Virgo wins it for Seagulls
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Brighton turned things around in the closing stages of their relegation scrap with Gillingham to come from a goal down to win 2-1.
Andrew Crofts had given The Gills the lead at The Withdean Stadium in the 34th minute, but the game turned around in the final 11 minutes.
Richard Carpenter levelled with his fine strike on 79 minutes and top scorer Adam Virgo secured the three points three minutes from time.
Stan Ternent suffered an early blow when defender Chris Hope was forced off due to injury after just 18 minutes.
This did not stop Gillingham taking the lead on 34 minutes when Nicky Southall produced a good run and cross down the right for the arriving Crofts, who capped a fine run into the box with a powerful header.
Carpenter had a couple of great strikes fly just wide before and after half time, but The Seagulls were struggling to break down a stubborn Gillingham rearguard.
Brighton piled more and more pressure on the visitors and it eventually told on 79 minutes when Charlie Oatway slid a ball through for Carpenter who unleashed a vicious 25-yarder that flew past Paul Gallacher in the Gillingham net.
Steve Coppell's side piled forward in search of a winner and it duly came just three minutes from the end when Virgo struck yet again to earn a valuable three points for Brighton.
Gillingham remain stranded in the drop zone while Brighton have some much-needed breathing space from the bottom three.