Posts Tagged ‘League One’

I missed all the fun

April 28, 2011

I’ve just got back home from an extended spell working abroad, and I’ve missed everything! I found out about winning the league by text and two days after the fact. Nevermind, I’m here for the last ever game at Withdean (mixed emotions there to be honest, the Albion have had some great seasons in BN1, especially this one), and away to Notts County.

Lots of catching up to do, and I cannot WAIT until next season. Life couldn’t be better, good wishes and congratulations to you all (especially you G).

The World Cup just got better today…

June 17, 2010

…because the Football League One fixtures for next season came out this morning! Forget about that oddball tourny in South Africa, with its cold (fucking cold! in the World Cup?!?!) fans and their stupid horns and clothes, the real football starts with a quick gander at where the Hovian, trusty camera in hand, will be marching into from August until May 2011.

It’s the last ever season at Withdean, and I’ve finally got around to purchasing my season ticket in Block H. This of course should guarantee me a decent seat at Falmer in 2011/2012, but enough of that, it’s too early to worry about it. I’m now also working shifts, which will surely make me miss some top games I’d otherwise be travelling to; but I really want to get to Scumhampton again, and get my arse over to Bournemouth and Plymouth. Oop north for Wednesday at Hillsborough is another one, and Notts County is another awayday I’ll be sniffing at.

So you can keep your overpaid metrosexuals, your bandwagon-jumping “celebrity football fans”, your fake-tan slapper WAGs, and your vuvuzelas (a free pint all season courtesy of yours truly for the first chap to knock out any whopper blowing one of these at our match), the real thing is almost here again. Bliss.

The Hovian Awards 2009/10

May 12, 2010

It’s gong time on The Hovian. Who floated my boat? Who stunk? Best of times, and worst of times? Read the results below

Player of the Season - Elliott Bennett

Player of the Season:

A fantastic season from our free scoring winger, Elliott Bennett

Runner Up: based on my man of the matches recorded throughout the season, Gary Dicker came second

Third Place: using the same criteria as runner up, step up Mister Nicholas Forster – we still miss you

Best Newcomer - Ashley Barnes

Best Newcomer:

His quick goal tally – a result of him shooting at goal every chance he gets, there can only be one winner for me – Ash Barnes.

Most Improved Player - Alan Navarro

Most Improved Player:

Without doubt – Alan Navarro

Best Match:

Charlton 1 – 2 Albion, 24th February 2010 – sex-wee football on a damp, murky night in South East London. (dis)honourable mention to the 3-1 win at scumhampton in November.

Worst Match:

Albion 2 – 4 Stockport County, 22nd August 2009 - Colin Hawkins’ comedy 2-minute cameo aside, we couldn’t even beat the League One no-hopers, this match drove a large nail into Russell Slade’s coffin.

Best Awayday - Villa Park

Best Awayday:

Villa Park, 24th January 2010. Great beer, great ground, great football. Cheers

Worst Awayday - Colchester

Worst Awayday:

Colchester, yeuch

Shooting his bolt too quick award:

Inigo Calderon, with honourable mention to Nicky Forster

The “Dick Dastardly” Pantomine Villain Award:

Alan “absolutely rapes him” Pardew, honourable mention to Scott McGleish, and the entire Leeds bench for celebrating like they’d just beaten Real Madrid in the Champions League final, while in fact they were only winning a draw against south coast minnows Brighton. Wankers.

Comedy Genius - The Hawk

The Hovian Comedy Genius Award 2009/10:

The Hawk getting red carded at home to Stockport, priceless.

The Hovian’s Cryst*l Ball for next season:

Albion nick a last gasp goal to grab the final play-off place, but we fall before Wembley. Gus Poyet leaves for Leeds. Alan Pardew goes to Portsmouth as the scummers miss out on automatic promotion by getting docked another 10 points for going bust again.

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

MK Dons 0 – 0 Albion

May 2, 2010

The last awayday of the 2009/10 season – a great day out with a pretty dire football match sandwiched in between. I was pretty much on the soak all day, so the match went past pretty fast, not fast enough to notice the stunning debut of 18 year old Lewis Dunk at centre back though.

