Archive for the ‘Falmer Stadium’ Category

Albion 1 – 2 Derby

August 11, 2013

Falmer Panoramic 10/08/13

Not going to say much apart from its good to be back at Falmer and seeing old mates again for a beer on a football Saturday. Shit start on the pitch, but far from panic stations as we’re still only 6 points from automatic promotion, ok kids?

Cheers

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New Season Preoccupations

August 2, 2013

20130802-091700.jpg

It’s back, the football season. Oscar Garcia’s squad are in Leeds tomorrow, at the very start of a new campaign. I won’t be there, I am in the UK, but I do have other preoccupations (see above).

His name is Bowzer, and he’s already more fun than six awaydays together, with free booze. Expect phots of him and your author in all kinds of tricks and sport scrapes, but in old clothes, his teeth are like a mini-Great White’s and my garbs are the mainstay of his puppy diet.

I will, work allowing, be at Falmer next Saturday. Hoping for the same as last season up to the play-offs and something verrrry different afterwards, if we do make them. I still haven’t digested the Palace fiasco to this day. Enjoy your season wherever you are.

Albion 1 – 3 Watford

December 31, 2012

Nice to see the seats already in the South West corner

To say this match was a bit of an anti-climax, after waiting 3 months to see an Albion game, would be an understatement. It was great to be traipsing through the Christmas rain up to Falmer to see the stripes again. That is until the match actually started.

I don’t know what’s happening with the team, and yes Watford are a good side with another young football-as-it-should-be-played manager steering them, but Gus Poyet’s side now have no fight in them it seems. Toothless up front, slow to the point of being embarassing at the back (“Bomber” El-Abd needs a new nickname, that was painful), and a midfield without the fantastic Liam Bridcutt doesn’t bear thinking about. If Albion let him go this upcoming tranfer window, as is rumoured, then we’re fucked, it’s as simple as that. So, Man of the Match to the player I always have thought as the best we have – our midfield ball winner – Liam Bridcutt.

And going into the North West corner

However, you don’t need me to tell you that football is a harsh mistress, and if you look at Brighton & Hove Albion over a 5 year timescale and not just this season, we’ve come a long way, and it’s still a huge success story. I do like the way the corners of the ground are getting filled in, and in a way that’s not going to turn the place into another soulless indentikit bowl, I just wish we could fill the huge gaps in the footballing side at the minute.

The Watford lot – noisy, with a lot to be noisy about

Happy New Year to you, wherever you find yourself, I’m missing the Newcastle FA Cup game as, guess what, I’ll be in Turin watching Juventus v Sampdoria on 6th January. Match/holiday report to follow soon after. Cheers.

TSLR 40

August 13, 2012

Buy a fanzine from our new sales team

It’s the season to be hopeful. Some exciting summer signings, the return of the Dagger of Benicalap, and of course The Seagull Love Review is out once more, and best of all – yours truly has come out of semi-retirement to write a column again.

This season the boys have changed printers, and – gasp – the magazine will be in technicolour, that’s right, there are coloured pages being prepared as we speak.

A common gripe among Albionites has been “I want to buy the fanzine, but fucked if I can find a seller at Falmer”. Well, this year TSLR have trained up an army of little council estate urchins to help sell the mag in more areas around the ground than ever before, and they will be paid with a thick ear and enough loose change to buy a bag of boiled sweets, so everyone’s a winner.

Issue 40 (Yes, FORTY) will be for sale away at Swindon in the cup game Tuesday night, Hull away on Saturday 18th, and again at home from an urchin on Tuesday 21st at the Cardiff match. The fanzine goes from strength to strength, but it needs your support as Albion fans to keep it going – fanzines are everything to football that Soccer AM, Russian Billionaires, Oil Sheikhs and 200K a week dickhead footballers aren’t, support your local FANzine – The Seagull Love Review.

TSLR 36

January 12, 2012

The latest production of The Seagull Love Review is out this Saturday at Falmer v Bristol City. The Albion’s only current fanzine is going from strength to strength this season, and that’s down to two things – 1, it’s a quality read, and 2, it gets great support from the fans of BHAFC. The price remains one pound, that’s a third of the price of the official matchday programme, so it’s always worth a punt.

I was going to attend the FA Cup replay at Wrexham next Tuesday night, but have to cry off because of transport problems, those of you who do go – have a good time. I know you will because Wrexham and the Albion are on a bit of a love-in at the minute, after their big weekend in our beautiful twin city recently. Enjoy the Brizzle match and hunt down a fanzine seller somewhere outside the stadium.

