Posts Tagged ‘Seagulls’

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.

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TSLR 42

October 19, 2012

The Seagull Love Review #42 is for sale at Falmer tomorrow at the Middlesbrough game. Still a pound a copy, still the only BHAFC fanzine around, and still going strong. Lots of places to buy a mag around the concourse before the match, just keep your eyes peeled in the 25000 strong crowd (still gets me that, 25K to see the Albion? Not me personally though, I’m abroad once more).

The fanzine will also be available to Albionites everywhere else around the globe via the TSLR website, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues, Build a Bonfire, and other bits and bobs of BHAFC fan culture. Check it out.

UP THE ALBION

To Hastings, and making a STAND Against Modern Football

July 19, 2012

A Morris Dancer free zone

I’m itching to get over to the east of East Sussex for this one, it’s been ages since I’ve seen the old pig’s bladder being kicked about. I have quite a few in-laws from around the Hastings area, but they’ve no interest in football; odd lot over there, but great place for a bevvie, especially the Old Town.

I’ll take the old Panasonic with me, so I can capture a few daguerreotypes to put up here, and a Hovian trademarked BHAFC match report – if I can stay sober enough to shoot phots that is.

In other news – the peasants are revolting. There’s a new paper football fanzine, unlike anything you’ve read before, being stuck together for publishing as we speak. It’s called “Stand – Against Modern Football” and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Even better, yours truly has an article in there, all about…..well, you’ll just have to buy it and see. The co-editors are (drinking) pals of mine, who are already in the business of magazines and fanzines, so it’s not some bodge job. You can check it all out on their Twitter @standamf, Facebook, and their blog. Sabotage Times have done a good write up here as well.

The boys at Stand have got 1200+ followers already on the old Twitter, so there is momentum behind this venture – after all, it’s our game and they are fucking us over, enough is enough – time to make a STAND.

The fanzine will be available to buy online only at this stage, stay tuned here or at @TheHovian to find out more.

NO AL CALCIO MODERNO

Will he? Won’t he? Episode 2375

May 18, 2012

Even I’m getting bored with this crap now. He keeps saying he won’t play in the Championship, but he might not have that choice come the end of the close season if one of the Premier League also-rans hasn’t picked him up. The bookies aren’t buying his “No Championship” line, or they weren’t last night. If the right money was offered I reckon he’d be all over it and on his way to Falmer. But I’m not sure if he’d be any use to be honest, his injury proneness has got worse during his spell at Man United.

This one will run for a while either way, and will keep us checking the internet for news, at least until Euro 2012 kicks off anyway.

Crystal Palace 1 – 1 Albion

February 1, 2012

You can see us holding hands, but we can't see the pitch

The Return to Selhurst. It was an old school football outing up in South London last night. A big Albion mob of 2700 turning up at the crumbling home of the hated Crystal Palace seeking revenge for the 3-1 drubbing at Falmer back in September. Well, we didn’t exactly get that, but the entertainment was top value.

The train situation – with suspiciously malfunctioning points systems on the Brighton to London line – meant that there was a bit of a crush to get into the Arthur Waite Stand in time for the 8pm kick off. But we made it – just – and took our standing places (no sitting at this fucker, no way) roughly where our tickets indicated. I ended up stood on the steps, as the place was jumping and everyone was stood on seats, walls and concrete screaming at the embarassingly empty Whitehorse Lane End and the Park Road lot opposite. What sort of home turnout was this for a supposedly bitter derby? Even the Palace Groupon deals couldn’t get the Nigels to fill the place. Very sad, for the banter stakes alone.

The Arthur Waite is very old school, and the Albion turned it literally into a terrace, all-standing, half smoking and loads of beer being drunk in view of the pitch, naughty, naughty, not me of course. The view and atmosphere was very 1980s, and there were strange cables and other bits an bobs hanging from the gantries and roof, very odd. And, even though I moved around quite a lot with the ebb and flow of a noisy away support, a big wet drip kept dropping on my swede, although the night was dry and freezing. I do hope it was rain water.

At half-time I went for a slash in the underground ‘toilet’, and to my amazement found myself aiming my stream to the left of an upturned electric hand drier in the trench urinal. How it got there is anyone’s guess, well actually it’s not, and it’s not on trying to wreck the ground like that, even Selhurst Park. Bad form.

