Tuesday 23 November 2010

Seagulls in another late, late show

Woking 2, Albion 2 (Albion win 3-0 on penalties): This first round FA Cup replay nearly had a major upset when brave Woking took table topping Brighton all the way into extra time and then penalties. In truth, it was no less than the non league side deserved and they can be very proud of their display against a fairly strong Albion side. Albion took the lead when Mark Sparrow scored for the Seagulls in the 57th minute but a Gordon Greer own goal in the 72nd minute pulled Woking level. Into extra time and Woking had the audacity to score again in the 103rd minute, the goal was scored by the delightfully named Sagbanmu who had come on as a substitute. However, the lead only lasted two minutes when the hard working Elliott Bennett scored to make it 2-2. The game then went into penalties and the Seagulls fans were beginning to get more than a little worried.

Woking let themselves down when it came to penalties as they failed to score any and in the end it was Albion who took the spoils and go through to the next round with a home tie against FC United of Manchester who are the lowest league positioned club left in the FA Cup. This is yet another potential banana skin against a non league side who have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

One thing is for sure, an under par Brighton side will need to get themselves back in form quickly as there are some important league and cup games ahead in the next few weeks.

The Week In View...VI

The Apprentice: So, the girl with the BIG eyes has gone. Sandeesh Samra finally got the royal finger from Lord Sugar after failing miserably as team leader. This week we got to see how the candidates could cope with making and selling a movie experience to shoppers in the largest shopping mall in England. Her efforts kicked off with an unforgivable hour’s delay in starting and in a strange switch the team members trained on the DVD making were moved to sales. Bad planning, the one hour opening delay and bringing the wrong two team members into the boardroom for the final showdown probably cost her a place in the next round. The other team were led by the dreadful Stuart Baggs (the brand) whose management style was truly appalling. This guy has surely got to be the next to go. This arrogant loudmouth needed to 'reign in his masculinity' when driving on the racetrack and for some strange reason he seems to think he's got what it takes (yea right). His snide little comment on his team winning the task and getting a wine tasting session as a treat (‘We will keep some on ice for you guys’) showed his immaturity and lack of respect. This sort of thing does not go unoticed by the sweet Lord who will not have been too impressed. We wait for the next task to see if Stuart Baggs (the brand) can survive another week.

X Factor: Unbelievable! Truly unbelievable. I think that my cat can sing better than Wagner with a V. How this strange and untalented singer can keep getting the votes is unforgivable. Perhaps voters want him to win just to see if Simon Cowell will go through with it and offer a recording contract to this tone deaf Brazilian nut case. This week we saw Paije Richardson go home. I mean, that can't be right can it? At least Paije can sing which is more than the Brazil nut can do. And Paije certainly isn't as creepy as Wagner with a V. Come on now, stop this organised Internet voting nonsense and get this rubbish off the show. Also, I don't remember Hippy Hippy Shake being a hit for The Beatles either, I believe it was the Swinging Blue Jeans that had chart success with that little number (showing my age here). Either way, let's hang Wagner with a V up from his blue jeans and GET HIM OUT!

Strictly Come Dancing: And yet another talentless plank of wood goes through, this just doesn't make any sense at all. What is going on out there? The awful and inelegant Anne Widdicombe plods through to the next round again and this week it's at the expense of the delightful and classy Felicity Kendal. Poor Anton du Beke has to carry Widdy around the dancefloor like a sackful of spuds and that's good enough for people to vote for is it? Gimme a break, I think Ms Widdicombe needs to take a good long, hard look at herself and see what she's doing by staying in the competition. There are other much better dancers who are having to leave each week when everyone knows it's a joke vote that's keeping Widdy in. Something tells me the rules might change next year for both X Factor and Strictly.  

Sunday 7 November 2010

The Week In View...V

Spooks: Oh, this program just gets better every week. Edge of your seat stuff with so many twists and turns. This Monday night's episode is the last in the current series and I haven't got a clue how it will end. If you leave your seat for a few minutes you will lose the thread completely, it's gripping stuff and must see television. The BBC does this sort of drama series so well, hopefully another series of Spooks will be on the way soon.

The Apprentice: Oh good, the devious, scheming and conniving Paloma got the Lord Sugar finger this week and was fired. It was clear that with her as PM that should her team lose she had a plan B to make sure that a scapegoat was in place. Poor Alex was being lined up as the fall guy in Paloma's grand design. She nearly got away with it except that she just couldn't keep her mouth shut in the one place it really mattered - the boardroom. She begged the sweet Lord for one final word and finally sealed her own fate. "Keep digging, keep digging" I was yelling at the TV set as poor Paloma dug her own grave and promptly fell right into it. She showed what sort of person she really was in those final few moments and Lord Sugar pointed his finger in the right direction. Yeees, result! I can't wait to see who will be next week's villain.

