Harty on the Albion and Rebels’ youth team

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AGAIN, the apparent unpredictability of the Championship came to the fore on Tuesday night with the Albion ending league leaders Cardiff’s nine-match unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory down in South Wales.

I say apparent unpredictability because, ever the optimist, prior to the game I always thought the Albion would get something from their trip to the Principality.

And, I can’t say, now the hard work starts, because Gus Poyet’s men have been doing that all season. But a cursory look at the league table shows that it’s now very much in our own hands.

Two points behind Middlesbrough, with a game in hand, and a visit to the Riverside on the fixture list.

Tuesday night shows, to plagiarise Frank Sinatra’s “New York New York”, if the Albion can win there (i.e, Cardiff), they can win anywhere, so home games, away games, let them come.

Starting with back-to-back home games on successive Saturdays with the visits of Burnley and Huddersfield Town respectively.

The Clarets arrive at the Amex first, still with play-off ambitions themselves, and with the free-scoring Charlie Austin in their ranks. Nothing less than a win for the Seagulls will do, not only for the play-off campaign but the fact I’ve got to sit next to Worthing’s very own Burnley fanatic, Berni Cozzi.

After last year’s encounter, when the Albion found themselves down to nine men fairly early and then were unfortunate to lose 1-0, I’m confident this time that the boys will do the job, 3-1. And, come Saturday tea time, given results elsewhere, the Albion could actually find themselves in the all-important top six.

If they do, I believe that’s where they will stay. Automatic promotion from this division may now be a big ask, but, in a play-off scenario, I would back the Albion against any other three teams in the Championship.

l Worthing’s youth team had a 9-0 win over Eastbourne Town in the Ryman Youth League on Monday to record their 10th consecutive win.

All credit to our opponents on Monday, who, despite being on the end of a defeat nobody likes, never gave up at any point.

There has been speculation that Monday’s victory now breaks a long-standing club record for the youth team, I say speculation because it appears at present no-one really knows the definitive answer.

The team’s record that we are apparently near is that of the late, and much missed, Jim Lelliott’s great Worthing youth side of the late 1970s early 1980s.

Whether it’s broken or not, to aspire to a team managed by someone who was a great man, both in and out of football, is, frankly, almost as good as any record.

Next up is Sunday’s County Cup semi-final against Lewes at Woodside Road (11am kick-off), when, arguably, two of the best three sides in the county, lock horns to see who meets Burgess Hill in next month’s final.