Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Crofts’

Crofts returns

August 2, 2012

I’m delighted that the rumours that dragged on for weeks were actually true this time – Andrew Crofts has come in from the cold at Norwich and come back to the Albion on a three year deal.

He was our best player back in 2009-10 and I thought the move up into the Premier League with an already exciting Norwich side was a move too soon. Sometimes it’s nice to be proved right.

Are we going to be contenders this coming season? The signs are there definitely, it’s going to be a belting adventure whatever the league table looks like come May 2013.

Albion 1 – 0 Yeovil

May 9, 2010

Gus Poyet - the best entertainment value at Withdean

Gone, finished, it all ended in a bit of a damp squib, in an equally damp and morbid Withdean Stadium – only one more season of this snoozefest. I’m nursing the obligatory Sunday headache, but the rot set in the minute I crawled out of my pit yesterday morning to go drinking then watch this nothing doing game.

I sat, for the very last time mind you, in with the gentlefolk of E Block, best view = quietest fans. Notwithstanding the meaningless nature of the game itself, it was the last chance to enjoy the “atmosphere” until the 2010/11 season. I fully expected the old girls sat near me to crack open the knitting, oblivious as they were to the fact a competitive association football match was unfolding but 50 metres from their plastic seats.  My season ticketed seat for that last seasonal hurrah at the Theatre of Trees is firmly ensconced in the bosom of Block H. I’ll take my chances among the celery (two kids were thrown out yesterday for lobbing said veggie missiles) and inflatable beach balls.

For those who are interested in such things – not me really – I give the new kit 4 out of 10, I simply don’t like it, it’s not the right thickness of stripe between blue and white, which should be 50/50, not 80/20.

The match – snappy passing, looks great, but it had the feeling of a training match about it. Yeovil never really turned up, and fittingly I was third in the queue for a burger and chips when Elliott Bennett rattled the opposition net. Good lad Ell.

Mitchell Walker was excellent in our goal, and alongside Brezovan next year, should make the job of regularly defending the Albion goal his without too much worry. Chris Holroyd had a good game, but he still needs to score (and of course won’t now) occasionally to convince most people.

Andrew Crofts was man of the match for me, a skipperly performance from a consummate professional. The rest were ok. But I write this angry in a way, yet looking forward even more next year to our clashes with shitty-arsed Alan Pardew and his tainted Saints. Inigo Calderon has repayed the mightily kind favour extended to him by Gus Poyet by refusing a deal for next year, opting instead to talk to the scummers up the coast. So long then, I hope we boot lumps out of you next year, you ungrateful little shit. But the plus side folks – ever present remember – is we have more reason to hate Pardew and his bunch of twats next season. Football lives and breathes this shit, so it’s good in a way too.

Last night I took the other half to the end of season party hosted by The Seagull Love Review team, at a city centre pub. A noisy night was had by all (cheers S & S), and it was good to meet the faces behind the pens of BHAFC’s only current fanzine. Me and my good mucker “Sergei’s Celebration” off NSC had our other halves (or dates) with us, so around midnight we headed off to find a quieter venue down East Street (impossible really, but we were well shanted).

Sergei is convinced young Lewis Dunk is following him around Brighton and Hove every Saturday night. We entered a rather insalubrious “meat market” kind of hostelry for a few knockbacks when we bumped into young Lew at the bar – one week after drinking beside him in my local on the Hove/Brighton border. Chris Holroyd was with him, and both of them were in clothing that would embarass even the most flamboyant of funboys – anecdotal evidence, if ever it was needed, that footballers throughout the ages are consistently the worst dressed men in society. That theory was compounded when outside later we saw a “tired and emotional” Lee Hendrie dressed in what can only be called a ladies silk scarf. Jesus Wept.

So that is the final chapter in the story of the 2010/11 season, I will put up my awards next week – best player etc. Next is the World Cup, which this site won’t be following – strictly BHA folks. After that there is the pre-season erm, season, when I shall be endeavouring to visit Portugal to watch the team and get shitfaced at every opportunity. Stay tuned – there will still be updates from football literature, casual-ology, and any events that affect the club in the close season. Cheers.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 7 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Andrew Crofts

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold)

(4-5-1) Walker; Painter, El-Abd, Elphick, Hoyte; Bennett, Crofts (Dicker 88), Hendrie, Navarro, Carole (Barnes76); Holroyd (Caskey 76).

