Archive for October, 2010

Peterborough 0 – 3 Albion

October 31, 2010

Soon to be disappointed home fans queue for tickets before kick-off

First off, London Road is one of the few authentic football experiences left in this country, and that’s purely down to away fans being given the Moy’s End Terrace to stand and watch the beautiful game the way nature intended – on one’s feet. Nostalgic? Unashamedly. It also helps when the team you’ve followed up there from Sussex is playing so well, and that your big support is full of noise.

We like this ground a lot here at The Hovian, floodlight pylons, terracing, good atmosphere

This one was even sweeter than Charlton at the Valley. The game was well under control before Posh golden boy George Boyd saw red for a reckless lunge and grapple on Ashley Barnes. A goal from Calderon and a brace from the on-song Barnes didn’t tell the whole story – Peterborough were completely outclassed by a rampant Albion, there were looks of confusion dotted around us, no-one could believe how easy it was.

A slightly misty (eyed?) view inside the away terrace

Man of the match is a tough one, looking throughout the line-up again, I could have scored each player 8 or above. Ankergren – settled as number one now, safe as fuck. Greer/El-Abd/Painter/Calderon – a well functioning defensive unit, with the two full-backs marauding at will down each line.

Game on

Up front Murray and Barnes were brilliant, with Big Ash silencing a few critics with his cool penalty after Bennett hashed his earlier spot kick. But Barnesy should have had a hat-trick, instead of skying it over the bar from 8 yards out near the end.

The South (main) Stand

Midfield. Ooooh, our midfield is the bollocks, and remember LuaLua was on the bench for the whole game. Bennett was just eased out of Man of the Match by the neatest, most effective player on the park – Liam Bridcutt, a ten out of ten display for me. The only better player on the day was Posh keeper Joe Lewis, he alone denied a complete rout.

Not looking through rose tinted glasses, but a flare going off

So, it gets better and better, unbelievable to be honest, to the point of being embarassing. Can we go the whole way from here? Too early still, but following the team away this year has been second to none, literally.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  9 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Liam Bridcutt

Npower League One table

Sunday, 31 October 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 14 16 31
2 Huddersfield 14 6 23
3 Colchester 14 3 23
4 Bournemouth 14 11 22
5 Peterborough 14 2 22
6 Charlton 14 -1 22
7 Sheff Wed 14 8 21
8 Oldham 14 4 21
9 Southampton 14 4 21
10 Carlisle 14 6 20
11 MK Dons 14 -2 20
12 Bristol R 14 -2 20
13 Rochdale 14 4 19
14 Exeter 14 -4 19
15 Brentford 14 -1 18
16 Swindon 14 -1 17
17 Hartlepool 14 -6 17
18 Leyton Orient 14 -2 16
19 Notts County 14 -5 16
20 Tranmere 14 -6 16
21 Plymouth 14 -7 16
22 Yeovil 14 -10 15
23 Dag & Red 14 -9 12
24 Walsall 14 -8 11


A casual buy no. 27

October 26, 2010

Winter is more or less here, and it’s time for long sleeved shirts. As I was looking in my wardrobe I noticed I have a surplus of long sleeved check shirts. Granted they are very smart check shirts, but too much of one style. So, I set out a few weeks ago to what is frankly the finest menswear shop in Brighton and Hove, Peggs & Son, to see what alternatives there are to counter my check addiction.

And the answer is denim, smart, well-made denim long sleeved shirts. I left Peggs with two shirts, each from two of the finest youngish brands out there – YMC (You Must Create), and Universal Works. YMC were formed by Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins in London in 1995, and have been, er, creating quality clothing for discerning dressers ever since. New kids on the block Universal Works are the brainchild of David Keyte, who worked for Paul Smith for many years before releasing his first collection under this, his own label, in Autumn/Winter 2009.

It’s great that Peggs stock such labels here on the south coast, and it’s even better they’re comfortably off the high street, as internet shopping takes away the physical fun of the hunt, and the high street is, well, the high street – whopper central. Of course visiting the actual shop also allows you to find the perfect fit before parting with your hard earned. Check it out.

