Posts Tagged ‘Adam El Abd’

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.

Albion 3 – 1 Portsmouth

January 9, 2011

My first Albion game of 2011, and the first time I’ve watched a ball kicked in anger since FC United on the 8th December. And what a game to come back to. As I expected to miss this game through work, I only managed to get a ticket on Friday – for the West Stand, where I could savour the ‘atmosphere’ at Withdean from half a mile away, like opposition fans have been enduring since 1999. To be fair when the ball is down in your half it ain’t half bad, but second half was difficult, the low angle of view didn’t help, and I missed Franny Sandaza’s ping-pong goal.

Pompey brought a big following and as we were rushing from the pub to find the route into the usual away end (the West -away- Stand was home fans only so Pompey could take up their 15% ticket allocation in our bigger Family Stand), I saw John Westwood – AKA the Pompey Bell(end) Ringer staggering about the East/South Stand concourse. He really needs to put the hat, clown shoes, and wisket in the wash – filthy it was.

Sadly for Westwood and his boys his team never turned up. Getting a player as good as Kitson sent off early didn’t help them, but I genuinely felt we would beat the Skates yesterday, and was touting “2-0″ as the final score in the pub beforehand. We battered them in the first half, and the amount of Pompey yellow cards handed out by, dare I say it, an Albion-friendly ref, was proof of their frustration at getting taken apart by a lower league side. Portsmouth seem to have a Premier League-sized collective ego, and hangover. You were shite, admit it.

Poyet started with three strikers (FLAIR!), and each had a fine game, Glenn Murray was the pick even though he was the only one of the trio who didn’t rattle the onion bag. I want to give Mauricio Taricco Man of the Match, as he not only stood in well for the suspended Calderon, but surpassed him in his brilliant 60 minute cameo. Treacle must’ve been some player in his younger days. Pompey were annoyed at being skinned by a 37 year old, and he got some rough treatment before he was subbed after tiring later on, but job done.

Adam El-Abd gets my nod, although any one of four of five players deserved the plaudits too. Bomber is fast becoming the cult hero here at Casa Hovian, another assured display with the rehabilitated Tommy Elphick at the back was the foundation that built the performance. After the game as we walked down the hill past the unhappy Pompey crowd returning to their coaches, a few started chopsing and giving it the big one (from behind a police line of course), that rounded off a perfect day back at the Theatre of Trees, one that I’ll remember fondly when I’m sat in my shiny new padded seat at Falmer next season.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 9 out 10

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

Attendance : 7792 (1421 Skates)

Albion 1 – 0 Brentford

September 28, 2010

It’s an old football cliche that says if you want silverware in your trophy cabinet at the end of the season, then you have to win games even when you play badly. Well for 60 minutes tonight we were pretty gash, for sure. This game was headed for a draw – or worse – until, out of nothing, that man LuaLua saved Albion’s blushes.

Thing is, when you try to play nice one touch football, it only works when you pass to another player in your team. Time and again the tippy tappy stuff was going straight to Brentford players, and we were making a very ordinary team look half decent.

But, our patience paid off, and we should have won by three or four goals after the spell of pressure we put the away team under for the last half hour. LuaLua was ok until the final third, then his touch and shooting (up until he actually scored) was comical at times. Barnes harried well, laying it off nicely to the attacking midfield, but should have scored two again. Elphick had a few dodgy moments, he was carried by the man of the match (by more than a country mile) – Adam El-Abd. Bomber did the simple thing well all night, he was unflappable, and on this performance is the best defensive asset we have at the club right now. Good effort.

We are three points clear now, the expectation grows with each passing game. Great isn’t it?

