When two important Premier League matches have been negotiated and Chris Hughton tries to plot a way past Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals, taking them to penalties might be the most plausible route.

The Seagulls are as long as 24-1 in a two-horse race to beat City in 90 minutes at Wembley in a fortnight, 18-1 to win the competition for the first time.

Quadruple-chasing City are 2-5 favourites to add the famous trophy to the Carabao Cup. The other semi-finalists, Wolves and Watford, are 9-2 and 10-1 respectively.

Albion's odds halve to 12-1 to reach the final by any means, ie incorporating the possibilities of extra-time and a shootout.

If they can emulate Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and take Pep Guardiola's team all the way, they are entitled to fancy their chances of pulling off a huge upset.

The Argus: The Seagulls' dramatic passage in the quarter-finals at Millwall (above) extended their astonishing record in the 12-yard lottery, especially in the FA Cup.

It was their eighth win out of nine on penalties, a run stretching back 15 years in four competitions, including a victory over Manchester City.

Details from club historian Tim Carder reveal the sequence started in unforgettable fashion in the rain at Withdean in May 2004 against Swindon in the second leg of the League One play-off semi-finals.

There were echoes of the manner of Albion's Millwall triumph as Adam Virgo's header in stoppage time of extra-time forced the shootout. The Seagulls prevailed 4-3 when Andrew Gurney hit a post for Swindon.

Albion went on to be promoted to the Championship under Mark McGhee, beating Bristol City in Cardiff with another penalty, in normal time, converted by Leon Knight.

Two-and-a-half years after that, Millwall were also victims at The Den in the Southern quarter-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Ten-man Albion again left it late to force penalties, Jake Robinson equalising after Guy Butters had been sent off midway through the first half.

Jake Cooper fired over in Sunday's quarter-final to seal Albion's passage.

Zak Whitbread was the culprit at the same ground 13 years ago, a carbon-copy enabling Kerry Mayo to see the Seagulls through 3-2.

The Argus: Vincent Kompany (above) will not want to be reminded of Albion's next success on penalties, at Withdean in September 2008 in the second round of the League Cup sponsored in those days by Carling.

The Manchester City stalwart was in the side managed then by Mark Hughes and dumped out by the League One Seagulls in Micky Adams' second spell in charge.

Deadlocked at 2-2 after-extra-time, Michel Kuipers saved from Michael Ball when Albion were 4-3 up in the shootout. Matt Richards made sure of the giantkilling.

Glenn Murray might want to refer to it in the Wembley tunnel. He equalised late in normal time and scored in the shootout.

A fortnight later, Albion were at it again in the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, knocking out Leyton Orient 5-4 despite Robbie Savage having his spot-kick saved.

The outcome was the same at Shrewsbury two months further down the line to reach the Southern Area final. John Sullivan was the hero on that occasion, with Kuipers nursing a broken hand.

The one blot on the shootout record denied Albion a trip to Wembley. They lost 4-3 at Luton following a red card for David Livermore, Hatters keeper Lewis Price foiling Jason Jarrett and Chris Birchall.

The Seagulls have profited three times in the FA Cup. They reached round two in a replay at Woking in 2010, winning 3-0 on penalties.

Gus Poyet's side also sneaked through to round four in 2012, 5-4 on spot-kicks in a replay at Wrexham.

So fans need not have fretted when Murray's opening penalty last weekend struck the bar. It was inevitable that Mathew Ryan would come to the rescue.