On late Christmas presents

January 3, 2012

Happy New Year friends. 2011 spluttered down like an old street drunk falling over into his own spew, December was particularly painful, like watching the Albion of old. There were even faint rumblings of dissatisfaction with Gus Poyet. But what a change a day makes. 3-0 at home against The Gopher-faced Physio and his team of cheating cunts. Bliss.

After the strangely uplifting defeat against Burnley on 17th December, yesterday rung the new year in with the most satisfying 90 mins I’ve yet to witness at Falmer. Fat Lambert walking on a straight red, and Dan Harding being tore a new arsehole by a resurgent Will Buckley, so much so that the gopher subbed him after 40 minutes. This game will live long in the memory. Man of the Match was Matty Sparrow, his second a thunderous effort that summed up the match. Notable performances from Jake Forster-Caskey on his full home debut, and LuaLua terrorised when needed. Great show.

That’s one late Chrimbo present. The other is this – the much-heralded sequel to Build a Bonfire, We Want Falmer. Steve North and Paul Hodson come up with the goods again, chronicling the struggle after the Goldstone fiasco, the wilderness years at Priestfield, then Withdean; The fight against those blue-rinsed bastards on Lewes Council, and finally, arriving at our lob-sided home on the Edge of the Downs – Falmer. It will be of no interest to non-Albionites, but it’s essential reading for all stripes fans. I read it in two days and feel much the better for it. In fact, it made that tonking of Nadkins et al all the more sweeter, knowing how much of a war it caused to be able to sit in the East Stand at Falmer and watch us stuff the Championship leaders.

A prosperous 2012 to you all.

Chrimbo reading

December 14, 2011

Burnley on Saturday is my first visit to Falmer since West Ham in October, shocking. There are new ‘Christmas Pies’ for sale at the ground, but more importantly The Seagull Love Review (TSLR) number 35 is out as well. The only BHAFC fanzine has really taken off since the move from Withdean, it seems the nu-fans also enjoy an irreverent Albion-ish read on the bog too. And why not? It’s a damn good read.

The mag will be for sale in and around the concourse outside, and it’s still just one pound a copy, great value. If like me you’re a bad fan and miss too many games, you can buy a copy online at TSLR’s blog.

As for the match itself, it’s a tough one, Burnley have a decent away record, and the Albion – well, we’re still adjusting to this division, there’s a big gulf between the Championship and League One. Accepting 7th place at this point would seem prudent, but when the scummers are doing so well it makes you wonder “What happened?”. But, we’re stalking the play-offs nicely, although I think even they might be a bridge too far this campaign.

Enjoy the match and buy the fanzine, Forza!!

Albion 3 – 3 Leeds

September 24, 2011

It wasn’t a night for dicky hearts at Falmer last night. A scintillating game of football that had me out of my seat all night.

The Leeds away crowd were great, best banter at the Amex yet. Loads of big fat Yorkies with no tops on screaming abuse and singing their hearts out. They were almost as entertaining as the match itself.

Almost identical to the Liverpool game, we didn’t turn up in the first half, and Leeds punished us more than the Premier League outfit as a result. Second half started with Nooney replaced by the dagger, and Vicente was ace. We battered Leeds, a complete turnaround from the first 45. Vicente was pulling the strings and LuaLua, Barnes and CMS had a great performance each.

Mackail-Smith’s first was a beautiful turn and finish, and he rounded off his man of the match run out with a second and winning a penalty which Barnes put away easily, he does take a good penalty.

Leeds were allowed to come at us for the last 5, and Ankergren inexplicably punted the ball down to his opposite number Lonergan in the Leeds goal. Lonergan hoofed it back and it ended up in front of McCormack who tucked it away with 94 minutes up of the 95. Lumps of blubber exploded in the away end and Leeds sneaked a draw when they looked down and out.