The Hovian’s Team performance :  6 out 10

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

Npower League One table

Tuesday, 28 September 2010 21:52 UK

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

Gillingham 1 – 1 Albion

April 14, 2010

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

Albion 1 – 2 Colchester

December 11, 2009

The giant new keeper Peter Brezovan keeps his place tonight as Gus sticks with the same team that nicked a late win at Exeter last week. Eight minutes, long ball…1-0 to Colchester. Thirteen minutes….2-0, what the fuck is going on? We’ve hardly touched the ball. Poyet has seen enough, McNulty comes on for El-Abd on 15 mins. Another dither at Withers – Colchester hit the crossbar with an overhead kick, they’re taking the piss here. El-Abd seems to have picked up a head injury. Bennett puts one over the bar, we have a  team out tonight then? That’s good. Murray scores…offside, great ball in from McNulty. It’s pony this match. A lifeline on 43 mins – a goal from Gary Dicker, game on again.

Albion start well second half, Forster goes close. Dickinson on for Hoyte, Bennett slips to right back, Poyet’s going for it with three strikers again, I love it when he does that, hopefully it will work this time. We’re pressuring them, Murray then Fozzy miss great chances. A draw will do.

Murray hits the post from 5 yards!!!! We are not getting anything here, our luck is out folks. Cox on for Navarro on 78 mins. If we lose this game it will be hard to take after the chances we’ve wasted this second period. Forster again!! Five minutes to go. Forster skys one on 90 mins, 4 mins of extra-time to be played. Corner, last chance, a scramble and goal kick. Game over, yet another home defeat, but this should have been a draw at least. Shite.

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

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Gary Dicker

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Brezovan; Hoyte (Dickinson 62) , Tunnicliffe, Elphick, El-Abd (McNulty); Bennett, Dicker, Crofts, Navarro (Cox 78); Forster, Murray

Subs: Pelling, Whing, McNulty, Cox, Dickinson, Virgo, Hart

League One table

Friday, 11 December 2009 21:44 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Leeds United 19 27 46
2 Charlton 20 18 42
3 Colchester 21 16 39
4 Norwich 20 18 38
5 Huddersfield 20 19 32
6 Swindon 18 2 31
7 Bristol Rovers 20 -3 31
8 Walsall 20 4 30
9 MK Dons 20 -2 30
10 Millwall 20 6 29
11 Hartlepool 20 1 26
12 Carlisle 20 -3 24
13 Yeovil 20 -4 23
14 Southend 20 -4 23
15 Southampton 20 10 22
16 Gillingham 20 -5 22
17 Exeter 20 -6 22
18 Brentford 20 -6 22
19 Leyton Orient 20 -11 22
20 Oldham 20 -10 21
21 Brighton 21 -15 20
22 Wycombe 20 -13 17
23 Tranmere 20 -21 17
24 Stockport 19 -18 14

Norwich 4 – 1 Albion

November 24, 2009

Round two of our back to back games against League One’s triumvirate of ex-Premiershit “Big Boys” tonight. After, frankly, what was a football lesson against the whippet-worrying dole scum (that’s Leeds United to you) on Saturday, this should be a tough night for the Seagulls. But, we are good away, and the boys seem to relish playing in the big stadiums, so it’s all up for grabs. I’ll stick my neck out and go for a sneaky 1-0 to us. Gavin Hoyte returns from his three match ban to sit on the bench and no Nicky Forster!!! Dickinson starts with Murray up front.

Three minutes, 1-0 to Norwich, fuck me ragged. Tunnicliffe didn’t clear and they get a tap-in at the far post. Dickinson is sounding lively, getting amongst them. Crofts has one saved, we’re still well in this match. Norwich hit the bar – hoofing game! Cox gives it away, bang! 2-0, that should be it folks. Wankers.

PUNCH UP!!! Both teams scrapping in the centre of the park. Cox is having a ‘mare, gets booked for starting the melee with his foul. Can’t see him starting the second half. Disallowed goal for Norwich, we are going to get mauled here tonight folks, we are shite. Half-time, a pretty sad act.

Cox is off, McLeod on. Adam El-Abd, the much maligned utility defender is having a good game here, good on him. TUNNICLIFFE!!!!!!! 2-1!!!! McLeod wins a corner, a scramble and Tunny bangs it in. Ah fuck off! Own goal – Elphick, although it seems he might have been fouled. 3-1 to City. Goodnight and God bless.