Subs: Brezovan, McNulty, Dunk, Barnes, Caskey, Dicker,  Hart.

Attendance: 7323 (366 Yeovil)

League One table

Sunday, 9 May 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 46 42 95
2 Leeds United 46 33 86
3 Millwall 46 32 85
4 Charlton 46 23 84
5 Swindon 46 16 82
6 Huddersfield 46 26 80
7 Southampton 46 38 73
8 Colchester 46 12 72
9 Brentford 46 3 62
10 Walsall 46 -3 62
11 Bristol Rovers 46 -11 62
12 MK Dons 46 -8 60
13 Brighton 46 -4 59
14 Carlisle 46 -3 58
15 Yeovil 46 -4 53
16 Hartlepool 46 -8 53
17 Oldham 46 -18 52
18 Leyton Orient 46 -10 51
19 Exeter 46 -12 51
20 Tranmere 46 -27 51
21 Gillingham 46 -16 50
22 Wycombe 46 -20 45
23 Southend 46 -21 43
24 Stockport 46 -60 25

Stockport 1 – 1 Albion

January 26, 2010

Former Stockport County vice president, naff 70s "comedian", and very tentative celebrity bellend fan Mike Yarwood

I was meant to be going to Edgeley Park tonight. I booked a BA flight from Gatwick to Manchester for £76, and a room at the insalubrious Britannia Hotel in Stocky itself for £35. But alas, I have a job interview in Hove this afternoon – around the same time my flight was due to take off. I retreived £24 back off BA (twats!) and £28 off Superbreak Holidays (nice one!). I better get that job now, but here I am arsing about on the interweb when I should be doing my homework. Expecting a win tonight, don’t care if it’s 1-0 and a shitty game. FIVE ex-County players in our squad tonight.

Three good County efforts on goal early doors, very difficult playing surface at Edgeley making hard work for Albion’s passing game. Painter booked on 28mins for a fairly innocuous challenge. Half-time – we’ve had more possession but County have easily had the better chances, Kuipers is keeping us in this.

Frenetic start to the second period, Stockport should have scored, another great save from Michel Kuipers. Had to come, cracking strike from Danny Pilkington, 1-0 to the home side. Dickinson on for Dicker on 65mins, Poyet going for 4-3-3. Forster has a shot at last, 18 minutes left. Seb Carole on for Calderon, all out attack now, we’ve been shit going forward thus far, so why not?

Ten minutes left, Kuipers makes another good save. Crofts has a header pushed off the line with 5 minutes to go – it’s isn’t happening tonight. Crofts scores a soft goal on 90 minutes off the poor surface and past Williams, the Stocky keeper. Murray nearly scores another in extra-time. What a finish to this game, end to end now. It’s all over, we got a jammy draw tonight, Stockport will feel hard done by, but that’s this crazy game of football for you. Millwall up next at Withers on Saturday.

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

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Michel Kuipers

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Kuipers; Calderon (Carole 75), Elphick, Virgo, Painter; Bennett, Crofts, Navarro, Dicker (Dickinson 65); Murray, Forster

(Subs) Brezovan, Tunnicliffe, McNulty, Carole, Cox, Dickinson, Hoyte

League One table

Tuesday, 26 January 2010 21:47 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 28 33 60
2 Leeds United 26 27 57
3 Charlton 27 20 54
4 Colchester 26 15 49
5 Swindon 25 8 47
6 Millwall 27 10 43
7 Huddersfield 25 19 42
8 MK Dons 27 4 42
9 Bristol Rovers 25 -2 38
10 Brentford 27 -3 34
11 Carlisle 25 -3 32
12 Walsall 24 1 31
13 Yeovil 27 -4 31
14 Hartlepool 28 -9 31
15 Southampton 26 13 30
16 Southend 27 -7 30
17 Leyton Orient 26 -10 30
18 Exeter 28 -11 29
19 Gillingham 27 -7 28
20 Brighton 26 -12 28
21 Oldham 25 -10 26
22 Tranmere 26 -22 25
23 Wycombe 28 -23 20
24 Stockport 26 -27 16

Torquay 0 – 1 Albion

January 2, 2010

"Sybil, quick, you're missing the start of the match"

FA Cup time against those other Football League “Gulls”, Torquay United. They’ve already beaten us in pre-season last year, and knocked out our fellow League One strugglers Stockport, but I think we should win this one straight out. A big Premiershit away draw awaits us in round four if we do, I can feel it in my bones.