Albion 2 – 0 Yeovil

October 24, 2010

I visited the University of Brighton on Saturday morning, where I took this picture on my phone of you know where from the footbridge at Falmer railway station, just thought I’d put it on this post as I’ve no phots of the match.

That match later on was pretty much a home banker against a pretty uninspiring Yeovil side who came to disrupt our style of play. Peterborough slipped up and Bournemouth drew with other promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday, making the easy victory even sweeter. The Albion machine is looking well-oiled, efficient, and barring a complete disaster between now and May, should at least see us in the play-off positions or better.

Gordon Greer has slipped effortlessly into the back four, and his club captain armband. Adam El-Abd should be his main partner, but he took a nasty clash of heads early in the second half and Elphick – third choice now I’d guess – did ok in his place. Calderon was probably the pick of the defenders, his goal was a beauty, and Painter had a solid game on the other side.

LuaLua and Murray were brilliant up front, both went close for my man of the match. Barnes fired another blank, but his overall performance was good, he went deep to pick up the ball and gave his all, the goals will come. It was the midfield unit as a whole that really shone, Gary Dicker was the complete midfielder yesterday, he created much and bossed the rest. Anything Dicker missed was cleared up by Kishishev, together they had Yeovil in their back pockets. With midfield sewn up, both Bennett and LuaLua were allowed space to impress. But overall Dicker was our best player out there, man of the match for me.

Posh next weekend should be a cracking game, and if we take all three points we are sailing away at the top, just like Norwich managed to do so impressively when they won the division last season. Let the good times roll.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  8 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Gary Dicker

Attendance : 7523 (112 wurzel gummidges)

Npower League One table

Sunday, 24 October 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 13 13 28
2 Bournemouth 13 12 22
3 Peterborough 13 5 22
4 Sheff Wed 13 9 21
5 Huddersfield 13 5 20
6 Colchester 13 2 20
7 MK Dons 13 0 20
8 Carlisle 13 6 19
9 Rochdale 13 5 19
10 Exeter 13 -2 19
11 Charlton 13 -2 19
12 Bristol R 13 -2 19
13 Oldham 13 2 18
14 Southampton 13 2 18
15 Swindon 13 -1 16
16 Notts County 13 -3 16
17 Plymouth 13 -5 16
18 Hartlepool 13 -6 16
19 Brentford 13 -3 15
20 Yeovil 13 -10 14
21 Leyton Orient 13 -3 13
22 Tranmere 13 -8 13
23 Walsall 13 -7 11
24 Dag & Red 13 -9 11

The iceman cometh

October 22, 2010

I own last year’s ice jacket, which has reflective strips on the hood, seams and cuffs (nicer, in my humble); but you get the idea in this video from Stone Island, advertising their AW10/11 version, of how the material actually works moving from a warm to a cold environment. A truly gorgeous article of clothing, and you still get odd looks stepping out or in from the cold.

A must have coat for winter.

Exclusive: Attila the Stockbroker – An Interview in Brussels

October 19, 2010

A very good Belgian friend of mine – DG – writes for the rock music webzine albumrock. Last month he interviewed our very own Albion legend Attila the Stockbroker (AKA John Baine). For those of you who aren’t BHAFC fans, Attila is Brighton’s (the city and the football club) home grown renaissance man – punk poet, musician, polemicist, activist (political and for BHAFC), Withdean Stadium announcer, Albion nut, and all round top man.

DG, knowing I write this little blog, very kindly offered me his very own English translation (like most of my countrymen, my GCSE-level French is shamefully poor). So, I’d like to say a big thank you to DG and albumrock, and here’s his interview in full:

Although not really that well known over here, Attila The Stockbroker, real name John Baine, has been touring all over the UK and Europe since 1980. A modern times punk bard, Attila is a politically involved poet and musician. He is also an astute observer of the world that surrounds him, characterised by his acerbic yet humoristic way of writing. His concerts, on his own or together with his “baroque’n’roll” band Barnstormer, are anything but a long quiet, genteel affair.

