Away day with the Seagulls

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

The day started badly (weather-wise). I left my house for a two-hour journey to Brighton. I followed the Sat Nav to Mill Road. Mill Road is a road that the council closes off for Brighton home games. You actually park on one side of the road. Then a bendy-bus comes and picks you up. It cost nothing, either for the parking or the bus ride. A 15-minute journey and you are there.

Had a walk around the stadium and went into the Dickie bar for a pint and something to eat. Came back out and got myself a coffee and a slice of cake (ok, two). Had a quick look in their shop and then decided to go into the stadium. Either that or hang around outside, in the rain, waiting to go in. Which would be quite pointless. Once in I chatted to a few supporters. Then the two Martin’s turned up, and we talked for a while. They went to their seats, I got myself a cup of tea and found mine. All the seats in the ground are padded and comfortable. I know my seat will be at the new stadium, but I don’t know whether all the seats will be the same.

Before I even got to the stadium, I heard the sad news that Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave had died. I had seen them perform on many occasions, including White Hart Lane and my in local town. It was in my hometown that I got my photo taken with them both. I had also read Chas Hodges autobiography, which he also signed (both actually signed it). At the ground, the Brighton announcer paid tribute to him and then played one of his/ their songs. The stadium erupted with cheers, applause and singing along with “There ain’t no pleasing you”. He played and wrote many Spurs songs over the years with Dave Peacock. He will be sadly missed but will be remembered for his close links/ support of our club. A true cockney hero and Spurs fan.

Once I sat in my seat, I talked with those that also went to the Milan game and other way matches.
The players came out to a big cheer, the whistle went, and the game started. This was a match that we needed to win. After three straight defeats, we couldn’t contemplate anything else. To lose would have severely set us back quite a bit.

We started off well and continued to battle for 42 minutes when we were rewarded with a penalty. Kane broke the deadlock, Glenn Murray handled the ball inside the box. We were finally on our way.
The whistle blew for the end of the first half and we all rushed out for food and the toilets. Back to our seats and then the players came out. The whistle went, and we continued where we left off. We tried to get our second goal, but it wasn’t all one way. Granted, we had 71% of the possession, but Hughton’s Brighton kept trying to get that equaliser. Then Substitute Erik Lamela scored our second to ensure there would be no repeat of our Champions League collapse at Inter Milan in midweek.

Anthony Knockaert pulled one back in stoppage time, but Brighton was unable to salvage a third straight Premier League draw. Once they got their goal they did, however, battle to try to get that second goal, but we held on. The whistle went and the ovations went up from our side. We had broken our run of three defeats in a row. It’s a start.

A win is a win, but what I’ve seen so far isn’t going to frighten the leading pack. Liverpool, Chelsea and City are undefeated. However, City has been beaten in the UEFA Champions league so-far. So maybe there is hope for us yet. Liverpool are the only club with maximum points. City and Chelsea have dropped points. We are six points behind Liverpool, but four points behind Chelsea and City. So it isn’t a chasm, but if we slip again, it could be. The further we slip behind the harder the slog will be to catch up. Our next big league match will be against City on the 29th October. In between we’ve got Watford (Cup-H), Huddersfield (A), Barcelona (Europe-H), Cardiff (H), West Ham (A) and then Champions league football with PSV, away. By the time we face the league champions we could have made up ground, in all competitions (hopefully/ fingers crossed).

After the match, we made our way in the pouring rain to the Mill Road pick up bus area. Had to wait about 20 minutes for it to arrive. While on the bus I chatted good humorously with the Brighton supporters. Then a 15 minutes trip to my car and then a 2-hour journey back home. I arrived at 10.20pm.

Overall impression: getting to the stadium/ parking and the way you were treated was excellent. Probably one of the best in the Premier League. The fans were pleasant and chatty (before and afterwards). As for the game. We won, but I thought we could have done better and they could have easily snatched it in the end if we weren’t careful. Gazzaniga for Vorm gave me confidence. I thought the team line up and substitutions was an improvement on previous matches. We’ve won this match, now we must build on it.
Our next match is against Watford in the League Cup. We are at home/ away at the DK Dons stadium. Then I travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday. We have got five straight away games until we next play at Wembley. We certainly will have our work cut out for us.

This season was supposed to be a transitional season, instead we are battling on all fronts.
Remember what Bill Nicholson said “It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.”
We’ve got to get back to that attitude. Onwards and upwards is the only way for us now. Not to do so will mean mediocrity, failure and mid-table football.

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.

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