The family of football responds to the saddest of days

Lewis Dunk applauds the travelling Albion fans at Walsall (Photograph: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)
Lewis Dunk applauds the travelling Albion fans at Walsall (Photograph: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)

Albion’s victory was completely overshadowed by the Shoreham Airshow crash.

Albion’s victory over Blackburn Rovers was completely overshadowed by the horrific events at the Shoreham Airshow.

The mood at the stadium before kick-off was inevitably muted as people endeavoured to contact friends and loved ones they knew would be travelling on  a stretch of road that is so familiar.

Tragically, Matt Grimstone, a member of the ground staff at the American Express Elite Performance Centre, lost his life, alongside Jacob Schilt, his friend, team-mate, and fellow Albion fan..

Both men also played for Worthing United and were en route to their game with Loxwood in the Southern Combination Premier Division at Lyons Way when the tragedy happened.

In times such as these, football can seem an awful irrelevance compared with the abject pain suffered by the victims’ families. But it is also at times like these when the wider football family comes together to offer solace and support to those in need.

The match at the Amex was a great example of not playing particularly well, but coming away with the three points – exactly the type of performance required if the Albion are to meet their promotion aspirations.

On 35 minutes, LuaLua netted the only goal of the game - after a clever lay-off from Sam Baldock - scoring from the edge of the box with his right foot.

On Tuesday night, Hughton’s men travelled to Walsall for a League Cup second-round tie. The manager made 10 changes from the side that despatched Blackburn, giving a start to Lewis Dunk, who signed a new five-year contract in midweek.

Reinstated Jake Forster-Caskey converted from the penalty spot for a half-time lead, only for Milan Lalkovic to level the scores. Chris O’Grady then missed another spot-kick before Rico Henry won a place in the third round late on for the Saddlers - Albion’s first reverse of the campaign.