Harty on the Championship play-off race

Albion's Jesse Lingard in action against QPR
Albion's Jesse Lingard in action against QPR

AS the song from the Broadway musical goes ‘It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish’.

No doubt, a number of my Worthing-based QPR supporting friends, including my boyhood idol Keith Rowley, will still be grumbling 48 hours on after Albion’s 2-0 victory over the Hoops at the Amex on Tuesday evening.

Granted, the first 70 minutes can’t be described as inspiring stuff by either side, but then, in the last quarter of the game, the Albion converted their chances and, in my humble opinion, ran out worthy winners.

Victory is even more sweeter, by the fact of who was in the opposing dugout.

Harry Redknapp is a marmite character. He isn’t universally liked by supporters up and down the country and the massed Amex chorus of ‘Harry, Harry, what’s the score?’ on Tuesday again highlighted this fact.

The beauty of football is that it’s all about opinions. Rangers’ fans can moan all they want, the records will show from now until the end of time that the Albion scored two more goals than QPR on Tuesday and thus gained all three points.

Three points that keep the Albion in play-off contention. By rights, it should have been another three from Saturday’s game against Reading, but for some Oscar-winning acting from a Reading player, which ultimately saw the Albion go down to ten men with skipper Gordon Greer sent off.

That changed the game but, again, like the QPR gripes, that’s football. There’s no point dwelling on it.

The Seagulls now travel north to the improving Bolton Wanderers, with 12 games and 36 points left to play for.

At this point, I will stick my neck out and say I personally think, given the competitive nature of the Championship, if the Albion can win at least eight from 12, that will be enough to get them in the top six, at the expense of Reading and Nottingham Forest.

There, they will be joined by Wigan, QPR and either Derby or Burnley.

With Worthing Rugby Club now playing at its highest ever level, one of its former players will be remembered next weekend, as friends from both the club and Worthing Boys High School gather at the Richmond home game.

Gordon Simpson, aka Shrimp, sadly passed away from cancer in Canada in his mid 50s. He played full-back for Worthing’s 1st XV in the mid/late 1970s at both the former ground at Castle Road and the club’s present home at Roundstone Lane.

In the 1980s, he married and emigrated to Canada and this is the first time that his death has been marked in Worthing, the town were he made his mark as a teenager and a young man.

On the eve of the Richmond game, his old friends are meeting up at his old stomping ground of the Thieves Kitchen, currently the Vintners Parrot, from 7.30pm.

All friends of Gordon/Shrimp are most welcome and for further details please contact iainblackwood41@hotmail.com