Patience wins the day
* Photo with permission from The Brighton and Hove Albion Album http://www.albion-album.co.uk © Tim Colville No reproduction without permission.
Thanks to the quirks of the fixtures list, Albion fans had to say a quiet goodbye to the Amex for the next four weeks and to so with a solid 1-0 victory over Birmingham City. It should have been more. Some great saves from the blues keeper and some generosity in front of goal meant that an uncomfortable end to the game was required, but overall, Albion looked great value for the 3 points.
The Amex crowd were in fine voice. My neighbour in WSU commented on the relaxed, happy nature of the crowd during what was a typically frustrating first half. However, the team and the crowd were remarkably patient. We were the better side, we were creating chances, we will probably score, let’s all cheer a lot. Maybe it was the sheer joy that is the Chilli pie that put everyone in a good mood.
I also think that we have become a better team to watch on a more regular basis. It was great under Gus, but so often we had games where the opposition had our card completely marked and the games were a stodgy affair of time wasting and spoiling. Oscar is prepared to let the team be more direct if they have to be and this makes for a better spectacle, if not always such good results.
The day sadly was marred by the injury to Crofts. He was my man of the match up to the point and I dare say he has been most people’s player of the season thus far. If reports are true and he is out for the season, that is a massive shame for him and the team and we wish him a speedy and full recovery.
Ulloa looked a little off the pace and he was replaced on the hour mark by new loanee, Jonathan Obika. It seemed that his new teammates had trouble seeing him as he was often in great positions without receiving the ball. Not least when in a 3 against 1 moment near the end, Orlandi and Ince chose to over-complicate the job rather than pass it to a striker who would almost certainly have marked his debut with a goal. Oh well.
No more home games until Donny on 8th February and three tough away games to come. Albion currently sitting in 6th place and it looks like another exciting close to a season beckons.