Harty on the Albion, Raiders and Rebels

Action from Albion's 0-0 draw with Huddersfield. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
Action from Albion's 0-0 draw with Huddersfield. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
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AS Roy Walker used to say on Catchphrase “say what you see?”.

Quite simply, the Albion’s performance at home to Huddersfield on Tuesday night was poor – the kind of drivel that sees fans heading for the exits long before the welcome sound of the referee’s whistle.

The only high spot on a truly forgettable evening was the howls of laughter around the stadium at the announcement of the crowd figure of more than 23,000, when it was clear to everyone there that there was a good 6,000 less than that actually in the ground.

I will put my hands up and admit I got it wrong. At the start of the year, when Chris Hughton took control, I thought he would not only steer the ship but embark on a run that would see the Albion end up around tenth place in the Championship.

Instead, we’ve had a succession of inept displays. It’s now more than a month since an Albion player scored a goal.

A small section of support have already turned on the manager but, perhaps, even more concerning off the field, was the chairman revealing serious personal issues in Friday night’s programme, which could, in time, rightly see him put his family before the club.

I’m still convinced we won’t go down this season.

Another positive is that had Sami Hyypia’s resignation come even a couple of weeks later, the Albion might be staring relegation in the face.

Is there any kind of positive to find at this point?

Supporters have only got another 90 minutes to sit through at the Amex this season, before, perhaps, the most important and significant pre-season in the club’s recent history.

On the flip side, it was a great afternoon on Saturday up at Roundstone Lane when Worthing Raiders won their last home game of the season against Clifton.

I was lucky enough to be a guest of Mike Shiel, from the George & Dragon, Tarring Village, who sponsored the excellent pre-match lunch.

The record 170 diners that sat down before the game is testament to the on-going hard work put in by Duncan Hart and his commercial team at the club – something others locally, including Worthing FC, can learn a lot from.

On the downside, I appear to have lost my Ben Dudley wig (see match report on page 94) somewhere between Angmering, the G&D and the Vintners Parrot.

On second thoughts, having looked at some of the photos, if anyone finds it, they can keep it!

And, finally, it’s a landmark day at Woodside Road this Saturday with the last-ever game on grass at the ground.

Hopefully, with Albion away to Wigan, the Rebels will round off a watershed season with a final win in front of a decent crowd on the traditional surface against Whyteleafe.

I’m personally looking forward to meeting up with Vince Taylor, Ray Knight and hopefully a few other old faces, who’ve graced the Woodside turf over the years.