Scunthorpe 0 – 2 Albion

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The Iron. They certainly were last season. I was at the Withdean last year when this big physical team steamrollered the Seagulls, it was a case of men against boys that afternoon (4-1 Sat 6th Sep).

Then, against all odds, and battering the egos of bigger clubs like Leeds and Millwall, they won the play-offs, and I was glad they did (I fancy us against those other two more than Scunny). So, where better to go and test Russell Slade’s new look team than Glanford Park?

It’s a lazy sunny day here in Kabul, so I’ll have Seagulls Player (new name for Seagulls World, still shit) on later, if it fooking works, and will give my view on this last friendly before next saturday’s big kick-off at the Withdean. Stay tuned.

It’s now 3:04pm, I’m sat looking at my laptop and Seagulls Player is doing fook all. Marvellous. Commentary comes on finally at 3:07pm, can hardly hear it. Jake Wright makes a bright start, I’m liking this guy already. I think Albion are playing five in midfield, with Navarro sitting in front of the back four and leaving Dicko alone up front. First attack by Scunny, Kuipers makes brilliant save! Elphick heads behind for corner. Cleared off the line by Virgo.

GOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!! From nowhere, Jake Wright wings one in, Cox slots it to Mark Wright, he shoots, ball rebounds off the goalie and Wright taps in. Dickinson wins a corner. Crofts heads one from Mark Wright’s  corner – SAVED! I’m enjoying this. Crofts again, Cox shoots – corner. Cox takes, Elphick heads over. It’s all Albion, Dicko, Cox, Dicker, Mark Wright, Dicko again, they’re really putting pressure on. Dickinson playing really well, working hard.

Scunny break through, closed down by Kuipers – he’s number one this season, no question. This 4-5-1 looks like it’s working well. The wingers are finding space, and Dicko is making a nuisance of himself. Dicko sets up for Cox and he misses a sitter. Half-time, very impressive so far readers.

Changes for half-time: Murray on for Dicko and Jamie Smith on for Dicker. Virgo gets clattered in the face by an Iron player, has to go off, may have lost a couple of teeth. Cox has a good shot on goal, that’s it little fella – the goal’s there somewhere! Cox crosses, Glenn Murray SCORES! 2-0!

Mark Wright crosses for Tommy Elphick, he misses. Cox shoots again, past the post! That’s four clear-cut chances for the little ‘un. Funny as foook. Corner to Scunthorpe, amazing double save from the big Dutchman!! McLeod comes on for Cox and straightaway nearly scores. Scunny fans getting on the backs of their team – it’s a FRIENDLY. Haha! Jim McNulty is on for Jake Wright, fantastic news, I’m well happy for him.

Last ten minutes, Tunnicliffe defending well, McNulty too. Smith busy in midfield. Kuipers is masterful in goal, it’s a hard one for man of the match, Cox, Dicko, Murray, but I’m going to give it jointly to the big keeper and Mark Wright. That’s it, game over.

Final thoughts: That’s the end of the pre-season friendlies. A mixed bag, but this last game, easily the toughest on paper, has been very impressive and I think we have our starting line up for the first game of the season. It’s all over bar the shouting, now the real stuff begins – with ten months of League One football ahead of us. Loving it!

Good Old Sussex By The Sea!!!

Xenophon’s Albion Team Performance : 9 out of 10

Xenophon’s Albion Man of the Match : Michel Kuipers & Mark Wright

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Kuipers; Whing (El Abd 55), J Wright (McNulty 63), Elphick, Virgo (Tunnicliffe 48); M Wright, Navarro, Dicker (J Smith 45), Crofts, Cox (McLeod 55); Dickinson (Murray 45).

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