• Exile

    by Published on 22-01-2018 14:24
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    Despite seeming to be over as a contest after just 5 minutes, this just might have developed into a bloody great game of football. Rotten luck and referee Jon Moss conspired to prevent that happening, and the Albion ultimately succumbed to what looks a drubbing.

    Chris Hughton surprised everyone by deviating from his usual rigid formation – a host of personnel changes to suit a new system, based around 3 centre backs. Different ideas are great, though
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    by Published on 02-01-2018 14:21
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    2. Match Reports

    Happy Frustrating New Year.

    Sky will have been delighted with their match selection – a terrific game for ‘the neutral’. We’re not though, are we? Neutral.

    Thus it was exciting – exhilarating – yet ultimately unsatisfying. A game, probably more than any of the previous home draws (perhaps Bruno’s ridiculous elbow apart), that we really – really – ought to have won. Cherries fans, in light of hitting the post and seeing a couple of credible penalty shouts waved away, might legitimately feel that way too, mind. But who cares?
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    by Published on 29-11-2017 14:20
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    After so much anticipation and hype, leading up to this match, it never came to much - on the field at least. In the stands much tension, but strangely subdued. The Palace end far quieter than previous encounters, largely due to the counter-productive efforts of the black-clad 'Ultras', who set about pissing off their peers by stealing their seats, ...
    by Published on 21-11-2017 14:53
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    2. Match Reports

    After what seems like an absolute age since the last, and delayed a further two days for Sky’s ‘MFN*’, finally, another home game. (*Monday F’ing Night). Marketed by the club as ‘under the lights’ this one, and oh my – the new lights are quite something! Settling down to type this some 14 hours after the game, the gentle parabola of fiery white dots across the roof of the East stand, is still clearly visible every time I blink - burned permanently into my retinas.

    by Published on 30-10-2017 17:06
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    2. Match Reports

    Not a match that will live long in the memory of the (one short of equalling the record) crowd at the Amex, in truth, but another hard-earned and precious point on the board. That many are seemingly underwhelmed with a draw against a side finishing consistently in the top ten of this division, is itself a sign of just how well the Albion has settled into Premier League life.

    Inherent pessimist that I am, the first mental target I had, was to surpass
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    by Published on 25-09-2017 15:38
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    2. Match Reports

    Rushing 70 miles East in the rain, after Sunday morning kids’ football, slogging along the A27 in a stress, for a game we could just watch on the sofa in the dry. Why bother? It’s daft isn’t it?

    Well, no. It’s bloody brilliant. What a superb performance, and what a terrific result.

    One change in the Albion side, from the unfortunate reverse at Bournemouth – ageless skipper Bruno fit to reclaim his spot, for the visit of erstwhile nemesis Newcastle United. The last visit of the Magpies was a dramatic one – a ludicrous slice of fortune turning the game, and seemingly the Championship title race, decisively their way.

    by Published on 11-09-2017 16:36
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    2. Match Reports

    Welcome to the Premier League, Brighton and Hove Albion. Three goals, three points, three cheers – the (proper) Albion looking totally comfortable at their new level, controlling a Premier League game like it was a routine home win over QPR or Rotherham.

    Tony Pulis’ West Brom are a well-established, well-drilled Premier League outfit, enjoying status we aim for a few years hence. That the Albion more than matched them for most of this contest is hugely reassuring – more so than any dramatic underdog victory snatched against
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    by Published on 14-08-2017 11:47
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    2. Match Reports

    For so long we were on our way, (we’re on our way) then finally, on Saturday, we arrived. 25 seasons after Sky invented top division football, our very own little Brighton and Hove Albion, finally walked in the golden footsteps of Swindon Town, Wimbledon and Bradford City.

    Not that the landscape is really in any way comparable, of course. Swindon took their own first steps, at home to a Leicester City side, featuring the dazzling skills of Richard Smith, Tony James and Colin Gibson, with a dash of flair added by their one exotic
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    by Published on 11-08-2017 21:48

    With the summer (yeah right) break over, time for me to put virtual pen to paper once more. I never bothered with a write up of the anticlimactic Bristol City game, the unfortunate 2-0 defeat, away to David Stockdale’s Norwich, nor the rather apt last second cancellation of the title celebrations at Villa.

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    by Published on 19-04-2017 14:43
    1. Categories:
    2. Match Reports

    ‘Home to Wigan Athletic’ - doesn’t sound much of an event, written down. Recent ‘Home to Wigan Athletic’s can’t have been especially memorable – the last that springs to mind found us 2-0 down after four minutes at Withdean.

    Not so this one. Nobody will forget this one for a long, long time.

    Oh my. What a day.

    What. A. Day.

    The Amex was resplendent in the pre-match sunshine, capacity crowd buzzing with anticipation of history in the making. The pre-match montage. Highlights of a succession of recent wins – a runaway Albion train gobbling up the decisive points whilst Newcastle and Huddersfield stuttered. Warm applause for the players warming up, then a rousing ovation
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    by Published on 05-04-2017 11:45
    1. Categories:
    2. Match Reports

    A week ago, consensus in my Albion circles, was that full value from the remaining four home games would finish the job. Two down, two to go.

    by Published on 02-04-2017 13:34
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    Breaking team news: despite appearances, this isn’t Exile summarising the Blackburn Rovers game for you. In an unexpected turn, there’s a late substitution on the team sheet, a Chuba Akpom, if you will, whilst Exile Baldock rests up a slight knock for the run-in. Nothing could go wrong there, right?

    Another week, another Must Win for the Albion, whilst our nearest challengers set themselves up for what were, surely, easy home wins against Rovers’ fellow relegation fodder, Wigan and Burton. The emotional roller coaster (Copyright Big Book of Football
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    by Published on 12-03-2017 17:11
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    2. Match Reports
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    With the good ship Albion steadied by the professional win at rock-bottom Rotherham midweek, it was back to the Amex with a sense of calm confidence restored. Derby County the visitors - a team packed with star names, but on a wretched run of form.

    The Albion unchanged, bar Murray for Hemed - standard Hughton 4-4-2, with last season's go-to midfield pairing of Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal in the centre, and Jiri Skalak preferred on the left over the decent claims of March and Murphy.

    Steve McClaren's Rams set-up, rather less standard. Steve had either reached pure desperation levels in his efforts
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    by Published on 08-03-2017 16:45
    1. Categories:
    2. Players

    As Jim White slammed shut the January transfer window, the Albion looked well stocked defensively. With the meanest defence in the Football League and a string of clean-sheets in the bag, the back line had been the bed-rock of a fabulous campaign to date. With no less than four centre-backs of proven Championship quality, and full-back reinforcements on the way in the imminent returns of Liam Rosenior and Gaeten Bong everything was rosy in that particular part of the garden.
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    by Published on 03-03-2017 16:23
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    2. Players
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    Over the course of the last six months or so, Albion number nine Sam Baldock has gone from strength to strength, adding goals to his intelligent and selfless running - finally winning over a large percentage of his erstwhile detractors in the process.

    Whilst his movement and work-rate have always been fully appreciated by his manager and team-mates (his strike partners especially), some of the fan base were less prepared to see past a modest contribution to the ‘Goals Scored’ column. “What does he even DO?” they would ask? – refusing to accept the value of the aforementioned attributes = goals win games, not ‘clever movement’.



    It is a truism of course – that goals DO win games – it's just that goals don’t happen by accident, (unless you’re Mo Diamė).
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