Thirty years, 2,700 gigs in 24 countries, 6 books of poems and over 20 albums later, we met with him in Brussels where he was playing at the Magasin 4 as part of his 30th Anniversary Tour. An excellent opportunity, between Berlin and Brighton, to talk about music and poetry of course, but also about politics, football and the French language.


After a first set of gigs in the UK and some dates in Germany and Belgium, how would you say your “30 years of Attila” tour is going so far?

Really well. My home town gig in Shoreham was sold out (250 people) which is a good attendance for me, and all the others have been great too. It won’t be so packed everywhere, but everywhere I go – be it England, Wales, Holland or Germany – there is a healthy number of people, who enjoy what I do and have followed me for years. That’s why I am doing it: to celebrate! I am also planning some touring in Australia for next year, with Canada and the U.S.A. other possible plans.

30 years of career, what would you describe as the most important positive aspects such a career has brought to you?

The most positive aspect is the opportunity to spread my political and social ideas, without compromise, while at the same time proving that you can have a bloody good laugh and that being a political performer doesn’t mean that you are a po faced, humourless person. My socialism is about celebrating life and celebrating people!

On a similar note, I would imagine you’ve been through numerous ups and downs through your career. Have you at some point been tempted to call it quits?

I have literally NEVER wanted to do anything else, I have LOVED about 95% of the 2700 or so gigs I have done. I have loved them for the travel, for the performances themselves and for the people I have had the opportunity to meet at these gigs. On the rare occasions when I have had a bad gig, been threatened by Nazis etc I just remember how lucky I am to be doing what I love.

It is not just the fact that I love what I do, but the fact that I don’t have to spend my days doing a job I loathe to earn my living. My days are my own! OK, I spend many hours a day in front of the computer organizing stuff, but if I want I can get on my bike, for instance, and go for a 10 mile cycle ride, then come back and carry on……I can!

You are playing in Brussels, which is the “capital” of the European Union, what are your views on the current “European construction” process? As the author of “This is Free Europe”, I imagine that you are not satisfied with the way things are going. What would you change if you were suddenly the new man in charge of the EU? You’re only allowed a maximum of three wishes though.

Firstly, I would nationalise the banks, jail the bankers responsible for the capitalist crisis, tax the rich massively and use the money to tackle poverty. Then, I would ban all fascist parties. And to finish, I would make public transport so cheap everywhere that people would save huge amounts of money using it rather than driving.

I am impressed by how easily you manage to express your feelings in your poetry. I was really impressed by the poem you did for your late mother who suffered from Alzheimers. How easily do words come to you when you write poetry and what’s the kind of feedback you get from audiences when it comes to more personal issues?

I have always been lucky enough to have the kind of confident personality where I felt I could talk freely about everything, however difficult. I have always written about what is happening – to me, and in the world – and when this terrible thing started happening to my mother, and my stepfather died, I wrote about it too. Reactions have been fantastic. I have raised nearly £1000 for the Alzheimer’s Society with the pamphlet I have produced, and have had audiences in tears and got a standing ovation from a packed tent at the Beautiful Days Festival in Devon. I think the impact is greater because for the first 25 or so years I wasn’t really writing much personal stuff at all. So when I did it made an even bigger impression.

There’s no doubt you’re a living one man operation. Why? Any reasons why you are not currently signed with a record label?

I have never deliberately not signed with a label: I had record deals (with Cherry Red, Anagram, Musidisc, Probe Plus) for the first 10 or so years and book publishers (Unwin & Allen, Bloodaxe) up until 1994. As time went by it became obvious to me that these companies were not making enough effort to get the books/CDs in the shops, and that most of the copies being sold were ones I had bought from the companies at an inflated price and sold at my gigs! I realised that I would have much more control (and make more money!) doing the stuff myself, and so I decided to do so.

Aren’t you worried about some people not being able to get their hands on your books or your CDs?

