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Uptown Top Rankin: Brighton Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 15/02/2004

A mucky, yucky, murky afternoon in the open air swimming pool that is Blundell Park. Around 150 Brightonians were glimpsed in the distance through the piddling rain. Incessant, driving, deflating rain floating in sheets from behind the Pontoon.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Brighton (h)

Grimsby Town 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
14 Feb 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

The groundsmen wandered the earth like Cain, arbitrarily pitching their forks into pools of mud.

The pre-match warm up was a desultory affair, played out to the echoing tones of light popular music from previous decades. Would anyone else turn up? Is there anybody out there? Who’s in, who’s out? Who’s that with the woolly hat? I can’t see Edwards, I can’t see Thorpe. Iffyless too. And just what has happened to Coldicott? There was no number 11 in the team sheet on the back of the programme. Have Town discretely disposed of him? Has he too gone to Barnsley, the rest home for incurable tyrants and kings?

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. Ah-ha, so that’s who was hidden under the woolly hat, Town’s secret weapon, Pacy Stacy. Brighton will be dazed and confused when the hat is whipped off to reveal The Jackal, the midfield snapper and snarler. Mmm, but just half a game in a year isn’t much football is it? How long will he last? Oh, and everyone else was where you’d expect them to be, apart from the Jevonistas, who grumbled slightly about the dropping of the chosen one. However, so much stuffing has been knocked from your average Town fan, that even the mightiest Mariner moaner couldn’t muster a shout. When you’re in the gutter you’re looking up at people laughing at you.

Brighton lined up in a yellow kit, which has been this season’s version of the kestrel, a harbinger of doom. Or has that been when the opposition turn up?

There was a minute’s silence before the game, impeccably observed, and ended with a huge throaty roar. The release of tension was palpable and a little exhilarating, as the Town players got into a little huggle. All for one, and one for all.

1st half

Brighton kicked off towards the Pontoon. They didn’t even attempt to pass it to their own player, it was simply whacked down in towards the corner flag for a Town throw in on the right. It’s going to be on of those days is it? Hoof, whack, fight and scrap, all in a monsoon in front of the Pontoon.

Indeed it was, but the Stacemeister was back, hounding, harrying, flying to the rescue with monstrously manly tackles. After a couple of minutes Town strung three passes together with Coldicott, of all people, flying past the strikers down the right and tapping the ball against a defender for a corner. Barnard floated the ball into the middle of the goal. Brighton panicked, with the ball appearing to bounce off a defender and hit a large object on the goal line that may, or may not, have been the goalkeeper. Probably wasn’t, as he rarely caught anything all afternoon. The Brighton Belles were a bit fortunate there.

Brighton had a break away which saw Town in the usual mess, with only sheer weight of numbers averting danger. And the Brighton player failing to pass accurately too, which always helps, and it did, all afternoon.

Davisonred card
Croweyellow card
Craneyellow card
Barnardyellow card
Dawsyellow card


Hamilton47 mins
Jevonsgoal67 mins
Soames86 mins


Roy Pearson


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The report continues in Part Two.

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