Brighton & Hove Albion 1 - 1 Everton

Brighton. Even for me from my West London home, it’s a long journey involving four trains to eventually get to the stadium. And then back again.


A good conversation with a Brighton supporter taking his 5-year-old son to his first match as we headed from London Victoria to Brighton. The young man was very confident and asked me a lot of questions and I told him a lot about Everton. I might have converted the poor lad! I shook his hand and wished him a good day.


I met Mark in the Prince Albert close to the station. Mark gave me the directions. “It’s outside the station”. Even I couldn’t miss that one. He had a drink waiting but was surprised when I asked for a glass of coke! It even had a slice of lemon in it. Thank you, Mark! And for the vino.


We headed off to the Amex. Brighton reminds me of Norwich. From where I live, it looks close on the map but is deceiving and takes a long time to get to.


I was on Row C, very close to the pitch, and had a great view. Thank you as always to Mike for squaring me away. And sorry to those I didn't get to meet. It’s a nice stadium but in the arse end of nowhere with nothing around it. I’ve been there several times and spoken to many Brighton supporters. They don’t like the location, but they also refer to when they had to play at an athletics track and as far away as Gillingham when they didn’t have a home. The conversation reminded me of Charlton when they had to abandon the Valley, which went into decay, before they eventually returned home.


We had so many chances to win it. It felt like we were the more threatening when in possession. That block on the line by the Brighton defender defied gravity and was probably a pivotal moment. Great anticipation by the defender, in fairness. And I don’t know what needs to happen for us to convert some of those chances. I’m not going to bash Dominic. He works incredibly hard. It just isn’t coming off for him right now. Andy Gray springs to mind. It will happen, hopefully next week and then when we take on Masters's love children. I hope the smarmy gobshite is there.


Once again, we were light and almost vacant in midfield. The red card was a stonewall. That was a leg-breaker. Onana was lucky. I don’t think it was malicious, just dangerous but a clear red card.


1-0 up but, for some reason, we sat deep against 10 players, and you could sense the inevitable. We invited it. And it happened. Totally different circumstances, but it almost reminded me of that semi-final. You should all know what I am referring to. Don't sit on a lead. Keep the pressure on.


Tarkowski was immense as always. Mykolenko continues to impress; good, honest, hard-working player. Pickford was good, and credit to Godfrey. He did well and is getting back to form, working very hard.


But Branthwaite. Forget that fantastic strike that exploded the away end and made us believe we had won it. I thought we were all going to fall onto the pitch. He is just amazing. His composure and anticipation deny his young years. I sincerely hope we keep hold of him. My brother is convinced he’s going in the summer.


Random moment. Very comfy cushioned seats at Brighton. Not that you need them as everyone stands up anyway, so I didn’t get to use it.


The referee was poor. Every week. Not just for us, he had a shocker and was losing control of the game. Those of us who have played and watched football understand that football is a game of mistakes, officials included. I can accept that, but it is getting ridiculous.


I’ve spoken to many referees on the field of play when they’ve explained themselves. I haven’t always agreed but accepted that they at least explained their reasoning. It seems these high-level officials just wave it away with the point of a finger. No discussion just self-regulating.


As for linesmen, or should I say assistant officials in the modern era? What is the point? All they do is look nervously at the ref before pointing the flag in the direction of his not-so-hidden hand.


Disappointing to concede at the end, but we took a point home. With our points or some of them back, that will go a long way to keeping us comfortable and be rightfully put in the position we should be in. We are in the fight and not going anywhere.


Getting back to that station. Another ground that has some sort of people traffic light system in place. It takes a seeming eternity to get on the platform, but I’ve learned my lesson and get on the right platform now, heading in the right direction.


I had time as the train was not departing for a while. I went to an establishment on the corner near the station. The doormen asked me if I had a ticket as apparently you needed to show one to get in.


I showed them it on my phone application. Big Everton crest and they suspected I wasn't from Brighton. "You can’t come," in they told me. I stood and chatted to them for a few minutes explaining that I’m not a football hooligan. I never understand it. They explained it’s a licensing thing. I just don’t get it. Hardly like we are renowned for violence and Brighton are a good set of supporters. We just don’t have that in Liverpool.