Poyet is going with a 4-3-3, with Dickinson on the right and Murray/Forster marauding up front, and Adam Virgo gets a rare start at centre back. Game on. Even stevens for the first half hour, nothing doing, Forster appeals for a penalty, not given. Jesus this is boring. Oh, a corner on 40 mins, cosmic. Murray has a pop just before half-time, fluffs his shot. There’s the whistle.

Dickinson working hard down the right at the start of the second half. I think Poyet needs to make a change soon, this game is stalemate. Virgo playing his big fat socks off – good for him. Navarro on for Cox, oo-er. Dicko has a good shot on goal – saved, not much else happening, poor game. Corner – CROFTS!!! heads in 1-0!

We’re looking to finish this, Forster comes close. Torquay going for it, Virgs get booked for a silly tackle, we need to keep cool heads here for this last five. Free kick for Torquay just on the 18 yard box, shit. Kuipers saves. Three minutes of injury-time. We’re making hard work of this. And that’s it – Albion reach the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1993. Who are we gonna get??

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance :  6 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Adam Virgo

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-3-3) Kuipers; Hoyte, Tunnicliffe, Virgo, McNulty; Cox (Navarro 65), Dicker, Crofts; Dickinson, Forster, Murray

(Subs) Brezovan, Elphick, Navarro, Bennett, Davieeees, Hart, Whing

Albion 0 – 0 Leyton Orient

December 26, 2009

Christmas is over, back to the serious job of football it is then, and Albion could do with six more points before 2009 dies. Relegation is a distinct, if stark,  possibility this season, so we need to get cracking against a very beatable Orient side this afternoon, no arsing about.

Boring first twenty minutes, Orient more than shading it. Crofts booked on 30 minutes for late tackle. Dickinson is working his socks off, best of the bunch so far. McNulty and Forster combine, Fozzy heads just over – we’re starting to boss this game. Half-time, bit of a drudge this one, I’ll take 1-0.

Seagulls Player goes off on 50 minutes, it comes on 4 minutes later, cosmic. I haven’t missed much though, not a classic game by any means, mince pie induced ennui? Cox on for El-Abd, Murray on for Navarro – Poyet goes three up front for the three points. Orient hit the post, three minutes later and Crofts picks up his second yellow – and he’s off. Hanging on for a draw with 20 minutes to go.

Forster makes way for Gary Hart. Again, we seem to do better with ten men, fucking frustrating this team, to say the least. So, that’s it – eight reds for Albion and it’s not even January yet! Dickinson gets booked near the end, that’s five for him, so he and Crofts will miss Monday’s game at Wycombe. Dicko brings a save out of the O’s keeper, it’s on the blow here. Tunnicliffe goes close. Game over, gloomy, very gloomy.

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

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Liam Dickinson

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Brezovan; Hoyte, Elphick, Tunnicliffe, El-Abd (Cox 60); Bennett, Crofts, Navarro (Murray 60), McNulty; Forster (Hart 69), Dickinson

Subs: Kuipers, Murray, Davieees, Hart, Whing, Virgo, Cox

Exeter 0 – 1 Albion

December 5, 2009

Three points today, make it so.

A late,  late winner (90+2) from Captain Crofts gave us a very welcome and unexpected win yesterday. I missed the whole game through work and picked up the scoreline on the BBC’s World Service with James Alexander Gordon (De-dum-de-dum-de-deedle-de-dum-de-deedle-dum-dee-dee…etc). This was after the BBC matchday reporter had called it 0-0 after commentating on Manure v Wet Sham. The World Service always cuts away straight after the featured Premiershit match to the news and various other shite, so I had settled for the draw. Deep joy when JAG announced the final result later on!