Milton Keynes is one weird looking place. Alighting at MK Central railway station and you could be excused for thinking you’d just landed at Heathrow Terminal 3. A few forlorn Seagulls walked out with us to find a pub among the roundabouts and empty boulevards. We found one, typically looking like an airline departure lounge. A few shants later and we were off to Stadium MK in a taxi.

MK Dons are universally despised in the football world as “Franchise FC”, and the purists have a point. Even the hardest of football hearts could find a soft spot for the old Crazy Gang of Wimbledon FC, and when the club died and moved to Milton Keynes, most of us felt the spirit of the Wombles lived (and lives) on in AFC Wimbledon. But this is unfair on the good people of MK, and to be honest, I rather like their set-up in the land of the eternal roundabout.

Sure, the stadium was near empty, apart from the full to brimming away end. Half the seats haven’t gone in, but there’s something continental about Stadium MK. I would love to see a ground like this in the hands of a club like the Albion, and it could be a pointer to how Falmer will look and feel like in 2012, albeit a lot louder.

But the food and beer wasn’t cutting the mustard at all. Fucking three beers were a tenner, and I spent £4.40, yes £4.40! for a cold hotdog in a mouldy bap – no onions, no mustard.

The game was a bore, we spent most of the first half watching the crowd, and the little Hitler stewards rounding up the inflatable toy squadron as they swarmed in the sky just above our heads. What is wrong with having fun at a football match? Has anyone seriously been injured by an inflatable sheep?

The second half we spent in the gantry, the view was better than the comfy MK seats, and leaning on the railing to watch the game made me feel nostalgic for the days you could do just that on the terraces.

To be honest I wasn’t arsed about the result of this one – nothing to play for except a new contract for a few borderliners in the team. The defence looked solid, Gavin Hoyte had more than a decent game, El-Abd is better in the centre, but on yesterday’s viewing Elphick and Dunk were superb, a good omen for the BIG PUSH next season? Hope so.

In midfield no-one really caught the eye, and Chris Holroyd looked lost on his own up front. We need a new striker for next season more than anything in my opinion. That’s all in the future though – I enjoyed our final day out yesterday. As it happens, we stopped off in Brighton at a local boozer (which shall remain nameless) for a few pints (about 15) and a karaoke, and who should be in the bar with all his pals celebrating his big debut? Yes, young Lewis Dunk. A good lad, and my last awayday man of the match.

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

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Lewis Dunk 

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold) 

 (4-5-1) Brezovan; Hoyte, El-Abd (Painter 66), Elphick, Dunk; Bennett, Crofts, Arismendi , Hendrie (Dicker 59), Carole (Navarro 59); Holroyd

Subs: Walker (GK), Tunnicliffce, Dicker, Caskey, Barnes, Cook, Navarro 

Attendance: 12023 (there was never that!) (1854 Albion)

League One table

Sunday, 2 May 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 45 44 95
2 Leeds United 45 32 83
3 Millwall 45 31 82
4 Swindon 45 17 82
5 Charlton 45 21 81
6 Huddersfield 45 27 80
7 Southampton 45 36 70
8 Colchester 45 11 69
9 Bristol Rovers 45 -10 62
10 Brentford 45 3 61
11 MK Dons 45 -7 60
12 Walsall 45 -4 59
13 Brighton 45 -5 56
14 Carlisle 45 -5 55
15 Yeovil 45 -3 53
16 Hartlepool 45 -8 52
17 Oldham 45 -16 52
18 Leyton Orient 45 -9 51
19 Gillingham 45 -13 50
20 Exeter 45 -13 48
21 Tranmere 45 -30 48
22 Southend 45 -19 43
23 Wycombe 45 -23 42
24 Stockport 45 -57 25

Albion 2 – 1 Bristol Rovers

April 25, 2010

"Alright you janner?" - Ash Barnes in his Argoy-ool kit, hopefully for the last time

I have the hangover from hell today, so this match report will be short and sweet. The good news is that we’re 100% going to be playing League One football next season, yesterday’s win and Tranmere drawing made us mathematically safe. Withdean was warm and sunny, but the match didn’t really inspire until Glenn Murray got a straight red for an off the ball tussle with a Rovers defender. I’ll have to watch the TV footage because I saw nowt from Block A. Then one of theirs was sent off and the game came alive.

