The Crystal Palace and Brighton rivalry may have been named the 10th biggest derby in Great Britain in 2008, but it is a rivalry that baffles most outside of the clubs, and even some within them.

Eagles manager Ian Holloway admitted he did not understand why the two clubs hated each other before Palace's 3-0 loss at Brighton in March, while Kevin Phillips said last weekend he had no idea why the game was a derby when the club's are so far apart.

Admittedly, both sides have matches with teams much nearer them that are not as feisty and it was not always this way between the two.

Events of the 1976 to 1977 season changed all that.

Palace manager Terry Venables and his Brighton counterpart Alan Mullery had a friendly feud from their playing days at Tottenham Hotspur that turned bitter as the club's met five times throughout the season as they fought for promotion from Division Three.

The first game was a 1-1 draw in the league that saw three smoke bombs thrown on to the pitch and Mullery appeal to the crowd for calm, but it was when the two club's were drawn together in the first round of the FA Cup that things turned nasty.

The first game ended in a 2-2 draw thanks to Rachid Harkouk's equaliser for Palace and the replay also ended in stalemate.

That meant a second replay at Stamford Bridge on December 6, when it all kicked off.

Palace were leading 1-0 when Brighton, already having had a goal disallowed, were given a penalty.

Brian Horton scored it but was made to retake it because of encroachment, though it seemed Palace players were the ones doing who encroached.

The retaken kick was saved and Palace won 1-0 much to Mullery's disgust. Having ranted at the referee, he was walking off the pitch when a Palace supporter poured hot coffee over him.

Mullery reacted by taking the change out of his pocket, throwing it on the floor, and shouting: 'That's all your worth Crystal Palace'.

Your Local Guardian: Alan Mullery

Friend to the Eagles....not: Alan Mullery was manager of Brighton when the rivalry with Crystal Palace was born

He made a few hand gestures too before being led away by police.

From that match and that moment, the rivalry erupted.

The fifth game of the season saw Palace win 3-1, with Harkouk scoring twice.

Such was the effect Harkouk had over Brighton, that Venables played him against them the following season even though he was not fully fit just to scare Mullery, who in turn did not name his team until 15 minutes before kick off to scare Venables.

Memories: Palace v Brighton from the 1978-79 season when the Eagles pipped the newly nicknamed Seagulls to the Second Division title

They were rivals again in the 1978-1979 season when Palace pipped Brighton to the promotion from the Second Division and the rivalry was sealed when Brighton changed their nickname from Dolphins to Seagulls - direct antagonism of Palace's Eagles.

Since then, games between the two have produced some fiery atmospheres and this weekend's play-off semi-final will be no different.