Harty on . . . the Albion, Zamora and Rebels

First for sport
First for sport

AN ENCOURAGING unbeaten start by the Albion sets up an enticing clash at the Amex this Saturday, with the visit of Blackburn Rovers.

Whether or not the afternoon will see the return of Bobby Zamora in an Albion shirt, albeit for a brief substitute appearance, only time will tell?

Chris Hughton is no fool, he knows that Zamora is an asset on the field, in the dressing room and on the training pitch. He won’t rush his return and I firmly believe, while we are only three games in, Bobby’s contribution in all the areas mentioned could be the difference between a sustained play-off challenge or mid-table mediocrity.

While three points is top of the agenda, Albion find themselves under the microscope off the pitch this weekend, after a catering debacle at the first game against Nottingham Forest the Friday before last.

I took Worthing chairman George Dowell and two others as my guests in the box I share with Nsure and, for the first time ever, we had to send back all ten main meals as the food was inedible.

Our issue was not the only one in and around the stadium, as the subsequent feedback on North Stand Chat indicated. Food and drink outlets throughout the stadium ran out of stock at optimum times and the service levels were politely described in certain quarters as ‘poor’.

It’s clear, whether we like it or not, we are no longer supporters but now customers, so for that very reason the Albion catering department surely must be aware that the customer is always right?

And, if they don’t get it ‘right’ on a consistent basis, then with all the boxes and 1901 seats up for renewal next summer, the Albion could find themselves losing a big part of their corporate income stream.

Despite not getting the ultimate victories, there were two very encouraging home performances for Worthing FC against Faversham and Burgess Hill in Ryman South and League Cup action respectively.

With the arrival of the 3G pitch and the start of George Dowell’s reign as chairman, there seems to be a new buzz around Woodside Road. On a personal note, it’s nice to see Morty with a smile back on his face, enjoying himself again after a few years of uncertainty at the club.

If there’s one slight negative I’ve got, it’s the size of the attendances. Given how George has effectively saved the club from extinction, I would have hoped for a few more people through the turnstiles for the first two home games.

Then again, on the flip side, it still is holiday time and on Saturday we were up against the Birdman event, which had an attendance exceeding 10,000.

On Tuesday, perhaps Manchester United being in Champions League action might have also been a factor.

Then again, local Reds could have had a double-header at Woodside as we’ve got both BT Sport and Sky in the newly-refurbished bar. Hopefully, my fears will prove to be misplaced as on Tuesday the Rebels are in home league action against Three Bridges (kick-off 7.45pm), and with Albion in the Midlands on League Cup duty, the Worthing footballing public will come out and support their local team.

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