We shook hands and I headed back to the station. The blues still singing Spirt on the platform at Brighton just as they were singing “Marching” (for you Mark) as we embarked and left the platform at Victoria. Well done, travelling Blue Army. A credit to the club.


It would have been difficult to surpass last season’s visit to the Amex. Another long trip home but not as long for those travelling back on the coaches to Merseyside.


One point closer. The wins will come.

Reader Comments (3)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 26/02/2024 at 12:11:57
Yes Danny one is better than none, it was just so disappointing that their goal came as late as it did, made it seem more like a defeat, the opposite of the Spurs and Crystal Palace games.

The defence is very good but the central midfield and attack are poor which of course every fan knows but we, Thelwell, and Dyche can do nothing about it until we get out of this financial mess, which we will this season once we get our points back and show our mettle in the remaining games.

Mark Murphy
2 Posted 26/02/2024 at 16:46:41
Danny, you should've given me a shout after the game - I was in the Nelson - just along from the pub we were in pre-match.
I waited at the top of the stairs at the ground for you but you must've given me the slip. I was at the back of the queue for the platform so assumed you'd left early
Any hows - back to the Main station and once again it was mobbed with every man and his dog seemingly heading for Victoria, so I decided to wait it out in the above pub, where they sold a decent pint of Harveys (Unlike the ground itself, which used to but now only sells Fosters piss water! grrr) The pub, and the surrounding streets, sounded like an enclave of Liverpool, with blues discussing the result in the usual good natured, half serious but lets not let it spoil our night kind of way that I think is unique to our support.
On the game itself, I was reasonably happy with our play. We pressed them well but our passing is still off when it matters. DCL put in another big shift but I'm beginning to worry for him. The fans are still with him, although some around me were moaning that he should have scored from an early cross, that from my seat looked like it was taken off his head by Dunk! Its funny how we all see things differently though. I wasn't impressed with Godfrey in the first half, for two incidents. One, he let a ball run into touch, incorrectly believing that it had taken a touch off a Brighton player. It hadn't but even so, the ball was still easily reachable to maintain the attack. I was told never to prefer throw in to a live ball when attacking and given that almost without exception when he took a throw in he threw it backwards, he should have at least kept the move going. Then shortly afterwards we won a throw in that Harrison went to take quickly to attack but had to wait as Godfrey was off the pitch with his back to him looking for another ball and talking to Dyche. Maybe I'm being harsh - a lad I spoke to at half time got annoyed with me as he thought Godfrey had been the best player on the pitch...
Watching it back on MOTD they seemed to miss a lot of our better stuff, like the volley in the second half from, I think, Doucoure, or maybe O'Neil? at the back stick? Also Beto getting in front of Dunk to create a chance but then making a mess of it, when we would have gone 2-0 up.
Still, once i'd gotten over the disappointment of getting pegged back I had a good day out. Always a pleasure to meet you Danny, even if I did have to fight off wave after wave of Brighton fans trying to nick "our" table cos you were so bloody late! I thought soldiers were supposed to be sticklers for schedules?
Hope Mel / Beryl was ok when you got back? She's a brave girl risking the "wit" of some on here - I'm assuming the coca cola was her idea? UTFT
Neil Tyrrell
3 Posted 26/02/2024 at 22:47:32
Couldn't agree more about Tarkowski, he was on his knees about 15 minutes in and looked to be in some serious discomfort, but finished the match yet again. And on a yellow for the last hour or so but didn't shirk from one tackle. He's a warrior.

That fucking linesman gave a throw in to Brighton that was so blatantly ours that Godfrey just saw it out. Then threw up an instant offside flag (which you barely ever see anymore) for a very close call against us that tv replays showed was onside. Result should have been a corner if memory serves, instead they got a free kick. Why do they wait on obviously 5 yards offside flags, but give that one (that wasn't offside) instantly? Makes me sick.

I know we're here to talk about Everton, but I started with Tarkowski and will finish with Dunk. He was immense for them long before he scored, I dare say we would have been more than one up if it wasn't for him. The TW comments generally lean towards how shit we were without giving the opposition a second thought. Without Dunk, we would have won that going away.

Thanks as always for the report, Danny, look forward to a more celebratory one next week after we beat the bubble blowers again. COYB

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