Great game, but I felt we gave away three points when we had fought so hard to take the lead. Southampton and Middlesbrough drew today though, so we’re still very much in the mix and it’s Crystal Palace Tuesday night, with Glenn Murray fully fit. I cannot wait.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 7.5 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Craig Mackail-Smith

Attendance: 20,646 (2,361 Leeds United)

As it stands – Championship table

Projected table based on latest scores

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Championship table
1 Southampton 8 10 19
2 Middlesbrough 8 8 18
3 Derby 8 7 18
4 West Ham 8 9 17
5 Brighton 8 6 17
6 Hull 8 -1 13
7 Cardiff 7 3 12
8 Blackpool 8 2 12
9 Leeds 8 1 11
10 Leicester 7 0 11
11 Peterborough 8 3 10
12 Crystal Palace 8 0 10
13 Ipswich 8 -5 10
14 Portsmouth 8 -1 9
15 Reading 8 -1 8
16 Birmingham 7 -2 8
17 Barnsley 8 -2 8
18 Watford 8 -3 8
19 Millwall 8 -5 7
20 Burnley 7 -4 6
21 Coventry 8 -4 6
22 Nott’m Forest 8 -6 6
23 Bristol City 8 -6 6
24 Doncaster 8 -9 4

Albion 1 – 2 Liverpool

September 22, 2011

That was a great night of football. Even though we lost it felt that this exciting new Albion side has finally arrived, with the potential we now show it can only take a catastrophic loss of nerve not to make something special of this season, the tools are there already, it’s the psychological factor that will decide if we rise or fall.

Seeing Liverpool – virtually at full strength – take to the pitch at Falmer was fantastic. The noise inside the ground was spine-tingling. The scousers are the first ever team to fill the away end (though I suspect the majority of them were probably from the South anyway) and they made some great noise themselves.

Dalglish’s side are in a different class to us, make no mistake, arch-twat Bellamy scored their first with nonchalant ease and the Reds battered us for most of the first half after that. I wasn’t arsed for two reasons – it’s only the League Cup, and I appreciate the beautiful game being played to the highest standard no matter who’s kicking the leather around. This is a team that most likely will finish top five this season in the Premier League, it just shows the quality of the top end of the big league.

Poyet made a couple of changes, Steve Cook replaced the on-form Dunk, which raised a few eyebrows. But the former Albion schoolboy had a decent game. Sparrow and Navarro both started in midfield, and they had a hard time against Rodriguez, Spearing and Lucas. CMS, up front alone without Barnes, ran and ran. I thought he might give that old fart Carragher a harder time, but the former England man is still a class act.

Our best players in the first half were once again our flying wingers – the perennially unlucky Will Buckley, and having the night of his life, life-long Liverpool fan and former tiler of Steven Gerrard’s roof – Craig Noone. Man of the Match for me again.

As someone mentioned on twitter (sorry I can’t remember who exactly) the club spent a fortune on one new winger, and chased another all summer for a loan deal, when actually we had our best winger at the club already. Nooney already has player of the season wrapped up in September, unless our latest winger can make an impact (more about him later).

It wasn’t until 5-10 minutes from half-time that Albion got a foot on the ball and started to threaten. Up until then it was flap central at the back, and our uprights played a blinder as Ankergren showed a worrying lack of nerve against the onslaught from Bellamy, Kuyt and Suarez.

No-one needs any further proof of Gus Poyet’s powers of motivation, and after his half-time talk a new team emerged (same players) from underneath the West Stand ready for the second interval. We took it to them, and it was one of the best second half performances I’ve ever had the privilege to watch. The atmosphere went stratospheric, and there were a few worried-looking faces in the away end.

Noone rattled the crossbar with Reina stranded and off we went. Sparrow went close, and Calderon and Noone started making progress into the last third. Then the crowd went hushed – poor old Buckley injured his hamstring again and the player who was taking off his trackie was none other than Vicente Rodríguez – The Dagger of Benicalap. This is Hollywood stuff folks, two times La Liga winner, UEFA Cup Winner, and 38 caps for Spain, now wearing the stripes in Brighton. The roof came off.

Vicente may not be 100% match fit, but straightaway he was flicking and dribbling into the danger area. Liverpool were reeling, and another world class player was about to come on. Say what you want about Gerrard, and he is a prime example of a modern-day shithouse millionaire footballer, but the guy can play. The Reds’ fans were happy he was back and he set about marshalling his midfield.

With ten minutes to go and Albion pressing, we got hit with the classic sucker punch, Liverpool broke, it was two on one at the back and Rodriguez put Kuyt in to finish us off. Hopes were raised when Vicente took a tumble in the area, and the substitute Ash Barnes tucked away the spot-kick with aplomb. It didn’t matter though, the game was worth it no matter how it turned out.

