Harty on... the Albion and youth football

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I CAME away from the Amex on Tuesday night with mixed feelings.

Having battered Blackburn for long periods of the game, a draw was clearly in Albion terms a travesty. But, then again, a cursory look at the table, with a four-point gap between the Albion and a play-off place, it is still very much “game on” for the season.

As the club develops, many fans are having to re-pick their all-time Albion XIs.

Vicente is a case in point. His performance on Tuesday rightly won him the man-of-the-match award, and the number of supporters I’ve spoken to since say that if he can replicate that form for the rest of the campaign, anything is possible.

Another major factor in the Albion’s quest for Premier League football is that of the on-going form of Liam Bridcutt, who is, without doubt, the best defensive midfielder I’ve seen in an Albion shirt in 40 years.

Home form is clearly key. There is now no margin for error at the Amex, but, then again, given the overall performance on Tuesday, if we start taking the chances created, it will have to be a very good side to turn us over at home.

On the road will also be a factor. Cardiff City may be, at present, the runaway leaders of the division, but it would not surprise me in the slightest if the Albion went down to South Wales and came back with at least a point.

It’s got to that time of the season when, as Albion fans, we all sit down and go through the remaining fixtures and say three points here, a point there, etc.

I did it yesterday morning, and I think, if we put a serious run together, we can get to 71 points at the end of 46 league games.

Whether that gets us into that all-important play-off zone is very much in the lap of the footballing gods.

l While clearing out an office in London, my good mate Darren Pollard, has come across a complete, almost new, football kit, 15 red shirts, plus goalkeeping shirt, red shorts and socks, which will fit an under-14, -15 or -16 side.

Rather than ending up in a skip, at Darren’s request, I’d like to offer it to any local team that may want it as either a first choice or change strip.

All we are looking for is a suitable donation to Chestnut Tree House. In turn, I will go and see Ricky Sopp and have the name of the children’s hospice printed, at my expense, on the front of the shirts.

Any interested managers, please get in touch with me at ian@ianhartfuneralservices.co.uk, on a first-come first-served basis.