It was a pretty meaningless end of season match between two mid-tablers, but you wouldn’t have known it from the stats, 3 goals, 1 penalty, 2 red and six yellow cards. Fair play to Rovers for coming and making a game of it. Our best players were El-Abd, Crofts, Bennett, and the mightily impressive Ashley Barnes. Ash was brilliant yesterday for me, a class act from a very promising young player – we need to sign him up permanently over the summer.

Right, that’s it, I’m off to nurse my sore head, but I’m already looking forward to our visit to Franchise FC up in Milton Keynes on Saturday, my last awayday of the 2009/10 season.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 8 out of 10 

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Ashley Barnes 

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold) 

 (4-4-2) Brezovan; Hoyte, El-Abd, Elphick, Painter; Bennett, Crofts, Navarro (Arismendi 90), Hendrie (Dicker 74); Holroyd (Murray 61), Barnes 

Subs: Walker (GK), Murray, Dicker, Virgo, Carole, Cook, Arismendi 

Attendance: 6922 (312 Rovers)

League One table

Sunday, 25 April 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 44 41 92
2 Leeds United 44 33 83
3 Millwall 44 33 82
4 Swindon 44 16 79
5 Charlton 44 20 78
6 Huddersfield 44 26 77
7 Southampton 44 37 70
8 Colchester 44 12 69
9 Bristol Rovers 44 -7 62
10 Brentford 44 4 61
11 MK Dons 44 -7 59
12 Walsall 44 -4 58
13 Brighton 44 -5 55
14 Carlisle 44 -5 54
15 Oldham 44 -13 52
16 Hartlepool 44 -8 51
17 Yeovil 44 -6 50
18 Leyton Orient 44 -11 48
19 Exeter 44 -13 47
20 Gillingham 44 -14 47
21 Tranmere 44 -32 45
22 Wycombe 44 -21 42
23 Southend 44 -20 40
24 Stockport 44 -56

Southend 0 – 1 Albion

April 19, 2010

Fun in the sun at Roots Hall

We’re not mathematically safe yet, but it  will take a monumental fall from grace to see us relegated come May. Southend was bathed in glorious sunshine on Saturday, it felt like an end of season jolly, which was exactly what it was. 

We went for a bevvy in the Slug & Lettuce before the match, which meant we missed this carry on downtown, very naughty. I thought the away end was party central, marvellous scenes, the inflatable toy brigade are becoming a regular fixture at all our games, much to the bemusement of assorted home fans around the league. 

 

The match itself wasn’t a classic, both teams struggled to put a foot on the ball and there were mistakes galore. Glenn Murray is still out of sorts, and I think he is in serious danger of being shipped out in the 

"Don't pray for me Tommy Elphick..."

much awaited summer clearout by Gus Poyet. Ash Barnes outshone him in every way, and was nearly my man of the match, his goal looked a bit jammy from all the way back in our position behind the goal, but he’s got a nice touch and tries hard, definitely he should be considered in Poyet’s future plans. 

In midfield Crofts bossed the centre of the park, Arismendi played a bit better than Tuesday night, but he was subbed at half-time for Alan Navarro, who’s a better player, full stop. Elliott Bennet was our most industrious player and wins my man of the match again. 

The back four were solid enough, and it was great to see Marcos Painter back and playing nice  football again. But as I said, this was a pretty forgettable game, with one away game of the season left and safety almost guaranteed, the team looked tired and sluggish. But full marks to the travelling support once again, 1333 made the trip to sunny Essex, and all enjoyed ribbing the Saafend supporters, whose team look a lost cause for this season. 

So, we have three games left before the summer and the World Cup, I fully expect a lot of new faces in August and who knows, we could be pushing for promotion next year? Anything is possible with Poyet in charge, but I don’t think an away visit to Roots Hall will be in the fixture list, cheerio Shrimpers. 

