Harty on . . . the Albion, Rebels and Test cricket

editorial image

OVER the years, the odd blip is part and parcel of watching the Albion. Saturday’s goalless bore draw with Preston was probably the first time the Seagulls faithful had left the Amex feeling disappointed this season.

Only to a degree, however, because Chris Hughton’s men remain the only unbeaten team in domestic league football and seven points from the three games against Leeds, Bristol City and Preston is probably a par score in a promotion campaign.

Yes, Saturday was frustrating but all credit to Preston, who came and did a job. In the grand scheme of things, if the Albion are better equipped as a result of what we learned about ourselves last weekend, then it remains very much a positive.

The campaign continues with a visit to Reading this Saturday. Clearly Steve Clarke’s men, despite a 4-2 defeat at Fulham on Saturday, see themselves as fellow promotion contenders, so it’s very much another test for the Albion.

Without wanting to be the kiss of death and start predicting results, if we leave the Madjeski Stadium with the unbeaten run intact, then that will represent a good day’s work.

A trip to Yorkshire on Tuesday against Gunners conquerors Sheffield Wednesday is another test and a fixture which evokes memories of a FA Cup semi-final a long time ago.

If we can get back to The Amex for the visit of MK Dons with the unbeaten record still intact, we would have done very well and it would be a big step forward.

Returning to the theme of last week, I was however disappointed, yet again, with Saturday’s attendance. Having said that, every cloud does have a silver lining as I’m not sure whether any ‘new fans’ would have wanted to come back after that 90 minutes.

Hopefully, with decent results at Reading and Sheffield Wednesday, there will be a crowd in excess of 25,000 against MK Dons.

Before that and with the Albion on the road, local football fans get the chance to watch some FA Trophy action when Worthing take on Ryman Premier side Leiston in the first round (3pm).

If you haven’t made it down to Woodside Road yet, I would strongly recommend you do. Joint managers Jon Meeney and Gary Elphick have got the Rebels playing exciting football and a classic cup tie looks on the agenda.

I like Test cricket as much as the next person but I really don’t get the point of England’s tour to the UAE for a Test series against Pakistan.

I fully accept that security concerns dictate that’s it’s not possible for England to currently tour Pakistan but what is the point of playing a Test series in three empty stadiums?

Yes, live TV coverage plays its part but given potential over-playing and burn-out in the long term, would it not be better for the England team to have a winter off at home?

I had the privilege of looking after a truly local sporting gent when a near capacity crowd, including a veritable who’s who of local football, gathered at Worthing Crematorium on Tuesday to bid farewell to Tony Hewett.

In a number of eulogies at the service, it was recalled that Tony’s affinity with local football spanned four decades as he was a pivotal driving force in Excess Sports, L and E Sports, NU Sports and finally Warren Sports. The dedication and hard work of which is the very cornerstone of grassroots football.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.