Ian Hart: I’m still confident Albion will finish in the top two

Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

It remains to be seen if David Stockdale’s second half penalty save at Brentford on Sunday will be the defining moment of the season.

But, at 2-0 down, it proved a pivotal moment in the 90 minutes as the Seagulls and the Bees fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw, with both sides scoring in the seven minutes of added time.

The point wasn’t enough to take the Albion back to the top of the Championship, but the confidence gained from the amazing fightback could still yet be a significant point in the Albion’s quest for promotion to the Premier League.

The previous game at Huddersfield was truly forgettable. The Albion were well beaten but, perhaps along with the events at Griffin Park, was the jolt/wake-up call the Albion needed.

Back-to-back home games against Burton Albion and Ipswich are next on the agenda with nothing less than a six point return required.

I’ve actually stopped looking at Newcastle’s results, the only game I really care about that the Toon are involved in is when they come to the Amex at the end of the month.

The Championship trophy is now a side issue as far as I’m concerned, top two is the priority. Despite the relative setbacks of the last seven days, I’m still confident that at the end of 46 games there will be at least 22 sides below the Albion in the final league table.

The Albion have announced next season’s season ticket prices, with proposed rises that could see tickets going up between 18 to 20 per cent if the Seagulls do go up to the Premier League.

The news caused the usual and perhaps now predictable reaction on social media, with Albion chief executive Paul Barber being portrayed with blue pound signs in his eyes.

Worse case scenario if the Albion don’t go up means the rise equates to only two to three per cent because there will still be 23 home games.

The huge potential price hike comes because the Albion would have four fewer home games in the top flight.

It does almost make me chuckle. What do the real fans of the club actually want, rather than the cyber geeks? Premier League football, pure and simple.

It comes at a cost but my hope would be that once the Albion were part of the TV money gravy train, and more importantly establish a foothold in the division rather than being a yo-yo club, they would adopt the same policy as Stoke City, who have not raised ticket prices at The Britannia Stadium for the past seven years.

So, Chris Eubank Junior has emulated his father and won a world title, albeit an IBO strap.

It’s still a title that gives the Brighton and Hove pugilist valuable bargaining power in negotiating the big fights that are potentially out there.

I’m not entirely convinced about the significance of his ITV Box Office platform, though.

With various streams available on the internet, I know of lots of people who watched the fight live on Saturday but only know of one person who paid for it.

No doubt the ITV IT experts will have a fight on their hands next time when stopping circumnavigating the purchasing process.

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