20 March 2012


As we left Bloomfield Road - and that bizarre north western Promenade behind on Saturday in the TSLR Scirocco named Kazenga (fast when it gets going but it breaks down quite often), the air within was filled with disappointment. By the time we arrived back on the south coast, it all felt a little better. Why? Simply because we had spent a large chunk of our rain-ravaged journey home pondering quite how bad it all used to be. Colin Hawkins, pictured, was an unfortunate example of the dreary ineptitude we would have to deal with as Albionites every weekend.

On Sunday we were back in the south, far away from seafronted Blackpool blokes offering cheap shots of liquor in an abject attempt at mirroring the suddenly classy street alcohol offerers of Magaluf. We began searching the vault here at TSLR Towers following a quite unprecedented online order for an entire back catalogue of the paper fanzine collection. Fingering through the early editions we could find only added to the sense that Albion 2.Gus are now a side completely alien to Albion's 2008-09 counterparts.

I refer to you to TSLR009 published in April 2009 - the final issue of what turned out to be the almost dreadful culmination of the Micky Adams II season. By this point, Russell Slade was about to save us from oblivion but we weren't to know that then - coming out as it did at home against Swindon with Albion five points from safety with about six games to go. The Love Review was still very much in its infancy and finding its feet then, not nearly the quality toilet reading it is today. But there were highlights, even amidst the disgraceful season we'd just endured.

We had a new contributor that month, an almost ever present since, Marco van Bastard who mused: "Of all the places for this pitiful season to extinguish, Milton Keynes seemed a fitting dumping ground." The whole issue focused on relegation - it was an accepted certainty throughout that the next season would be fought in Division 4 despite 18 points still to play for. Midfield Diamond told us of the great Withdean Deception - when Adams Micky pretended to be Micky Adams for most of the season - and an Andrew Whing interview revealed that his worst game of the season had been losing to Walsall with nine men at Withers. How easy it has been to put games like that out of our collective minds this year at Falmer.
A little flick through any issue from the 2008-09 season will ensure that you feel pretty damn good about having spent the Saturday just gone on a 16-hour round trip to one of the seediest seaside towns in the world to watch the Albion receive a fairly convincing hiding. It was worth driving all that way to Blackpool just to see the Dagger's toes twinkle.

If we lose to Derby tonight, TSLR003's match report of that 9-man Walsall game will have to emerge from the vault to make us all feel better. To make us know we've made it. Which we have. And, compared to watching Colin Hawkins et al, missing out on the play-offs this year will do me just fine.

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