It is 20 years since Adam Virgo played a huge role in helping Albion win promotion via the play-offs.

He remembers it felt like going to a boxing match as he headed with Mark McGhee’s squad to take on Bristol City at the Millennium Stadium.

Virgo will be ringside at the Sussex Transport Community Stadium in Woodside Road, working for TNT Sports, as Worthing’s promotion hopes go on the line against Braintree (3pm).

He makes the Sussex side slight favourites to claim the remaining place in the fifth-tier National League.

But he also believes Braintree will take confidence from the fact they won both league fixtures - 4-0 in Essex early in the season and 1-0 at Worthing just before Adam Hinshelwood left for York City.

More than 30,000 fans followed the Seagulls to Cardiff back in 2004 and the occasion was seen as proof that the club needed a new stadium.

Equally, interest in this final has been through the roof and club owner George Dowell, while apologising to fans who missed out on tickets, has said it underlines the need for a greater capacity.

There are plans in place for a new covered terrace along the north side but the ground will look very similar to how it has for years as it stages a game of which Worthing – town and cub - has never quite seen the like.

Virgo said: “When we went to play Bristol City it felt like a boxing match.

“You know your opponent and you have got to knock them out to beat them.

“But it is a very different concept.

“You know the magnitude of it.

“Sometimes you can put too much into people’s heads.

“Keep it as simple as possible “But this could be life-changing for the club going forward.

“They are a progressive club doing great things and this is the next chapter.

“I don’t think Worthing were ready to go up when they lost in the play-offs last year but I think now they are ready to step up.”

The Rebels have home advantage because Braintree won at top seeds Chelmsford in the play-offs, serving notice of the threat they pose.

But Virgo believes Worthing’s dramatic win at home to Maidstone should not be under-rated.

He said: “Maidstone had the FA Cup run and that group of players would have been used to big games.

“Worthing have to go in as favourites.

“They have the home advantage but that can be a pressure on them as well.

“Interest in the game has been phenomenal.

“Aarran Racine has done a really good job in charge with Darren Budd and Dean Hammond to continue the good work Hinsh has done.

“It reminded me a bit of when I was at Brighton and Peter Taylor came in after Micky Adams.

“I did some work with Peter later and got to know him really well and he said when he came in the squad was running itself.

“If Aarran wants to change things, you do that over the summer.”

Virgo sees Aaron Blair, who scored the winner at Worthing, as a threat.

“He is a quality centre-forward at this level. He is a very good striker.”

Virgo also picks out Shaquile Coulthirst, previously of Barnet and Ebbsfleet, Worthing-born winger Charlie Wakefield and former Ipswich and West Ham striker Freddie Sears as individuals to look out for.

He added: “That just shows the level of National League north and south.

“At Worthing, it is all about the goals they can score and Ollie Pearce is going to be at the forefront of it.

“Danny Cashman as well. Those big-game players are going to have to be massive for them.”

It’s show-time.