It’s looking like a bad night all-round for us tonight, all our relegation contenders apart from Stockport are doing well. It’s now 4-1 on 81 minutes, Smith should have saved, boy do we miss Kuipers. Shocking. Murray goes off for Davieees. Hoyte gets a run out for the last pitiful five minutes, replacing Whing. It’s ten past two in the morning here in Kabul, I’m up at 7am for a full day’s work – worth staying up for and a red-eye day tomorrow…….? I still say yes. We are a long way off the standard required to progress from this league, Leeds and now Norwich have showed us how it’s done. Next up is Charlton – oh dear. Well played to Bomber El-Abd, my Man of the Match. I’m off for a shite night’s kip. Toodle Pip.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance :   3 out of 10

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

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Smith; Whing (Hoyte 85), Elphick, Tunnicliffe, El-Abd; Bennett, Crofts, Dicker, Cox (McLeod 45); Murray (Davieeeees 83), Dickinson

Subs:  Pelling, McLeod, Virgo, C Davies, Navarro, Hart, Hoyte

Albion 0 – 2 Oldham

October 24, 2009

Adam El-Abd returns to the back four to cover for the eternally unlucky Jim McNulty, and hopefully Nicky Forster will start after his little niggle – we miss him badly. Alan Navarro starting in midfield, mmmm, not sure about that. First chance on 20 minutes, Forster wins a corner, Bennett delivers and Elphick nearly gets in at the back post. Kuipers makes a great save and Oldham have their first chance, boring game this.

Crofts puts a header just over, should have scored. Bennett again our brightest player this half, what a find this kid is. Bit better from the Seagulls at the end of the half – every time Bennett gets the ball to his feet. Half-time, all Albion for me although the Latics had the best chance.

First chance in second half, deflected past Kuipers, 0-1. Here we go again. Nicky Forster almost equalises straightaway. Cox on for Navarro, why didn’t Coxy start? Slade is getting this all wrong again. My patience is running out with his team selections. Forster going close again, COME ON!!!!! Gary Hart on for Dickinson on 76 minutes, another poor, soft, diving display from a player who promised so much in August. Toothless we are.

Dicker having a good second half, but we’re not supplying Bennett enough. Free kick for Oldham, they have a man unmarked 4 yards out, he scores, 2-0. Absolute fucking rubbish. Crofts hits the crossbar, too little, too late. One…two…three…and we’re back in the relegation zone. The only consolation today is that Millwall beat Leeds, woeful eh? Is Russell Slade really our man this season? I really don’t think he is, and it pains me to say that, it really does.

I’m back in the UK next Friday and will be in South Stand Block G at Fortress Withdean for the Hartlepool game, I can hardly wait. I wonder if Slade will be there on the home bench?

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance :  3 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Elliott Bennett

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Kuipers; Hoyte, Virgo, Elphick, El-Abd; Bennett, Crofts, Dicker, Navarro (Cox 60); Dickinson (Hart 76), Forster

Subs: Smith, Hart, Thornhill, Cox, Tunnicliffe, Davies, McLeod

League One Table

24 Oct 2009 17:09 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Leeds United 13 13 30
2 Charlton 14 11 29
3 Colchester 14 14 28
4 MK Dons 14 4 26
5 Norwich 14 6 22
6 Bristol Rovers 13 2 22
7 Huddersfield 14 12 21
8 Millwall 14 9 21
9 Oldham 14 -1 20
10 Hartlepool 14 1 19
11 Swindon 14 -4 19
12 Yeovil 14 2 18
13 Southend 14 1 17
14 Walsall 14 -2 17
15 Brentford 14 -2 17
16 Gillingham 14 -3 15
17 Leyton Orient 14 -11 15
18 Carlisle 14 -5 14
19 Exeter 14 -9 14
20 Stockport 14 -9 14
21 Brighton 14 -9 13
22 Southampton 14 7 11
23 Tranmere 14 -18 10
24 Wycombe 14 -9 8

Albion 0 – 1 MK Dons

October 3, 2009

A place each on the bench for two of the best recent players to turn out for the Albion – Jim McNulty and Glenn Murray. I’d like to see a good run out for both today. I think we’ll lose this game though, our home form is shocking.

