The fellow who collects and delivers our laundry, a keen Albion supporter, correctly predicted the 2-1 score against Huddersfield so last Thursday I asked him what he thought the score might be v Brentford. He said he was going to be outlandish as the Seagulls score few goals and never won by more than one goal in going for 3-0. When I got the inevitable John Pargiter call I passed this on. There are few things worse in life as the laundryman was to experience in getting fulsome thank yous when you have not had a tickle on it so I placed a tenner at 20-1.
I said to my Amex neighbour that once Brighton had gone two up I wanted the third in the final minute so there was no opportunity for Brentford to score, nor an Albion fourth. Jamie Murphy did score the third coup de grace in the 93 minute and it was champagne all round.
With Murphy and Knockaert, two skilful wide men on the wings, and two upfront, Brighton are definitely going for goals. This puts a lot of work on the two anchor men in midfield – Kayal and Stephens – but they responded to it. It was Knockaert ,after a mazy run into the box, who scored the first and Hemed, not a prolific striker, who added the second with a clever header. Sidwell did come on for Kayal and Crofst for Hemed. This led to a bit of banter as both players are Israelis. The fellow in front is a security officer at our synagogue and of course religious Jews should be there and at home, not at football on Friday night. Hemed often prays at the synagogue so we wondered if this was behind the substitution.
I spoke to Alan Tanner afterwards. He said Brighton’s successful season under a manager who wanted to got to Fulham did make him happy for me, but also annoyed as success was obtained by a manager who built a team resourcefully without any analytics. He remembers the promotion seasons at Fulham in the late nineties and the joy fans experience every match. I have today, trousering £200 but also adding to my ecstatic emotions.