For the first few years I was doing this, say up until about 1999, of course it was difficult to get my stuff since I didn’t bother with distributors but once the internet got going I put loads of stuff up there. All my songs are on Itunes, and on my website ( and MySpace ( There are online shops where anyone can buy anything. I regularly contribute tracks to compilation albums for good causes, for free. And for my 30th anniversary I have compiled an album of my best songs called ‘Disestablished 1980’ which has just been released by my friend Mike at Mad Butcher Records, and will be available in shops all over[Soft Break]Europe!

What are your views on the UK government’s decision, with the Digital Economy Bill, to potentially start hunting illegal downloaders, just like France is already doing? 

I have always made loads of my stuff available for free download and the most important thing is that people hear it!

The Tories are back in power, do you think the coming years might be like the 80s under Thatcher all over again?

The government has obviously, and because of its class nature, decided to make ordinary people pay for a crisis called by bankers. The Labour Party will move to the left, a bit, but not enough! Lots of people will be very angry: the challenge will be to get them ORGANISED!

You are a huge football fan, what attracted you to go to football in the first place?

I have always been a fan since my dad took me when I was six.

And how did you end up at the forefront of the fans’ movement that followed the sale of the Goldstone ground? (ED: in the second half of the 90s, the owner of the club, an entrepreneur from the North of England, decided to sell the club’s stadium without any viable back-up solution in place. This decision was followed by a huge contestation movement joined by fans, members of the local council, local citizens’ organizations, celebrities such as Fatboy Slim and inhabitants. Although a temporary solution was found, it is only next year – 15 years after it all started – that BHAFC will finally move to its new stadium at Falmer, in the city’s suburbs).

As an anti capitalist activist it was obvious that when my beloved club was being destroyed by rapacious property speculators and moneymen I would get involved! I maintain to this day that the successful fight to save BHAFC is one of the things I have been involved in as a leftist activist that I am most proud of!

A lot of people perceive modern football as a rotten apple because of all the money involved. Should BHAFC get promoted to the EPL, would you be worried about such a scenario happening all over again?

As regards the EPL and unsuitable people getting involved, we’ll have to wait and see. I am fairly confident that we can deal with that situation should it arise – as long as the majority of active fans think it is a problem, I think the club will listen, they know how organised and determined we are!

Following all this, you became the poet in residence at BHAFC, how does that work?

Reactions to my poetry are very mixed, but most people, even people who hate poetry, agree that my ‘Goldstone Ghosts’ poem is one which strikes a chord. As the DJ at the stadium I have to tread a fine line between playing music which is good and music which the majority of people can relate to in some way. Obviously I would like to have the Clash, Redskins, Rancid, King Blues and lots of reggae every week – and all of these get played every now and then – but mixed in with other obvious newer football anthem stuff like the Kaiser Chiefs, Dandy Warhols and the likes. There are often people having a go at the music on our message board but most people seem to like it.

You were wearing a St Pauli sweatshirt on stage tonight. That’s another football club where sports and politics are sometimes mixed. How does it compare with BHAFC?

The St Pauli/Brighton comparison has been made many times but there isn’t one. St Pauli were a club with a 4000 fan base who in the late 80s started to attract a radical left crowd from all over Germany and abroad – not just Hamburg – and now sell out a 20,000 stadium. We are a local club with a 30,000 potential fan base, just normal fans, no politics involved, most of whom do not go much at the moment, but will come back in droves when we go into the new stadium! And in terms of the financial problems at St Pauli, despite them being more radical than Brighton we have had a far better idea of the problems here than the St Pauli fans were ever allowed!

Back to music and poetry, can we expect some dates in France any time soon?

Quite simple – I love France and the French language, but there seem to be very few people who are interested in what I do, unlike the German speaking countries, Scandinavia, Belgium and Holland, where I play lots. If there are people out there who would like to organise gigs, I’ll come!

You speak fluent French. Have you ever been tempted to write poetry in French?

