first ever meeting between the clubs.

West Brom under Johnny Giles were a good side. They ended up as the seventh-best team in the country, but they had no answer to the little and large combination of Peter Ward and Ian Mellor.

Ward pounced in three minutes following a move involving 'Spider' Mellor and Gerry Fell.

Ward made it 2-0 on the half-hour with a superb solo effort to stun a crowd of over 18,000.

It got worse for West Brom. Scottish winger Willie Johnston was sent-off for the tenth time in his career for trying to kick, yes kick, referee Derek Lloyd.

Albion's victory could have been more emphatic, Ward and Mellor causing havoc.

The Argus: They were applauded off at the end by the home fans and Giles, West Brom's player-manager. Mullery (above) remarked: "Nobody can say we nicked it. We should have won by a lot more."

That brought Derby, title winners in 1972 and 1974 and European Cup semi-finalists in-between, to the Goldstone in the fourth round.

Ward struck again, Charlie George replying in a 1-1 draw in front of a packed house.

Albion lost the replay 2-1, but the League Cup exploits helped rather than hindered their promotion push in the season which launched the rivalry with Crystal Palace.

Ward scored a club-record 36 goals to finish top scorer in the whole Football League as Albion went up to the second tier.

Forty-two years on, Chris Hughton will be hoping an FA Cup run involving West Brom and Derby will have a positive impact on the bid to remain in the top tier.