No Seagulls Player commentary, can’t seem to get it at all. Looks like this is going to happen to every game I miss this season while in Afghanistan – I can’t wait until April next year when I finally return home and get to all the games in person. BBC World for the second halves again it is then.

Adam El-Abd sent off – straight red. What the fuck is up with this  team and discipline? We’ve made it through to half-time scoreless, but that’s Albion’s fifth red card this season, and that is not fucking on – Slade needs to sort it out now, the  buck stops with him.

On 49 minutes the inevitable happens, 1-0 to MK. That’ll fix it. Baldy is going for it, taking off Dicker on 80 minutes and putting Murray on for three up front, that’s more like it – lose big and go down fighting or nick one for a jammy point.

Game over, what could we have done with 11 men? Answers on the back of a red card please. We’re back in the relegation zone. Bollocks.

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Kuipers; El-Abd, Elphick, Tunnicliffe, Wright; Bennett, Crofts, Dicker (Murray 80), Davies (Thornhill 63); Forster, Dickinson

Subs: G Smith, McNulty, Cox, Hart, Thornhill, J Smith, Murray

League One table

Saturday, 3 October 2009 17:13 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Leeds United 11 13 27
2 Charlton 11 10 24
3 Bristol Rovers 11 4 22
4 Colchester 11 12 21
5 MK Dons 11 3 20
6 Swindon 11 -1 18
7 Norwich 11 5 16
8 Oldham 11 -1 16
9 Huddersfield 11 5 15
10 Millwall 11 4 14
11 Southend 11 3 14
12 Walsall 11 -3 14
13 Exeter 11 -2 13
14 Brentford 11 -3 13
15 Hartlepool 11 -2 12
16 Leyton Orient 11 -7 12
17 Gillingham 10 0 11
18 Yeovil 11 -1 11
19 Carlisle 11 -3 11
20 Stockport 11 -4 11
21 Brighton 10 -8 9
22 Tranmere 11 -17 7
23 Wycombe 11 -8 6
24 Southampton 11 1 2

Carlisle 0 – 2 Albion

September 12, 2009

Long away day for the Seagulls, I’m predicting a low score draw, hoping for a win by a single goal. Dean Cox is out of the squad, making way for Kevin Mcleod to regain a place on the bench.

Three minutes gone……FORSTER SCORES!!!! That’s his fourth in four (I think?). The old boy is in scorching form. What a start. Forster brought down in penalty area on 22 minutes, nothing given – Russell Slade is raging, bit of argy-bargy between the benches. Good game this. Half-time, best players so far (in order) are Adam El-Abd, Fozzy, Dicker, Dickinson, Arron Davies. Not too much to be alarmed about, Carlisle are a bit toothless. Another goal second half should put this one away.

Bit of early pressure from the home side in this second half, not surprising as they probably thought they had a safe home banker today. The announcer has just given the attendance at 5368 souls, 350-400 of those are travelling Seagulls, good effort! Adam El-Abd is playing really well, which is great news as he gets so much stick from our fans.

FORSTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2-0, LOVING IT!!!! Dickinson laid it on beautifully for the old boy and he slots it in. These two are beginning to look like some partnership. Gary Hart was warming up to replace Fozzy as well, and now is back in his tracky and back on the bench. I’m sure he’s not that bothered. Dicker shoots, it’s saved and Forster puts it in – offside, and Fozzy’s been booked for throwing the ball away. Piss off ref.