I did it once. I wrote a translation of my song ‘Libyan Students From Hell’, but that’s all. It’s a completely different tradition. I do think everyone should write in their mother tongue, which is why I get annoyed with mainland European bands who think they sing in ‘English’ but that re in fact just mumbling something akin to “yoghurt”. You’re better using your native language to express yourself.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your music and poetry, which one of your books/CD would you recommend to start with?

For books, I would recommend “My Poetic Licence, which is available from my website. And for CDs, probably “Disestablished 1980”, available from, which we have already talked about. It’s a “best of” covering most of my career.

Last but not least, what are your plans for 2011, should we expect any new releases next year?

Loads more gigs, I intend to start touring the world again now that my mother and stepfather have both passed away. Having released my last poetry book in 2008 and a CD this year I don’t think there will be any new ones next year, but we’ll see!

Thank you!

And you!

Charlton 0 – 4 Albion

October 17, 2010

Hot, hot, hot. My hangovers are unremitting, but this run we are on at the moment makes me want to celebrate every weekend until my offended liver drops out of me. The reason for my barfly act yesterday was the best away performance the team has turned in since we battered the scummers last season over at St Mary’s, 4-0 was the fairest result from this game.

A multitude of fans left a breezy Sussex, and from 12 o’clock onwards it seemed they swamped every pub from North Greenwich to Woolwich, it was an impressive sight. Last season we took 1800 up there, yesterday it was 3500-ish, and it was a tight squeeze. My ‘restricted view’ was the only pillar inside the Valley, but it didn’t hamper my view of the onslaught.

Many of you reading this were probably there yourselves so I’ll just mention a couple of the players and be done with it. Ankergren – a vastly improved player from his bumpy start back in August, immense at the end of the first half when Charlton mounted their only period of goal threat. Greer slotted in seemlessly and he and Bomber had an easy afternoon. LuaLua crowned his customary cameo with what is becoming his signature goal – free kick passed to him to dribble at high speed and firing home – brilliant.

But my man of the match was a tough choice, the whole team played well, so I’ve given it to two men – Gary Dicker for his drag-back turns and generally fizzy football, the second is Glenn Murray, his goal was funny and cool at the same time, a class act again.

We headed off back to the pubs justifiably believing we are the best team in this division, and hoping that we are going straight up this time before the curtain raises at Falmer. I just hope my liver lasts that long.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  9 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Glenn Murray & Gary Dicker

Npower League One table

Sunday, 17 October 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 12 11 25
2 Peterborough 12 6 22
3 Bournemouth 12 12 21
4 Sheff Wed 12 9 20
5 Huddersfield 12 6 20
6 Carlisle 12 7 19
7 Exeter 12 -1 19
8 Oldham 12 3 18
9 Bristol R 12 -2 18
10 Colchester 12 1 17
11 MK Dons 12 -1 17
12 Rochdale 12 4 16
13 Notts County 12 -2 16
14 Charlton 12 -3 16
15 Southampton 12 1 15
16 Swindon 12 -1 15
17 Hartlepool 12 -6 15
18 Yeovil 12 -8 14
19 Plymouth 12 -6 13
20 Leyton Orient 12 -3 12
21 Brentford 12 -4 12
22 Walsall 12 -4 11
23 Dag & Red 12 -8 11
24 Tranmere 12 -11 10

Albion 1 – 1 Bournemouth

October 10, 2010

Bobby Zamora gets the interview treatment from Attila the Stockbroker at half-time (he's over by the far touchline, honest!)

The producers over at Sky Sports must have been congratulating themselves for opting to show this south coast derby exactly as both us and the Cherries were riding high in the league. It’s a shame for them, and League One football, that the game didn’t live up to its billing.

Proceedings were too edgy, too bad-tempered, and Bournemouth set out from the start to spoil the Albion ‘total football’ method, the legend of which is gathering further publicity the longer we cling onto pole position in the division. Bournemouth are ugly, they drew ugly, and I left the Withdean Stadium with a keen sense of the unfairness of it all (“robbery” is too strong a word, used by twonks who follow football blindly).