The train home was good fun, lots of scousers being scouse, the ‘let them mingle’ policy at the ground has worked famously – although Friday night and Leeds, then the Palace on Tuesday will almost certainly be segregated. But, there was no drama with the Liverpool lot and they remain dedicated and noisy on their travels.

I thought the recent international break broke Albion’s momentum, apparently we were bobbins at Leicester on Saturday, but this game hopefully has us back on track for a tilt at promotion. Roll on Friday.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 8 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Craig Noone

Attendance: 21,897 (2,403 Liverpool)

Albion 2 – 0 Peterborough

August 28, 2011

The Big Lemon bus smoke bombs the Amex

Top of the league. A simply brilliant day for the Albion yesterday, first news was we have Liverpool at home in the Carling Cup (which I’m 99% sure I’m going to miss with work commitments), then a mostly workmanlike victory (apart from two class goals) over an unpredictable Peterborough team who decided they were up for a battle.

We took a taxi from the pub in Hove up to the ground. Stuck behind the Big Lemon bus – which runs on second-hand chip fat – with a looney Afghan taxi driver at the wheel, made for a bonkers trip up the A27 and into the stadium, and treatment for smoke inhalation was nearly on the cards before I sunk a pint in the ground.

Walking up the short stairway and emerging into the East Stand still hasn’t got old for me, the buzz and the noise, then the vista of the West Stand towering over the scene, it still gets the hairs on my neck standing to attention, I nearly have to pinch myself that we’ve finally left the Withers for this place.

We played the Poyet way by the book in this game, but credit to Posh, they weren’t here to make up the numbers and could have gone home with a result if they could shoot straight or cross the ball in the last third better. It wasn’t an exceptional performance from the Albion, but if you win the games that you don’t shine in you should still be in the mix at the end of the season. And I really believe we can make a charge for promotion – why not? provided if we keep our heads and injuries are kind to us.

Craig Noone carried on his own phenomenal charge for the player of the season award with another great outing, his goal might have been saved if a better keeper was in goal for Posh, but if you get them on target they sometimes go in, 1-0. After that Peterborough piled on the pressure, and Lewis Dunk had his best game yet for the stripes in keeping them out, he is a very promising young central defender right now. Posh’s best player – George Boyd – went off injured (I think) and we started to get back into things second half.

Ryan Harley scored a peach of a free-kick which put the icing on a fantasic league debut at Falmer, and I made him Man of the Match alongside the real unsung hero of this team – Liam Bridcutt. Bridcutt does the simple thing better than anyone at the club, he is the epitome of the ‘spoiler’, the defensive midfield distruttore del gioco (destroyer of the game) beloved in the Italian game. A little leg out here, a full-bodied challenge there, he evens pops up in both penalty areas in the air to win balls against much taller players. If you watch him alone for any length of time on the park you’re watching a player with exceptional positional awareness, he arrives just when and where you want him, a superb addition to this squad when he came from Chelsea (their loss – big time) last season. Harley was the painter and decorator to Bridcutt’s builder, great to watch.

Now that the break for international football happens next weekend, the Albion are top dogs for an extended fortnight at least, a time where hopefully Buckley, Hoskins and Vincelot get back to full fitness. There are so many talented footballers at this club right now it makes your head spin a litle – is this really the same old Albion that used to delight and enrage in equal amounts, usually during the same match? The answer is surely no, we’re witnessing something special on the edge of the South Downs, where it will all end who knows? But it won’t be boring whatever happens.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 8 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Ryan Harley and Liam Bridcutt

Attendance: 19,656 (1,408 Peterborough United)

Championship table snapshot

As it stood on 27 Aug 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Brighton 5 6 13
2 Southampton 5 6 12
3 Derby 5 5 12
4 Middlesbrough 5 5 11
5 Crystal Palace 5 3 10
6 Cardiff 5 1 8
7 Blackpool 5 1 8
8 Peterborough 5 4 7
9 West Ham 4 4 7
10 Leicester 5 -1 7
11 Millwall 5 1 6
12 Portsmouth 5 0 6
13 Hull 5 -3 6
14 Ipswich 5 -6 6
15 Burnley 4 -1 5
16 Nott’m Forest 4 -1 5
17 Barnsley 5 -2 5
18 Bristol City 5 -4 5
19 Leeds 5 -1 4
20 Reading 5 -1 4
21 Birmingham 3 -2 3
22 Coventry 5 -3 2
23 Watford 4 -5 2
24 Doncaster 5 -6 1