Gillingham 1 – 1 Albion

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There will always be a little corner of Withdean in Gillingham’s green and pleasant land

That all-important win that will consolidate our League One status for next year still proves elusive. Last night’s game was a complete comedy of errors, as maddening as it was ultimately entertaining. We were both jammy and unlucky, the overall performance was pretty fucking poor to be honest, but also strangely thrilling, a footballing enigma. And the bright side (there’s always one with the Albion folks) is that there’s still a purpose and meaning to our season, at least until the next game. We’re not out of the relegation woods just yet.

The Priestfield Stadium always gets stick from Brighton fans, probably because our darkest hours as a football club were experienced there as the disenfranchised, the soccer homeless. The team were awful when Gillingham was our “home”. But, forget about all that, I actually like the place. I like the fact that it’s in the heart of the local community, I like its lob-sided stands – the away end with its roofless meccano seating should be seen as a homage to our beloved Withdean – it can generate a good atmosphere and did so last night. What’s there to complain about?

A steward told us that Albion had brought 1200 to Priestfield, and that they were expecting 600-700. So naturally things were cramped on the open stand, but they were strangely quiet too. The match was the reason the big travelling support were subdued, inflatable rings and beachballs aside. Gills support was as rowdy as you’d expect from a team battling to stay up. And battle is what their team did.

Gillingham played hard and upset the fancy football Albion have been exhibiting of late, they wanted this more than us. They took their chance well for their equaliser, and missed a great chance to take the lead by turning a free kick onto our post. We, on the other hand, had bags of chances, but if we were still playing this game now today, we still wouldn’t have scored. Total pants.

The main reason for this anomaly is down to one man – stand up Mr Glenn Murray. Muzza will want to forget this match, and sharpish. The team as a whole were mediocre, so I will only comment on individuals who stick in the mind. First the pluses: Lee Hendrie started last night, and though he tired in the second half and was subbed, showed enough class to show he has a lot to offer this club if he stays, he’s a smart player. Adam El-Abd was immense last night – man of the match by a country mile – he carried the back four and outjumped players much bigger than him. I would even suggest that right now he’s our first choice centre back and Gus Poyet will be looking for someone to partner him from now on, and that’s the mark of the guy, a trier, a plucky, no-nonsense, no frills player who has fought hard to get his chance. Good luck to the lad, he deserves it, and his goal was hard-earned too.

Now the minuses, and be warned, this won’t be pretty. In order of severity, starting from the least guilty to the outrageously bad they are: Gavin Hoyte, low on confidence and probably ability, the lad is a poor substitute for Marcos Painter, ’nuff said. Adam Virgo. Tommy Elphick has had a poor couple of games lately, and was rightly dropped, but Virgo is lost at the minute. Slow, sluggish, clumsy and prone to hoof. My knuckles whitened everytime he got skinned by their fast forwards, not good enough. Murray – shocker – no other way to describe it, Gills fans were pissing themselves at every missed opportunity, the penalty miss was a foregone conclusion as soon as he stepped up. I’ve never seen the big man play so bad, he was simply awful. But he wasn’t as bad as Diego “£3million loanee from Stoke” Arismendi. This guy must either be:

A) A secret close Uruguayan relative of Gus Poyet

B) Some random bloke signed by Stoke after they saw him (or someone who looks very like him) on a fuzzy YouTube video

How the guy is worth £3million is incomprehensible. He was utterly gash, the only time he did anything right was head a dangerous corner away once. He has no close ball control, can’t pass, he just didn’t want to know. The game changed 100% to the good when little Alan Navarro came on for him and started fizzing the ball across the park the way it should be done. But again, the bright side – Arismendi can only improve on that dismal display, he was shite.

So for me a draw was a fair enough result – we had more chances, they played better. Southend should be another tense affair on Saturday. Toodle pip.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 5 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Adam El-Abd

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold)

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, El-Abd, Virgo, Hoyte; Bennett, Crofts, Arismendi (Navarro 68), Hendrie (Dicker 78), LuaLua (Barnes 58); Murray

Subs: Walker (GK), Holroyd, Navarro, Dicker, Barnes, Carole, Elphick

Attendance: 7997

League One table

Wednesday, 14 April 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 42 38 86
2 Leeds United 42 31 80
3 Millwall 42 33 79
4 Charlton 42 21 77
5 Swindon 42 16 77
6 Huddersfield 42 19 71
7 Colchester 42 14 68
8 Southampton 41 35 63
9 Bristol Rovers 42 -6 61
10 MK Dons 42 -3 59
11 Brentford 41 3 56
12 Carlisle 42 -3 54
13 Walsall 42 -6 54
14 Yeovil 42 -5 49
15 Brighton 42 -7 49
16 Hartlepool 42 -8 48
17 Oldham 41 -14 47
18 Exeter 42 -11 46
19 Leyton Orient 42 -12 45
20 Gillingham 42 -13 44
21 Tranmere 41 -33 41
22 Southend 42 -19 39
23 Wycombe 42 -22 38
24 Stockport 42 -48 25
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6 Responses to “Gillingham 1 – 1 Albion”

  1. glasfryn Says:

    I love reading your comments as they come from a real fan.
    the game sounded like we should have wrapped it up in the first half, do you think we can add Muzza to the list of players that we might not keep next season, a list I might say thats getting larger by the minute.

    next season will be like living on another planet

    G

    • The Hovian Says:

      Thanks mate,

      I was talking to a couple of people after the game who think Poyet could well get rid of Murray. I think it’s a fair point, if he can get better quality in any position then why should any current player feel safe? I personally think Murray can still do a job for us, so I’d rather he stayed.

      Currently, I would offload: Kuipers, Virgo, Hoyte, Arismendi, Carole and Holroyd. I would also bring back Dean Cox in place of Carole. We need another good keeper, possibly another centreback (if we don’t keep Tunnicliffe), and at least one top quality forward – and that is all at the very least.

      Cheers

  2. Robert O'Connor Says:

    Interesting what you said about Arismendi, the Argus live blog yesterday seemed to paint a much different picture of his abilities.

    Came across your blog via the NSC forum. Nice set up.. it wont take my credit card info on the seagulls player so I have to rely on any means possible to get a true assessment of the games. Made quite a few trips to Gillingham myself back in the “dark days” so was nice to see the pictures.. thanks 🙂

    • The Hovian Says:

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog. I don’t know who writes for the live blog on the Argus, but the general consensus in the crowd last night is that Arismendi was a whopper.

      I hope he improves, maybe it was just one of those nights, he can’t play worse than that though, I could have done better!

      Cheers

  3. Daniel Says:

    Howdy, came across your blog through Google … i’m Uruguayan and it seems that Diego (Arismendi) isn’t doing quite well 😦 … too bad because he was one of last year’s best players, and had great hopes for him … but then he signed for Stoke … and that was shite 😀 … he never got to the first team 😛 … can you tell me what is his position on Albion currently ? Coz’ here in Uruguay he played as defensive MF

    Thanks !

    • The Hovian Says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for the comment and welcome. I may have been a bit harsh on Diego, you can’t pass final judgement after one full game. But he has stiff opposition for his place in this team.

      He is still playing the defensive holding role in midfield, just in front of the back four

      Cheers

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