Tag: Brighton & Hove Albion

A Few Things About Local Derbies

What constitutes a local derby seems, on the face of it, to be a question with a pretty obvious answer. However, if we take a couple of minutes to actually examine it, it becomes more nuanced that you might at first think. Derby matches are usually local, but they don’t necessarily have to be. The rivalry between Brighton and Crystal Palace is thirty-odd years old now, even though the two clubs are over forty miles part and haven’t spent that much of the last three decades in the same division. There is an historical element to it, brought about by the abrasive management styles of Malcolm Allison and Alan Mullery in the mid-1970s. The flame hasn’t been extinguished to this day, and doesn’t take much to spark back to life.The nature of the local derby – or, to be more succinct, the local rivalry – is more complex than that, but it is a critical part of the existence of the football supporter. It taps into the urge that we have within us to define ourselves against something and to measure ourselves against something. It is a barometer for how well or badly is doing. And it is a universal phenomenon within the game. Rivals are often two clubs with more in common than either of them would care to admit. Manchester United supporters, while aware of the importance...

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Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Leyton Orient

Such is the nature of this season’s League One table that this afternoon’s match between Brighton & Leyton Orient matters. Albion have had a most peculiar season. After a reasonable start, they fell away alarmingly at the start of the winter and it looked for a while as if they might even get sucked into a fight against relegation. The January transfer window, however, proved to be the salvation that they needed. It says something for the financial state that the club has been in for much of the last three decades that the £300,000 that they spent in Glen Murray is the most that they have spent on a player since 1983, but Murray has proved to be the missing piece in manager Dean Wilkins’ jigsaw. They have won their last two games and, with games in hand on the clubs above them, are still in with a shout of a play-off place. Leyton Orient were many people’s pre-season favourites for relegation, but have surpassed all expectations and, in spite of a recent dip in their form, they remain in ninth place in the table. Two clubs that many would have picked before the start of the season for the drop are still in with half a chance of getting promoted. The weather this afternoon is more forgiving than the last time I ventured up to the Withdean,...

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Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Nottingham Forest

It was, I have to say, an impulse buy. Left to my own devices in Brighton and with work this morning forcing me to curtail my Friday night revelry, I opted for the Withdean Stadium for my first visit to see my home town team play since I moved here eighteen months ago. The sense of eagerness that I felt was merely exacerbated by the opposition, Nottingham Forest, a club who still at least vaguely hold some sort of fadedly glamourous connotations for some of us (you know, in the same way as you would categorize Bernie Clifton if he came to open your village fete). There didn’t seem to be a lot between the two teams on paper. Forest as ever, were promotion candidates in third place whilst Brighton sat in eighth place. I’ve said on here before that the biggest single reason why I don’t go and watch Brighton more often than not is the facilities. I’ve been asked more than once why Brighton need a new ground so badly when they have an 8,500 seater stadium that they use week in week out. Asides from the issues of crippling costs, neighbours that really don’t want them and restrictions on what they can and can’t do there on match days, there is still the issue that the Withdean is a terrible stadium. If you want to go...

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