With the opposition defending from way up the pitch, our back two and Ankergren were reduced to playing square keep-ball, which got so boring the home crowd were turning on them; after a minute of tip-tap the ball would go back to Ankergren and he hoofed it up to Barnes and Murray, we were back to Russell Slade Inc, and Bournemouth were loving it.

Outstanding players. LuaLua was erratic, but his goal was sublime, and hopefully the Premier League couch potatoes who tuned in appreciated his unique celebration. Calderon was putting it about and took a clump or two, as did Tommy Elphick, suffering a blatant elbow in the face, which produced a yellow card for the culprit, when it could easily have been red. Kishishev was the pick of midfield. But for me Glenn Murray caught the eye the most, and he wins the dubious Hovian Man of the Match award. It was also nice to see a crutch wearing Bobby Zamora get interviewed by Attila at half-time, the latter pestering him to come home sometime in the future.

I don’t want to dwell on the Bournemouth penalty, only to say that once the referee went to speak to his furiously flagging linesman, I knew he would point to the spot, don’t ask me why. When I got back to the pub after the game, everyone assured me it was never a penalty, but that’s football.

With Peterborough slipping up we actually extended our lead at the top to three points, so we’re still grinning. I’m being press-ganged into going to Charlton next week, looks like I’ll have to go along after all. Cheers.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  7 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Glenn Murray

Attendance : 7348 (478 lesser holiday town dwellers)

Npower League One table

Sunday, 10 October 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 11 7 22
2 Carlisle 11 8 19
3 Peterborough 11 5 19
4 Bournemouth 11 11 18
5 Sheff Wed 11 7 17
6 Huddersfield 11 4 17
7 Oldham 11 3 17
8 MK Dons 11 0 17
9 Rochdale 11 5 16
10 Charlton 11 1 16
11 Colchester 11 1 16
12 Exeter 11 -2 16
13 Southampton 11 3 15
14 Bristol R 10 -2 15
15 Hartlepool 11 -5 15
16 Yeovil 11 -6 14
17 Notts County 11 -4 13
18 Plymouth 11 -4 13
19 Swindon 10 -1 12
20 Walsall 11 -4 10
21 Dag & Red 11 -8 10
22 Tranmere 11 -8 10
23 Leyton Orient 11 -4 9
24 Brentford 11 -7 9


October 8, 2010

The Seagull Love Review issue 23 is available to buy at the Bournemouth match tomorrow. You can track down a seller under the railway bridge on Tongdean Lane, or outside the South and East Stand turnstiles.

In keeping with the fantastic season we’re having so far, TSLR 23 is a bumper issue full of great writing, as both the team’s form and the fanzine quality are fully symbiotic; for one little pound you can have 30 minutes of top class entertainment at the match, or later sat on the bog. As usual yours truly has a column along with the other regular malcontents.

If you can’t be at the game, the TSLR boys will have issue 23 and back issues available to buy online on their excellent blog site.

A casual buy no. 26

October 5, 2010


Ma.Strum is a new menswear label created from the archives of outerwear innovator Massimo Osti by Donrad Duncan, former designer for lifestyle brand Victorinox. The label’s first season was Autumn-Winter 2009. The military-inspired collection features a sub-brand bearing the Massimo Osti Archive label and includes pieces in cotton sateen, shape-memory cotton and carbon-coated cotton fabrics in a colour palette of navy, white and khaki with shots of yellow and orange.

I picked up this cross-dyed shape-memory torch jacket from Ma.Strum’s first ever Spring-Summer (2010) collection, after already owning a grey field officer quad jacket from A-W 09. It’s a quirky label, much as you’d expect from the archive of the great man himself. It’s all very military looking, which equates to ‘smart’ in my book, very Mussolini (but you can keep his politics).

The torch jacket comes with a solar-powered torch (funnily enough), that is surprisingly bright when turned on. Little bits and bobs like that certainly float the boat of this particular gadgethead. The material is cross-dyed, which gives the shimmer effect when viewed at different angles, similar to pieces in the Stone Island range. With the huge devoted following that Osti/SPW has I expect Ma.Strum to be done to death sooner rather than later, I hope not, but even if the Chav Nation get into it, it still doesn’t take away from what is a very promising range of designer clothing.