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

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

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold) 

 (4-4-2) Brezovan; Calderon (Hoyte 77), El-Abd, Elphick, Painter; Bennett, Crofts, Arismendi (Navarro 46), Hendrie (Dicker 65); Murray, Barnes 

Subs: Walker (GK), Holroyd, Navarro, Dicker, Virgo, Carole, Hoyte 

Attendance: 8503 (1333 Albion)

League One table

Monday, 19 April 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 43 39 89
2 Leeds United 43 30 80
3 Millwall 43 32 79
4 Swindon 43 16 78
5 Charlton 43 20 77
6 Huddersfield 43 20 74
7 Colchester 43 12 68
8 Southampton 42 36 66
9 Bristol Rovers 43 -6 62
10 MK Dons 43 -4 59
11 Brentford 42 3 57
12 Walsall 43 -6 55
13 Carlisle 43 -4 54
14 Brighton 43 -6 52
15 Hartlepool 43 -6 51
16 Oldham 42 -13 50
17 Yeovil 43 -6 49
18 Leyton Orient 43 -10 48
19 Gillingham 43 -12 47
20 Exeter 43 -13 46
21 Tranmere 42 -31 44
22 Wycombe 43 -21 41
23 Southend 43 -20 39
24 Stockport 43 -50 25

Hartlepool 2 – 0 Albion

April 5, 2010

Lordy! Nefarious Westminster Monkey(hanger) and celebrity bellend fan Peter Mandelson

I’m not at the game today – instead I’m supposed to be enjoying Easter at home with my missus and a visit to monkey hanging land wasn’t on the cards. But, I have to make a visit to hospital at 2.30pm today, so I’ll be missing most of the live commentary for this one.

Fully expecting a good win today to put a line under our League One status for next year. No Andrew Crofts in the squad, don’t know what’s happened there, Lee Hendrie makes his full debut in his place. Gavin Hoyte starts after a long time on the fringe. It seems weird with no Nicky Forster in the team – though not as weird as watching him score a penalty in the red and black of Charlton the other day.

I’m back from the hossie and wired up to Seagulls Player, nothing much happened in the first half hour. Half-time, Albion have had the best of the play, nothing to show for it. First chance on goal for Hartlepool, 1-0, kinell. LuaLua on for Hendrie on 57 minutes. Poyet throws in his last hand – Holroyd on for Carole, and Arismende for Navarro, hopefully get a sniff out of this one – shite game by the sounds of it. 2-0, sweeping move from the monkey hangers.

Dicker has a shot pushed onto the bar right at the death. Game over, glad I didn’t travel to this one. We seem to have missed Crofts and Murray badly today. Mandy will be happy though.

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold)

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, El-Abd, Elphick, Hoyte; Bennett, Hendrie (LuaLua 57), Navarro (Arismende 64), Dicker, Carole (Holroyd 64); Barnes

Subs: Walker (GK), Holroyd, LuaLua, Arismende, Barnes, Smith , Cook

Attendance:

League One Table

5 Apr 2010 16:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 40 39 85
2 Swindon 40 19 76
3 Millwall 40 29 75
4 Leeds United 40 27 74
5 Charlton 40 21 74
6 Huddersfield 39 19 65
7 Colchester 40 12 65
8 Bristol Rovers 40 -1 61
9 Southampton 39 30 57
10 MK Dons 40 -3 57
11 Brentford 39 0 52
12 Carlisle 40 -2 51
13 Walsall 40 -6 51
14 Brighton 40 -6 48
15 Yeovil 40 -7 45
16 Hartlepool 40 -9 45
17 Exeter 40 -11 44
18 Gillingham 40 -9 43
19 Oldham 38 -13 43
20 Leyton Orient 40 -13 41
21 Tranmere 39 -29 41
22 Southend 40 -17 38
23 Wycombe 40 -27 32
24 Stockport 40 -43 25

Colchester 0 – 0 Albion

March 9, 2010
"HOOF!"

"HOOF!"

Colchester. Grim garrison town stuck on the arsehole end of Essex, which itself is at the grim arsehole end of London. The army even send their prisoners there for fuck’s sake. Never a place that would exite most footballing minds, and last night was no different.