A walk on the tame side back to Norwood

The match – quickly – Palace edged the first half, with drama bitch Zaha taking the piss a bit. I felt we were lucky to go in at the break 0-0. Second half, and the Holmesdale ‘Fanatics’ (more of whom later) pelted Brezovan in our goal with what looked like used bog roll wipes, they’re no Galatasaray this lot. Zaha duly went over for a penalty, it looked like a dive from where I was peering through the cables and falling masonry of the Arthur Waite. 1-0. Then ten minutes later, the excellent Buckley mugged their defender and went sprawling in the penalty area himself, soft penalty, cool headed Ash Barnes put that one away with aplomb. We then finished the game well on top, and the addition of Adgestein and new boy Sam Vokes was nearly the masterstroke that won us the match.

The fans. The noisiest Albion away crowd for many a year, songs about the Palace Groupon fiasco and “You stupid bastards, You burned your own town” alluding to Croydon going up in smoke during last summer’s riots, meant we easily won the banter/fan face off. The Holmesdale’s famed ‘Ultras’ were akin to these buffoons from the movie ‘Major League’:

20-30 choreographed pre-pubescents and some cunt with a drum, they are noddy as fuck, a joke. Add the fact Palace play music after their goals rounded off the idea of “Nigels” to a tee. And they call us plastics?

A song and ducking a few thrown Palace coins and confectionary (?) behind a massive Police line on the way back to Norwood Junction was the highlight of the extra-curricular rivalry, it was cold and getting home was the priority for me anyway. The train home was sardine city, my back was killing as we pulled into hallowed ground at Brighton Station. It was a good old night, but a win would have made it far better.

The Great Michael Owen Mystery

January 23, 2012

Coming to Brighton?

It’s right up there alongside Death On The Nile, Murder On The Orient Express, and other mysteries. Is Michael Owen coming to Falmer? Rumours have been rife before regarding the one-time England wonderkid, but this time it feels different.

I was tipped off by an aquaintance who’s MUFC yesterday, now it’s all over the news today and even on the back page of The Scum tomorrow (Apologies for even mentioning that particular bumwiper here, but them covering it just shows how much this story is growing).

Could he do a job? Fuck knows, but it would bring a lot of publicity down to Sussex, and might lighten the mood after Vicente has turned out to be permanently missing in action. Of course, having TWO supremely gifted but aging crocks sat in the stands isn’t what anyone wants.

But before all that, let’s just see if it turns out to be true, or more pie in the sky, like it was last summer.

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.

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

Albion 1 – 0 Sunderland

August 24, 2011

Nice game, shame about the photo

I decided to sample the delights of the North Stand last night, just to see how a match looks & sounds in the bleachers. Apologies for the shitty photo, but I hadn’t much time to concentrate on photography during this classic match. I miss the old banter of the North Stand lot, and the goal end view isn’t as bad as I thought it would be; in fact I’m sorely tempted to move my season ticket over there for next year.

What can you say about this game? Sunderland were as poor as they were when we met met them in the Algarve last summer, and judging by the amount of abuse Steve Bruce took off the mackems back then I’m as surprised as anyone he’s still manager today (that might change soon of course).

The first fifteen minutes were ours, then Sunderland edged the rest of the first half, just. The second half was an ode to Gus Poyet, his way of playing football has truly come of age, and Brighton & Hove Albion are back in the big time, no doubt about it. Facing a team of World Cup players, internationals, ex-Man Utd stalwarts and, er, Anton Ferdinand, we were undaunted and gave them a right runaround. For want of better finishing/better luck this game wouldn’t even have reached extra-time.

We hit the post, had a penalty disallowed (although most people now admit Calderon dived and deserved his booking) and with Craig Noone destroying them from both wings the impressive 1205-for-a-Tuesday-night away contingent were one glum-looking bunch. Everyone had a good game, but most impressive were Dunk, Calderon, a very impressive return for Alan Navarro, Bridcutt, new boy Ryan Harley, CMS, Barnes, and our story of the season so far – Craig Noone. Having both Bridcutt and Navarro on the pitch was great, our passing was the neatest I’ve seen so far this season as a result, and just when Sunderland had had enough of tricky run-at-you wingers like Noone, LuaLua was brought on to torment them further. And people, we still have Buckley and Hoskins to add to this team, what an attacking midfield we have at the club right now, unbelievable.

The goal in extra-time was worth the wait, Navarro crossing for CMS to nod home his third of the season. The only black marks were the injuries to both Greer and Vincelot, although the Frenchman is easier replaced than our big captain. Here’s hoping for an even bigger draw next round.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 8.5 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Craig Noone

Attendance: 17,019 (1,205 Mackems)