Harty on that Crystal Palace match

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PICTURE the scene, a near full house at the Amex, an electric atmosphere, a high-tempo start from the Albion, culminating in a goal from Craig McKail-Smith inside 10 minutes, if Carlsberg did football matches this would be it.

Then what?

A capitulation which always threatened a Palace goal, but ended with three inside the last 10 minutes and a mass exodus from the Amex before the final whistle.

I ended up back on radio on Tuesday night, a microphone shoved under my nose at a time which I would consider to be one my lowest in watching the Albion for nigh on 40 years.

The exodus did disappoint me and I said so, but after the obligatory trial by internet, just to clarify, I realise that people leave the ground early for a number of reasons.

None more so than the current transport problems, some might argue, and in fact some do, that the club are almost forcing people to leave early with the transport issues.

But my main point was, and if it didn’t come over on the radio I apologise, that how did our exodus look like to our opponents?

Do Palace fans care about transport problems?

No, in their eyes, thousands of Albion fans are bad losers.

We’ve arrived in this top-notch stadium, now playing the likes of Palace, Southampton and West Ham on an even keel, and when things go bad on the face of it the Albion faithful head for the hills.

Football fans do it all around the country, week in week out, but currently our fans are in our £93million stadium, and up to last Friday were the Championship pacesetters, our rivals latch on to mass walk-outs, whatever the real reasons.

This now is a real test for Gus Poyet, the next four games, Ipswich, Hull, West Ham and Birmingham pitch the Albion against clubs with equal ambition to us.

It’s not impossible for the Albion to embark on a four-game winning run, which will make Tuesday night’s debacle a dim and distant memory, but a further dip in form could see the Barnsley home game arrive on Sunday, November 6, with a large number of empty seats.

This last week or so was to have been one of the biggest in the club’s history, three landmark games at home against Liverpool, Leeds and Palace.

It hasn’t worked how it should have, but then again, there have been flashes of brilliance, which makes me think that however bad we feel, all is not lost.

A setback is in fact the beginning of a set-up for a comeback...

And finally there’s an FA Cup double bill over three days at Woodside Road starting this Saturday.

Chris White’s Worthing side will first look to progress to the next round when they take on Kent League side Beckenham Town, while on Monday it’s the turn of the under-18s when they play Leatherhead in the second qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup in a 7.45pm kick-off.

With Brighton away on Saturday, and the log-range forecast for Monday promising, it would nice to see the local footballing public out in their numbers again supporting the local club.