When the train pulled in (over more like) I was off for a swift couple of shants before having to catch the shuttle bus (sexy stuff) to the excruciatingly badly named Weston Homes Community Stadium. I spread four pints over the Norfolk, the nearest pub to the station, where the 20 stone off duty barmaid was complaining about “Fucking Irish pikeys” to a couple of old soaks. Then I headed to the next roundabout and the inevitable Beefeater which was called the Albert, or Dilbert or something, and was empty.

At 6:30pm I joined all the Colchester shirters on a shuttle bus, they looked like they were off to work on a particularly wet Monday morning, the miserable bastards. When I eventually got into the Brighton end for a rubber burger I was seriously contemplating ending it all, such was the loss of the will to live shuffling about a breeze block maze under the equally bland stand in sub zero temperatures. Shurely the football match would lift my spirits and stop me thinking about the train journey home that night?

Yes, and no. It’s obvious that Gus Poyet is building a footballing team – i.e. his team try to play it on the deck from the back to the front – and if it doesn’t always come off it still makes for a better spectacle. He’s got our midfield playing their socks off and people like Alan Navarro coming out of their shell and looking like the skillful, thoughtful players they always were. Colchester United by contrast  haven’t got a midfield, apart from a spoiling and fouling one that is. Their game plan is to hoof the ball from the two giant knuckle-draggers at the back to the two identical big beasts up front. Their short-arses in the middle of the park are there to pick the scraps up and kick people. It was like watching Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang without the undoubted skill and accompanying humour. It was also fucking tedious.

If that’s how the “U’s” (translate as “Hoofs”) are headed for the play-offs or better, then League One football is in a worse way than I expected. Our players tried their best, we were far better, but we couldn’t get around the kicking, the interplanetary clearances and the mortar fire into our box (no doubt they are influenced by the army garrison being there, but when our keeper is 6’4″ with sticky fingers it’s a waste of energy). Our small accompanyment of travelling Albion barmies were good value (in a stadium with only 3,900 souls in it – it was on Sky after all). The Muppets’ “manah manah” song, substituted with “LuaLua” kept us all amused and Colchester’s stewards bemused. But soon all you could hear from our end was “HOOF!”, as each Colchester player in turn did just that. Even renditions of “Good Old Sussex By The Sea” and “We Are Brighton” just ended up as “HOOOOOOOOOOOF!”. The one guy screaming “Fucking MULLET!” every time Colchester’s sub (who sported a fine example of the haircut of the gods) hoofed the ball had me laughing out loud. Good effort all round from the barmies.

Our best players? Murray for being a pest, winning good free kicks against their back four gorillas (stop diving though Glenn, looks shite and you’ll get red carded soon). Midfield as a unit ran them ragged when the odd mortar dropped short around the centre circle. Tommy Elphick was magnificent in defence, and nearly won my Man of the Match. But, and he’s been threatening to win it for the last few games, last night our brightest player was – Inigo Calderon, and he wins the dubious honour from this blog.

I got the bus back to town just before 10pm, and there was a bit of argy bargy with a couple of Colchester scarfers who would have been better off throwing themselves under the bus than picking on a little old Albion fan boozed up and trying to banter with them. They didn’t offer him out until he was halfway down the now parked bus, but they have something to tell the rest of the girls at school today. Bless.

The choo-choo didn’t get into Brighton until 1:30am, and some drunken Japanese nutter was singing opera behind me the whole way from East Croydon. I was too tired to contemplate the weird day I’d just experienced, and was fast asleep by 2am. Don’t make me go back there next season, hoof your way out of this league please Colchester, you’re crap.

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

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Inigo Calderon

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, Elphick, El-Abd, Painter; Bennett, Dicker, Crofts, Navarro, LuaLua (Holroyd); Murray

(Subs) , Forster, McNulty, Carole, Hoyte, Hart, Holroyd

Attendance: 3914

League One table

Tuesday, 9 March 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 35 37 75
2 Leeds United 34 30 68
3 Charlton 35 23 66
4 Colchester 34 17 63
5 Swindon 33 11 60
6 Millwall 34 15 59
7 Huddersfield 35 18 58
8 MK Dons 34 1 52
9 Bristol Rovers 34 -3 51
10 Southampton 33 25 44
11 Walsall 34 -2 44
12 Carlisle 34 -3 41
13 Yeovil 35 -6 41
14 Brentford 31 0 39
15 Hartlepool 34 -7 38
16 Leyton Orient 34 -7 38
17 Brighton 34 -11 38
18 Gillingham 35 -11 37
19 Tranmere 33 -22 36
20 Oldham 32 -14 33
21 Exeter 34 -15 32
22 Southend 34 -16 32
23 Wycombe 35 -25 29
24 Stockport 34 -35 23