So, we finally keep a clean sheet, and away at Exeter where it’s hard to get anything. Peter Brezovan seems to have made a great debut between the sticks for us. Three precious points away help our relegation woes more than a little, but that “…Exeter 0″ on the radio means a lot more than it should this season, and is a lot more significant than us sneaking a late goal at the other end. More next week please Señor Poyet.

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Brezovan; Hoyte, Tunnicliffe, Elphick, El-Abd; Bennett, Dicker (McNulty 87), Crofts, Navarro; Forster (Cox 90+4), Murray (Dickinson 63)

Subs: Pelling, Whing, McNulty, Cox, Dickinson, Virgo, J Smith

League One table

Sunday, 6 December 2009 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Leeds United 19 27 46
2 Charlton 20 18 42
3 Norwich 20 18 38
4 Colchester 20 15 36
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 20 -14 20
22 Wycombe 20 -13 17
23 Tranmere 20 -21 17
24 Stockport 19 -18 14

Albion 2 – 0 Wycombe

November 18, 2009

I won’t be at Withdean tonight to collect my free Hola Gus! T-shirt. I won’t even be listening in on radio or on Seagulls Player. Why not??? Well, this is my last night at home before I fly to Dubai tomorrow, then on to Afghanistan on Friday. The wife thought it would be better spent together, at home, and not be interrupted by the Albion’s first home game under the Great One. I have to agree (although if it was a league game she’d be sat in her new T-shirt in the rain at Withdean beside me!).

I predict Albion hammering Wycombe tonight, and I’ll probably have to pick up a Hola Gus! T-shirt at the club shop or on eBay. Bollocks.

I managed to keep an eye on the laptop and the BBC football updates, the other eye on the telly. A goal each for midfield maestros Crofts and Bennett, and what looked like a comfortable home win. I’ll speak again soon from Kabul, laters.

Southampton 1 – 3 Albion

November 16, 2009

Cracking. Put it down to Gus Poyet. Whether it was his brief spells of coaching this week, or the fact individual players were trying hard to impress the new boss – we were good yesterday, brilliant even, almost a different team. I don’t think we deserved to run out of Scumland (more of which in a later post) 3-1 winners, but we rode our luck for a change and defended stoutly – I haven’t said that once this season.

Albion goalscorer and Man of the Match - Andrew CroftsI won’t go on about this one too much, as even our armchair and faraway fans got a chance to watch it on the telly, but I will rate each player briefly.

Kuipers – mad as a fish, but had an inspired game, his kicking is still bad though. Whing – welcome return and solid enough from ginge, unlucky over the penalty shout. Elphick and Tunnicliffe – Elphick looked class, Tunnicliffe aided and abetted well. El-Abd – hard in the tackle, but hoofed it in the second half too much.

Bennett – unusually quiet and ineffective from him, it won’t last. Dicker – the odd wayward pass but a very classy midfielder who stuck at it when they came at us with everything second half. Crofts – new skipper (shock!) and it obviously inspired him to man of the match, his turn in the first half, leaving three Saints players standing was ace, as was his goal sealing the game when it looked like they would score. Cox – fantastic effort skinning Harding (snigger) and crossing for Murray’s first, we all know he can do it, maybe Poyet’s flair has rubbed off on the little fella.

Forster – deserved to score, had a good niggly game with their big dirty bastard at centre back. Glenn Murray – say what you want about the big guy – and ALL Seagulls fans have said plenty about him – he was on the money at Saints, almost my man of the match.

The subs – each did their job, with Dickinson being the most annoying I’m sure for Saints fans, with his big gangly awkward style frustrating and holding the ball well.

Albion double goalscorer - Glenn Murray

So, there you have it, a great start, it was a bit flattering, but I’m sure the Scummers didn’t expect too much from our team before kick-off. A big round of applause to the travelling Seagulls too – it was almost like Wembley in the Northam Stand yesterday with all that noise. I’ll talk more about events surrounding the game, and the antics of a few window lickers who think they’re well ‘ard and follow Saints, but I’ll write about that later in the week. Enjoy it, Leeds on Saturday will show how much Poyet has really worked his magic (forget Wycombe Wednesday night).

