Disappointing result, decent game
Report by Ian Grant
Hey ho, Brighton Reserves again. No surprise that the scorching hot weather disappeared for the afternoon and it started raining but otherwise everything went according to plan. No cockups - found the RIGHT ground BEFORE kickoff, saw the game, went home. SIMPLE!
As it turned out, we fielded a bit of a side for this one - Foster, Ramage, Connolly, Bazeley and Mooney were all included from the start. Not a bad game either, if you can cope with the lack of intensity (which I can't - I saw enough friendly games at the end of last season, thanks very much).
The first half was goalless but both keepers were forced into sharp saves. We scored twice early in the second half and Paul Wilkerson made a tremendous penalty save but Brighton came back into it and got a draw. Disappointing result, decent game. Oh, and Jimmy Case (yes, he is still going) was responsible for a two-footed lunge with studs showing on Clint Easton that, apparently, didn't warrant a booking.
Conclusions? By the look of it, Foster and Ramage should be back on the first team scene imminently which has to be good news. Darren Bazeley looked particularly sharp in the first half and Paul Wilkerson had a majestic game in goal. I thought the two young full-backs (don't know names, sorry) had good games too.
So that's that. I should just add that this was probably my (and Watford's) last visit to the Goldstone Ground - Albion have sold the site for redevelopment and are looking for a temporary home until a new all-seater stadium is built. A proposed groundshare with Portsmouth has met with massive opposition from the fans - it's forty miles to Fratton (1 1/2 hours on the train), Fratton Park is a dump and there's local pride to be considered. The only other option is to use the dog-track in Hove which would require development work and would have a very limited capacity. Add to this the fact that the club hasn't even got planning permission for a new ground and you've got real trouble. The sad truth is that the future of the Albion, my home town club, is hanging in the balance.