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Brighton & Hove Albion v Derby County


Ronald Ganfield and Marc Perry

Fourth Official Kevin Friend

Derby County v Brighton & Hove Albion


Peter Bankes and Sian Massey

Fourth Official Darren Drysdale

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Sian Massey at our place always has a mare of a match.


Anyone who helped to get rid of Andy Gray from Sky Sports is ok in my book.

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Regarding Sian Massey, I remember her running the line when we lost at home to Norwich a few years ago, but she did fine.


I even wrote a match report on that occasion - a game in which Chris Martin scored...


"Old One-Eye was really looking forward to this match on the grounds that he had so much in common with the visitors – well, one thing in common with them anyway, although his wasn’t located in the middle of his forehead.


Norwich City of course is inexorably linked with world-famous celebrity chef Delia Smith, and that’s the last time I will mention her. This report, you will be glad to know, will be completely free of the cheap shots and clichés which are regularly aimed in her direction – in addition, I shall also refrain from poking fun at a bunch of splendidly fanatical supporters Ooo Arr amongst the most loyal in the game.


It was no surprise that more than two thousand had made their way through the snow to Pride Park from Letsby Avenue.


The referee for the encounter between the sides occupying fourth and fifth spots in the table was Keith Stroud, a man who throughout his career had largely gone unnoticed as he oscillated between the Premier League and the Championship lists. Of late, he has taken to collecting players’ autographs at a rate of up to half a dozen a game as he seeks to emphasise his stature – he is slightly smaller than Billy Davies – by imitating a 19th Century Emperor.


Napoleon’s Generals on Saturday were Gary Beswick and that politically correct rarity in football – a bird, namely the lovely Sian Massey. Her previous claim to fame before making a guest appearance in this match report was to be severely criticised for her performance when taking charge of one of the world’s high profile rivalries – the 2008 encounter between Shepshed Dynamo and Retford Town.


Mr Stroud got the game under way, and it was probably the last time he got anything right. The Canaries had Derby caged in their own half right from the start – Delia’s boys turned up the heat and within five minutes Frank Fielding and Shawn Barker combined to scramble the egg – er, ball – away from the line after Henri Lansbury found himself on the end of Simon Lappin’s cross.


Norwich continued to press and it was no surprise when they went in front on 10 minutes when David Fox pounced on a loose ball and shot goal wards. It looked to be heading three yards wide of the goal – that is, until Shawn Barker’s heel intervened. Almost as if in slow motion, Fielding’s dive took his arms and body beyond the trajectory of the ball and in trying to clear with his feet, he not-so-cleverly nut-megged himself.


In less time than it takes for Newcastle United to change managers, it was two-nil, and if the first was unlucky, the second was down to rank bad defending. Lappin roasted the normally impeccable John Brayford for the umpteenth time in his regular sautées down the flank and laid the ball right on a plate for the unmarked Chris Martin. A powerful header left Fielding completely helpless and all he could do was watch the net billow.


Four minutes later, The Rams were back in the contest with a chance. Luke Moore battled to get on the end of a long pass from Gareth Roberts, and he cleverly chested a pass right into the path of Kris Commons. The Rams’ leading scorer bore down on goal and slotted the ball neatly beyond John Ruddy into the back of the net.


Derby enjoyed a spell of dominance, apart from the dozen or so times that Robbie Savage was caught in possession, and on 23 minutes Paul Green found himself with just Ruddy to beat. This time, the Canaries keeper blocked the shot at the expense of a corner. Another Green effort shaved the far post as The Rams finished the half the stronger, but the big, powerful Norwich defenders dealt admirably with any airborne threat.


Half time came and went with Old One-Eye chilled to the marrow – he really wished that he’d wore his Baklava helmet and he had a hole in his choux (no more food puns, that’s shallot – Ed). Savage sent a free kick wide and Barker headed over, but all too often Derby found themselves out-muscled. Norwich tried to slow the game down and Mr Stroud started to flash his card as Derby sensed a way back into the game.


Brayford fired wide and then Green, who could have had a hat-trick on another day, saw his goal-bound effort blocked at close range by a combination of keeper, post and kitchen sink. Martin nearly wrapped things up for the visitors on 72, only for Fielding to pull off a fine save, and then Derby boss Nigel Clough sent Chris Porter into the fray. It was a missed opportunity, especially seeing as The Rams had Chef Kikuqi on the bench.


As the second half drew to a close, Commons produced a moment of sublime skill to create an opening out of nothing, only to fire wide from the edge of the box. The game petered out with Norwich keeping the ball with some ease, and the visitors escaped back to Norfolk with three points in the bag. It had been a tragic time for the county, what with Bernard Matthews turning his twizzlers up less than a fortnight ago, but this win would have eased the pain.


Derby was left to reflect on what had been a below-par performance. What had been six home wins on the trot has now been replaced as the most relevant sequence by ‘three defeats in the last four games’. Automatic promotion looks an offally long way off now (you’re fired – Ed)."



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Not being sexist but women are shiite at virtually everything other than cleaning, cooking, ironing, gardening, hoovering, gabbing, making cups of tea, farting about in shops, and reversing into parked cars.

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Not being sexist but women are shiite at virtually everything other than cleaning, cooking, ironing, gardening, hoovering, gabbing, making cups of tea, farting about in shops, and reversing into parked cars.

I'll tell you what they are really good at:


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