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

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Andrew Crofts

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Kuipers; Whing, Elphick, Tunnicliffe, El-Abd; Bennett (Navarro 60), Crofts, Dicker, Cox (Hart 60); Murray (2), Forster (Dickinson 75)

Subs:  Smith, Livermore, Virgo, C Davies, Navarro, Hart, Dickinson

League One table

Monday, 16 November 2009 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Leeds United 15 21 36
2 Charlton 16 13 32
3 Colchester 16 13 29
4 MK Dons 16 1 29
5 Norwich 16 10 28
6 Huddersfield 16 19 27
7 Millwall 16 10 25
8 Bristol Rovers 16 -2 25
9 Hartlepool 16 2 23
10 Walsall 16 1 23
11 Swindon 15 -1 22
12 Yeovil 16 -1 21
13 Southend 16 1 20
14 Oldham 16 -3 20
15 Gillingham 16 -3 18
16 Brentford 16 -5 18
17 Exeter 16 -6 18
18 Carlisle 16 -4 17
19 Brighton 16 -7 17
20 Leyton Orient 16 -12 16
21 Stockport 16 -13 14
22 Southampton 16 5 12
23 Tranmere 16 -23 10
24 Wycombe 16 -16 8

Yeovil 2 – 2 Albion

October 10, 2009

Expecting a win today, we’re ok away and are due giving someone a good hiding, why not Russell Slade’s old team? Adam Virgo on the bench, maybe he’s struggling a bit with fitness?

5 minutes, cross from Fozzy, reaches Crofts – ONE-NIL!!!! ALBION!!!! Crofts playing really well, we’re well on top here. Five minutes to half-time, Forster lays it on for Dickinson – right peg………….2-0!!!!! Forster nearly makes it three, keeper saves. Murdering them. Oops! in extra-time the farmers nick one. Game on, half-time. 

Albion goalscorer Andrew CroftsSecond half, no changes in the line ups. Scrappy, bad tempered game, some right gobby old farmers drowning out the Player commentary. Yeovil going for it. Murray is warming up for Dickinson, who’s limping, and he’s on at 55 minutes. We have lost our shape completely second half, Gary Dicker is getting stuck in, everyone else like headless chickens. Cox on for Davies, more attacking look to the Albion now, we need this win badly.

Albion goalscorer Liam DickinsonPenalty for Yeovil. Fuck sake. 2-2. Come on ALBION!!!

4 minutes of extra-time, plenty of time to gift these idiots another goal. What a load of utter shite. I was for giving Gary Dicker my Man of the Match, but really none of them deserve it, Dicker did have a good second half when everyone else gave up though. Just not good enough. Yeovil are awful, but we’re just as bad if not worse. No, we ARE fucking worse, they have more points than us.

How long do we give Slade? We went up to 17th at 2-0, now we’re back where we firmly belong – in the relegation places. Utter pants.

 

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) Kuipers; Hoyte, Tunnicliffe, Elphick, Wright; Bennett, Crofts, Dicker, Davies (Cox 72); Forster, Dickinson (Murray 55)

Subs: McNulty, Cox, Hart, Murray, Thornhill, Smith, Virgo.

League One table

Saturday, 10 October 2009 17:03 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Leeds United 11 13 27
2 Charlton 12 10 25
3 Colchester 12 13 24
4 MK Dons 12 4 23
5 Bristol Rovers 11 4 22
6 Norwich 12 6 19
7 Swindon 12 -1 19
8 Huddersfield 12 9 18
9 Oldham 12 -1 17
10 Millwall 12 4 15
11 Gillingham 11 1 14
12 Southend 12 1 14
13 Brentford 12 -3 14
14 Walsall 12 -4 14
15 Hartlepool 12 -2 13
16 Exeter 12 -6 13
17 Yeovil 12 -1 12
18 Leyton Orient 12 -8 12
19 Carlisle 12 -4 11
20 Stockport 11 -4 11
21 Brighton 11 -8 10
22 Tranmere 11 -17 7
23 Wycombe 12 -9 6
24 Southampton 12 3 5

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