Strictly Come Dancing/X Factor: Unbelievable! This is getting beyond a joke now. Enough is enough, who are the daft people voting for Anne Widdicombe in Strictly and Wagner in X Factor? Clearly tactical voting is taking place on a grand scale and it's disgraceful. Both programmes are now being seriously undermined by having these two people continue at the expense of far more talented contestants. We all know that Anne can't dance and Wagner can't sing...don't we? I do feel sorry for Jimi Mistry who left Strictly and Treyc Cohen (great singer by the way) who left X Factor this week whilst Anne and Wagner continue on. The organised voting tactic that some groups of the public are adopting devalues both shows immensly.

As for X Factor, the two stand out artists by far are Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle. Matt's performance of the Roberta Flack classic 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' was simply superb, brilliant and breathtaking. How does he hit those high notes? 

A soaking against Woking

Albion 0 - Woking 0 (FA Cup, Round 1): The first round of the FA Cup saw non league Woking get a well deserved draw against an under par Albion side. Gus Poyet made six changes to the starting line up to give some of his squad's fringe players a game against a side that they really should have beaten, at least on paper. The rain arrived yet again at a soggy Withdean and the crowd got yet another soaking but this time there was no real entertainment on the pitch to keep them happy. Woking had clearly done their homework on the way that Albion play and harrassed the home side and defended in numbers, sometimes with a back line of six players. Brighton found it difficult to break through Woking's stubborn defence and didn't really get their usual passing game together. Unusually for Albion there were too many stray passes and they got caught on the ball too often. Although the stats will show that the Seagulls had all the possession I don't recall too many shots on target for them. Woking, who had terrific support throughout from their travelling fans, worked hard and got their just reward with a replay in ten days time at Kingfield. That game is being broadcast live on ESPN by the way so if you're one of the few people to subscribe do let me know cos I'll come round to yours and watch the match on the telly with you! Albion need to up their game and play with more conviction in the replay if they are not to be on the wrong end of a cup upset.

FA Cup draw, Round 2: If Brighton do win the replay and get through to the second round they will face yet another non league side from the Evo Stick League (yep, you read that right!). A home draw would see Albion play FC United from Manchester which could be another potential banana skin. They beat League One's Rochdale away in Round 1 so let's not take anything forgranted. Current Blue Square Premier leaders Crawley Town have a dream home tie against League One side Swindon. Everyone loves an underdog, that's the magic of the FA Cup for you.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Seagulls not counting their chickens...

Albion 3 - Exeter 0: I'm not one to crow and us Seagulls fans don't usually count our chickens but....eight points clear for goodness sake! Albion dominated the game for the entire ninety minutes and played their usual attractive passing game. Adam El Abd scored early in the first half and from that point on it was clear it was going to be Brighton's evening. Yet again they could have had six or even seven goals as poor Exeter were lucky to concede only the three. Another brace from the Albion's on fire striker Ashley Barnes saw him rightfully get the man of the match award for his outstanding display. Brighton are still well clear of the chasing pack at this quarter way stage of the season and are sitting pretty at the top of League One. Oh, how different it was a year ago. Still, let's not count our chickens as there's still a lot of games to play before season's end next May.

Ashley Barnes
It's Round 1 of the FA Cup this weekend and non league Woking are the visitors to Withdean. Gus Poyet is bound to ring the changes and give some of the fringe players a game on Saturday so expect around six changes to the starting line up. I still think Woking will have a tough job to get a result but you never know, it's the FA cup and there's always an upset somewhere, that's what makes it such a magical competition.

The Eternally Hungry Cat...

Did you ever see Finding Nemo? Remember Dory the fish that suffered from short term memory loss? Well, I've got a cat that suffers from the same sad affliction. I feed him a big bowl of Whiskas, he scoffs it all down in seconds flat and then toddles off for a little sleep somewhere. Thirty minutes later he's back, meowing like crazy and demanding to be fed. I tell him that he's already had his dinner and ask why he doesn't remember eating it, he looks up at me in total amazement as if I'm talking utter jibberrish. The daft cat has forgotten that he's already been fed. Mind you, I'm not too sure who's got the problem here - the cat with his short term memory loss or me for holding a conversation with a cat and expecting an answer.

That darned cat