Hart on for Dicko on 75 mins. Forster looking for his hat-trick. I would love to give El-Abd my man of the match, but there’s no denying who’s pipped him (just) for me, it’s that man Nicky Forster. A fantastic result that fires us right up the table. And, erm, Crystal Palace 0 – 4 Scunthorpe is always good for a laugh too.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 9 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Nicky Forster

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Kuipers; Virgo, Elphick, Tunnicliffe, El-Abd; Bennett (McLeod), Crofts, Dicker, A Davies; Dickinson (Hart 75), Forster (2)

Subs: G Smith, McLeod, Livermore, C Davies, Hart, Wright, Navarro, Thornhill

League One table

Saturday, 12 September 2009 17:23 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Charlton 7 12 19
2 Leeds United 7 9 19
3 Bristol Rovers 7 5 15
4 Huddersfield 7 9 14
5 Swindon 7 -2 12
6 Colchester 7 6 11
7 MK Dons 6 2 11
8 Gillingham 7 6 10
9 Brentford 7 1 10
10 Walsall 7 -1 9
11 Southend 7 2 8
12 Carlisle 7 -1 8
13 Hartlepool 7 -1 8
14 Norwich 6 -2 8
15 Brighton 7 -6 8
16 Millwall 7 -2 7
17 Yeovil 7 -1 6
18 Stockport 7 -3 6
19 Leyton Orient 7 -4 6
20 Exeter 7 -4 6
21 Oldham 7 -5 6
22 Wycombe 7 -5 5
23 Tranmere 7 -12 3
24 Southampton 7 -3 -5

AFC Wimbledon 0 – 2 Albion

July 21, 2009

My favourite football photograph of all time. I loved the old Crazy Gang, ever since they won the 1988 FA Cup Final 1-0 against the then cocksure top-flight superstars Liverpool. They didn’t exactly outplay Liverpool as much as mug them with extreme violence, and underdog lovers everywhere lapped it up – a legend was born.

But, after relegation from the Premier League in 2000 the Dons imploded and out of the ashes rose AFC Wimbledon (MK Dons? who they?) - this is by far the most interesting of our pre-season friendlies, and one I defo would have gone to had I been at home in Hove. So, I have to make do with the Seagulls World radio commentary from the Beeb.

New trialist getting a run out tonight is Alan Navarro, a former MK Dons midfielder. No Michael Ricketts, looking ominous for him not being in blue & white stripes this season. It’s 11:15pm here (central Asia) as the match kicks off. I hope the game is worth staying up for.

McLeod hits one on 15mins, off da woodwork, Albion looking lively, especially in midfield with McLeod, Navarro and Spiller buzzing about. Adam El Abd putting himself about in characterisitic style at right back. It’s raining in Kingston too, I’ve the aircon on in bed, hoho. Tunnicliffe having a good outing at centre-back, that’s promising for the big yin, big throws into the box too – looking forward to him bombing those in over the season.

GOAL! Hart feeds McLeod on 30mins and POW!! in the onion bag. Stitch that you bastards!

Second half gets underway, trying to work out who’s on and who’s come off. Dicko on up front with Daaaaavies. Immediately Dicko has a pop at goal, looking very hungry. McLeod still on, he’s playing a blinder. McLeod floats one in, Daaavies connects with his head and misses (signs of things to come this season?). Dean Cox on for McLeod on 60mins, well played that man.

Dicko having a better night than his last game at Stevenage, he’s enjoying stretching those big legs. Daavies trying hard too, not as classy,  he needs a goal, they both do. Coxy and Wright both troubling the Dons defence, Daaavies can’t finish. Dons finally make a decent attack, appeals for hand ball off Virgo – piss offffff!!! AFC threaten again with 5 mins left, Dickinson clears his lines, having a good half the big guy. Dons miss a sitter, empty net, fook me! And another, what are Albion doing???

Other end, Dicko feeds Cox, keeper saves at his feet – good little game this. Cox takes a corner with minutes to go, falls to Virgo, he smashes it low into the goal – get in!!! Final whistle goes, good work out for the team. Night night.

Xenophon’s Albion Team Performance : 7 out of 10

Xenophon’s Albion Man of the Match : Kevin McLeod

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) G Smith (Kuipers 45); El Abd (Whing 45), Hawkins (Elphick 45), Tunnicliffe (Virgo 45), Livermore (Cook 60); Brinkhurst (Wright 50), Navarro (Crofts 45), Spiller (Dicker 45), Mcleod (Cox 60); Murray (Dickinson 45), Hart (Daaaaaavies 45)


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