Here’s the official video from the Ma.Strum design shop, where Massimo’s son Lorenzo and Donrad Duncan talk about their aims for the brand, and where that odd name comes from:

Tranmere 1 – 1 Albion

October 3, 2010

I drove up early doors to this match, I was staying with an old mate at his home in Liverpool. We headed over to Birkenhead at 12pm with me raving about the Albion, and LuaLua in particular. My mate is a lifelong season ticket holder at Goodison Park, so he smiled indulgently at me and stressed that Prenton Park, by contrast,  was “a shithole”.

We had a couple of scoops in the imaginatively named “Prenton Park” pub, and got in for a quick beer in the ground, then took our seats among the already noisy Albion away support. Scouse mate was impressed by our crowd and was embarassed for the miserable home turnout, “I told you it was a shithole” he smirked, and then he spotted some nork sat in the home stands in a Liverpool shirt! “What a fucking meff! That’s Tranmere for you”. He had a point, I couldn’t see an Albion ‘fan’ sitting in Withers in a Chelsea shirt, surely not?

But I don’t like to slag Rovers myself, they are a proud old club that are, like many others, in dire straits. Sitting in the shadows of the two Merseyside giants over the river can’t be easy. They are like Stockport or Oldham further up the M62 in that respect, so I feel a small club empathy for them, but not on matchday.

The game. After singing LuaLua’s  praises, Gus Poyet put him on the bench, why oh why? We started like “the Arsenal of League One” people say we are and matey was duly impressed. Murray scored and we were sailing into half time. More swiftily sunk beer and we were back out for the second period fully expecting a rout.

I’ll let scouse describe the turnaround in the game in the second half “Tranmere are battering you now, their keeper hasn’t moved this whole half”, it was hard to argue with him, and the Albion came away with a hardly deserved draw. At the final whistle I asked him, “Ok Bluenose, how do you like division three football, you know real football?” “Erm, I’ll stick with Everton thanks”. And who can blame him, Brighton failed to impress. Man of the match? Casper Ankergren.

I was only deflated for as long as it took to drive to Bootle, get showered and hit the pubs. I haven’t been out in this neck of the woods since a wedding in 1994. Bootle was pretty much the same as then – first pub we were in was quiet for ten minutes until a drunken lad with no shirt on burst in and started twatting another bloke sat with his bird! The barmen chucked him out and we and the old locals returned to our ale as if nothing happened.

I sought out the “Jawbone”, for me the best pub name ever – it was shut, on a Saturday night! WTF? So we took a cab down to the meat market that is Matthew Street – scouse wimmen certainly haven’t changed, regardless of age they were tarted up to the nines and mostly blootered on vodka and alcopops. My little mate can’t drink like me (these soft Northerners eh?) and we headed home at 1am.

All in all it was like the old cliche – a great weekend spoiled by a shite game of football. Albion are still top of the league – just – so ultimately it was a fruitful journey football-wise too. The star of the show was the city of Liverpool itself – love it.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  5 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Casper Ankergren

Npower League One table

Sunday, 3 October 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 10 7 21
2 Peterborough 10 7 19
3 Bournemouth 10 11 17
4 Carlisle 10 7 16
5 Rochdale 10 6 16
6 Colchester 10 4 16
7 Exeter 10 -1 16
8 Charlton 10 1 15
9 Bristol R 10 -2 15
10 Sheff Wed 10 6 14
11 Huddersfield 10 1 14
12 Oldham 10 1 14
13 MK Dons 10 -2 14
14 Notts County 10 -3 13
15 Southampton 10 1 12
16 Swindon 10 -1 12
17 Plymouth 10 -4 12
18 Hartlepool 10 -7 12
19 Yeovil 10 -7 11
20 Dag & Red 10 -6 10
21 Tranmere 10 -6 10
22 Leyton Orient 10 -3 9
23 Brentford 10 -5 9
24 Walsall 10 -5 7