Charlton 1 – 2 Albion

February 24, 2010

Oh Withdean, to have a view like this every game

This is the best game I’ve seen Albion play this season, it trumps even the Scummers away. That Charlton even scored flatters them somewhat, they couldn’t get the ball off us for the best part of 94 minutes.

A drizzle and mist sodden Valley didn’t bode well for what was to come, nor did the heavy weather-beaten pitch. But it was nice to get so close to the action after years of squinting out over Withers, and I think our proximity to the South Stand goal raised the noise level of the away supporters, it was fucking loud where I was anyway.

I’ll go through the team’s performance in order of ascending merit. El-Abd defended well, but his distribution was poor (hoof-o-matic) 6 out of 10. Forster did ok as lone striker, but he doesn’t do it as well as Murray (who is out sick), or Holroyd. Fozzy scores 6.

Elphick and Painter were steady enough, both score 7. Gary Dicker had a good game, but in an all-star midfield he didn’t shine as much as the others, 7.

Now the 8′s. Brezovan surely deserves a run in the team after last night? My only gripes, and the first is easily mended, is that he slices his big clearances to the right. He was also at fault for their goal (which came in the FOURTH minute of the three added at the end), but he gives me more confidence than Kuipers at present. Crofts was as good as ever, but again outshone by his wingers, 8 for him.

Kazenga LuaLua is something else, when he gets the ball the crowd’s expectation rises, he simply turns defenders inside out. Not 100% match fit, but his 71 minutes last night beats most players over three games, 9 out of 10. Alan Navarro – how much has this lad turned his season round? He is the lynchpin of this team, outstanding all over the park and becoming this blog’s cult hero, 9.

It was a hard, hard choice for my man of the match. Inigo Calderon finished the game our muddiest player, and when I played the game the grottiest team mate was the one getting stuck in the most. Our main threat was down the right, and it all started with our resident Spaniard. I love the way he is in constant communication with Poyet on the pitch, he’s always thinking and his effort was only matched by Navarro. His deflected goal was a bit lucky, but his charge upfield, followed by a correction after he lost control deserved a goal, pure flair.

But my man of the match goes to Bennett. He was all over Charlton last night, and his goal rounded off his best performance by far in the stripes – 9. Both subs did their jobs well, with Holroyd in particular, 7 each.

So, we headed back through the damp police horse shit to Charlton station realising we had watched something special, the faces around me were beaming. Our team played the fancied Charlton off their own pitch with superb one touch football and top drawer finishing. As I said, this was a special night, I wish we could play at the Valley every week!

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

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

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, Elphick, El-Abd, Painter; Bennett, Dicker, Crofts, Navarro, LuaLua (Hart 71); Forster (Holroyd 57)

(Subs) Kuipers, El-Abd, Cook, Carole, Hoyte, Hart, Holroyd

Attendance: 17508

League One table

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 33 33 69
2 Leeds United 32 30 66
3 Colchester 32 18 62
4 Charlton 33 20 60
5 Swindon 31 15 59
6 Huddersfield 32 25 57
7 Millwall 32 14 55
8 MK Dons 32 1 49
9 Walsall 32 2 43
10 Bristol Rovers 31 -9 42
11 Southampton 30 17 38
12 Brentford 30 0 38
13 Yeovil 33 -4 38
14 Carlisle 32 -5 37
15 Leyton Orient 32 -6 37
16 Hartlepool 32 -9 35
17 Gillingham 33 -11 34
18 Brighton 32 -13 34
19 Tranmere 32 -23 33
20 Southend 32 -12 32
21 Oldham 30 -13 32
22 Exeter 32 -13 31
23 Wycombe 33 -24 28
24 Stockport 31 -33 20

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