5th February 2011 Brighton & Hove Albion
January 1, 2000
BRSC programme notes compiled by Dennis Payter
FROM THE CHAIRMAN
These notes are written before our very difficult midweek home fixture against MK Dons, and it is to be hoped the form book was turned upside down on Wednesday, because I have to say that I am finding it very difficult to be positive after last Saturday’s appalling performance at Walsall!
In my 50 or so years of supporting the Pirates I had never seen a Rovers side concede six goals but already this season I have had the dubious pleasure of witnessing it no less than three times! The latest debacle came on the back of a first clean sheet for three months and an excellent derby win over fellow strugglers Swindon. So, how does it happen that the (more or less) same side to win deservedly at Huddersfield and come from behind to draw at Hartlepool, Charlton and today’s visitors Brighton can produce such abject performances and concede so many goals as we have at Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday and Walsall who, according to the table, are by far the worst team in the division?
Rovers were outplayed in every department from the start at the Bescot and only the second half involvement of all our recent loan signings, Rene Howe, Scott Davies and Cian Bolger, (welcome aboard lads – you can see what you’ve let yourselves in for now!), brought some all too temporary relief from the slaughter. Over a thousand Rovers supporters accounted for more than a quarter of the attendance at Walsall and many I could see were familiar faces returning after the appointment of Dave Penney and, of course, the performance against Swindon.
Will they be back today, I wonder! When I got back into the Memorial Stadium after ten hours on the Supporters Club coach and having spent more than my spare cash witnessing the previous collapse at Carlisle I could see all the top of the range ‘Mercs’, ‘Beamers’ and Range Rovers in the players’ parking spaces. Whilst I would never begrudge any man earning as much as he can possibly get I had to seriously question my own sanity and went through the same feelings yet again last Saturday. Our loyal supporters deserve much better and I hope we got that last Wednesday and will get it again today!
During all the postponements and rescheduled matches around Christmas and the New Year two old faces in the shape of Janet Wooster and Phil Draper returned on to the Executive Committee. Janet and Phil operate the Supporters Club cabin in the car park on matchdays and will continue to do so in the future. Phil will also preside over our matchday operations including the 50/50 and programme sales whilst Janet will help Dave Hewitt in his ‘social’ role. Welcome back to both!
Unlike Rovers, Brighton’s new stadium is nearing completion and our days of populating the worst away end in the Football League are finally over. Unfortunately for us it looks like we will not be sampling whatever new facilities the Falmer Stadium has to offer for the next year at least as Brighton are firm favourites to make it back up into the Championship come May. It will take a supreme effort from Rovers to overturn the Seagulls this afternoon but we showed at the Withdean that, good as Brighton are, they are not unbeatable. We must try to forget the horrors of our last two away games and get behind the lads today. We are all in this mess together and must get out of it together so let’s hear plenty of noise for the boys in blue this afternoon. Up the Pirates!
Jim Chappell, BRSC Chairman
ORGANISED JUNIOR MATCHDAY PARTIES
Places are still available at the Colchester, Bournemouth and Peterborough if parties can make their own way to the ground.
We would also be pleased to hear from smaller parties so please don’t hold back because there will not be 50 in your party. Please submit your applications to davidbrain1883@ talktalk.net or (07765) 254110.
Remember that no parking is permitted in the spaces immediately outside the BRSC Shop at 199 Two Mile Hill Road, Kingswood between 7.30am and 9.30am or 4.30pm and 6.00 pm although we are still open! Several motorists have received tickets recently for breaching the ban.
Scott Davies in action against MK Dons
Scott’s Reading team mate, our former loanee goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen, was also at the game and is pictured here with a young fan.
LOYALTY AND HARD WORK
Good afternoon and welcome to all at the Memorial Stadium for today’s clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Brighton supporters have much to cheer about these days, with the new stadium well on its way to being completed and their table topping team enjoying a good run in the FA Cup just to add just that little bit more.
Good luck to them; Brighton is a well supported club with a strong fan base and to be fair to them they have stuck by their club through the lean times. Football at the Withdean has been very hard to take I am sure, not only for away supporters but for home fans as well. The football has not always been the best, either.
I well remember a late season game at Twerton Park in the 1990’s when the Brighton players were turned out in vertical blue and white striped shorts to match the shirts; less said. The club were on their way to relegation and our visitors today were singing “Always look on the Brighton Side of Life” at the top of their voices. It is said that what goes around comes around; true, I think, but not without a good deal of loyalty and hard work.
Certainly that is exactly that that we need between now and April in this current campaign. We are a well supported club, too, with a massive fan base. How many other clubs at this level and in the bottom four of League One would take over 1,000 loyal and true to an away game on a freezing day in January? Two word answer; very few, we would not even need one hand to count on.
I am writing these notes before Wednesday’s game with MK Dons so I am thinking there are still 20 games to be played and 60 points to be played for. There is time and we have shown our resolve as a club to get out of this by bringing in a string of new faces during the January window. Only unity and togetherness will do this and although it is tough we must continue to play our part. I was speaking with Aaron Lescott after the game last Saturday. He told me that all at Walsall were determined and fighting to avoid the drop and I must say it showed on the day. He told me he believed they will do it. We must be the same; the talk is over and the battle is on and out there on the pitch.
Of course we have our own support in the West Midlands, and in the East Midlands too, with Bristol Rovers fans living and working in exile up there. On Wednesday 23rd February West Midlands supporters are invited to come along to Pershore Town FC to take in our highly successful Central U-16’s in action on the night against their Bristol based Centre of Excellence counterparts. Central U-16’s are sponsored by Weston super Mare Gas. The get together is being hosted by Sky TV reporter Brian Seymour-Smith and daughter Nikki, both avid Rovers supporters. After the game there will be a quiz and a raffle for a signed first team shirt. You will be made very welcome; Pershore Town FC, King George Playing Fields, King George Way, Pershore WR101QU. See you there.
First team action today and there is a need to take points from all teams, top, middle and bottom between now and the end of the season. Come on Rovers; effort and belief.
Ken Masters BRSC director