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Sussex Sharks Vitality Blast tickets on sale – with special offers included



Tickets for this summer’s Sussex Sharks home Vitality Blast matches at Hove are on sale – and there are special offers included for those who move fast.

Sharks’ superstars of world cricket, including Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Rashid Khan, Tymal Mills and Luke Wright, will play seven matches at Hove as they look to go one step further than last year and bring the trophy back to Sussex.

Blast Pass season tickets have been selling faster than ever, meaning limited availability for individual tickets, so act now to avoid disappointment. Sussex say Blast Pass offers unbeatable value for loyal Shark fans wanting to catch all seven of the team’s home group Vitality Blast matches from their very own seat.

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Prices start at £25 for kids and an adult Blast Pass offers a saving of nearly 50 per cent per game when compared with an individual ticket.

The Sharks start their hunt for T20 glory at home with the ‘El Clasicoast’ derby against Hampshire on Wednesday July 24. Two days later, it’s the first of four famous Friday nights under the lights at the 1st Central County Ground when noisy neighbours Surrey enter the Shark infested waters.

A week later its another local derby as Kent Spitfires cross the border for a south-eastern skirmish. Then on Tuesday August 2, Glamorgan are in town. Who can forget Tymal Mills’ hat-trick to secure a thumping victory against the Welsh county last season?

The weekend starts in style three-days later with Middlesex – boosted by their recent signing of AB de Villiers – making the trip south for a carnival of cricket by the sea.

Thursday is the new Friday on August 22 when the Essex Eagles visit and then on Friday August 30 the Sharks complete the group stage against Gloucestershire.

To celebrate tickets going on sale, Sussex have a special ‘derby double’ offer. Get a ticket for both the Hampshire match and the Surrey game for just £40. This offer is only available until Friday March 29 – or when the games sell out.

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Crawley Town

Crawley Town v Plymouth Argyle: Reds look to move into play-off places



After Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over Mansfield, Crawley face another one of the teams tipped for promotion at the start of the season in Plymouth Argyle.

The Pilgrims were relegated from League One last season and were tipped to bounce straight back up, but they haven’t had the start they would’ve expected. Argyle currently sit 11th in League Two, three places and three points below Crawley.

After a bright start to the season, winning their opening two games, Argyle have only won once since then with three defeats, two draws and one victory. That victory was a 3-0 win over Walsall but that was four games ago, having lost two of their last three games.

This could be due to Plymouth’s poor away form, as they’ve lost three and won one of their four away games this season.

At home Argyle look a different team, as they have not been defeated at Home Park all season. Hopefully for Crawley their poor away form will continue and the Reds can make it four wins out of five on home soil.

This could be a big game for Crawley, as a win will guarantee the Reds move in to at least a play-off place, and depending on other results an automatic promotion spot.

However, if the result goes the other way Argyle will leapfrog Crawley. It’s a big game for both sides, who will both be looking to get themselves into promotion contention this season.

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Plymouth already have a lot of players who have gained promotion from League Two, as recently as last season. Lots of players and staff from Bury have moved to Argyle, in a bid to secure another promotion.

Manager Ryan Lowe was the man who got Bury promoted last season, and due to his move to Plymouth, a lot of former Bury players have followed him, as they look to get Plymouth back to League One at the first time of asking.

This shows that Crawley will be up for a tough game and will have to be at their best to pick up a win, despite Plymouth’s poor form.

Their could be a selection headache for Gabriele Cioffi, depending on whether players are fit to play. Tom Dallison missed Saturday’s game through injury but Jamie Sendles-White filled in and put in an excellent performance, on his home debut. Ashley Nadesan is another player who has been injured and if he is back fit, will be pushing for a starting position.

New signings Gyliano Van Velzen and Denzeil Boadu have also been working on their fitness since joining the club and might be able to play a part in Tuesday’s game against Plymouth.

It will be another tough test for Crawley, who will have to put in a good performance to pick up all three points.

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Neal Maupay: Championship or Premier League…It does not matter to me, I will always score goals



Neal Maupay insists he is finding his rhythm and his best is still to come after his impressive display against Burnley at the Amex last Saturday.

Maupay scored his second goal of the season with a clever finish to open the scoring during a 1-1 draw with Burnley. The Frenchman, who joined for £16m from Brentford during the summer, was a menace to the visitors defence throughout with his movement and eye for goal.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world,” said Maupay. “I scored goals in the championship and I know I can score goals here too. I have a lot of belief in my quality and I’m still trying to find my best rhythm and my best position on the pitch.

“I am discovering a new team, new teammates and new manager. It is not always easy, I didn’t play a full preseason so I’m not at my best yet.

“It was the first time I played together with Glenn (Murray). We were trying to find the connection together, so we need to work on that. It was good with him, he knows exactly what is happening on the pitch. He has got quality and it helps me having him by my side.

“I have always played through the centre but I need to adapt to the team. If I need to play wide, I will do it without a problem. If you want to help the team, you got to do what the manager wants. That is what I do.

“Even if I think my best position is striker, if I need to be on the right side of the pitch, left wing, midfield, anywhere…you just got to play and do your best.”

Maupay ended a physical match against Burnley nursing a cut head and face after a clash with Ashley Westwood. Stud marks were clearly visible on the Albion striker’s face as he spoke about the physicality of the Premier League compared to the Championship.

“It is quicker in the Premier. Every player plays quicker and knows what they are going to do with the ball quicker. That is the main difference for me. But as a striker I know I will get chances and I know I will score goals, so it does not really matter if it’s Championship or Premier.

“The physicality is no different for me. The defenders in the championship are big as well, so I’m used to it.”

Brighton have not won at the Amex since they beat Huddersfield on March 2. Graham Potter’s men were close to ending that run until Burnley’s Jeff Hendricks popped up with a late equaliser. It was tough on Albion but they were punished for failing to convert a number of decent chances. The fact Brighton had not won at home for so long was a stat Maupay was unaware of until he was told by a reporter in the mixed zone after the match.

“We can’t focus on that,” he said. “We need to focus as a team and how we can get better. It will come, we have the right mindset and we are working hard. It was not today but if we keep playing like that it will be very soon.

“We do create opportunities but we can do better. We only scored the one goal today. If we can be more efficient we can score one, two, three goals easily and make games easier for us. But it is just five games since the start of the season. We need to keep working hard and keep believing in our quality.”

It was Maupay’s third Premier League start in succession, and Potter believes he will improve as his match fitness develops. “He struggled a bit towards the start of the game, but that was probably down to the team performance.

“He kept going and that’s what he’s about. He links up well and runs in behind. His finish was a good goal and he’s a good character.

“He’ll improve the more he plays. People forget that he didn’t play any games in pre-season so he’s playing catch up to a certain extent. It was a full match of minutes and he’ll only get stronger and stronger.”

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Hope Powell: Draw against Chelsea will give us confidence for champions Arsenal



Hope Powell took great encouragement from Brighton’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea last Sunday to claim a point against one of the top teams in the FA Women’s Super League.

Albion took the lead through Aileen Whelan in the 84th minute and looked on course for a famous win but Adelina Engman’s stoppage-time strike for Chelsea saw the visitors claim a point.

Powell said, “The fact that we conceded in injury time was disappointing, but we’ve got to give Chelsea credit for really coming at us in those last three minutes, and a point is better than losing the game.

“We worked really hard in pre-season on a game plan against sides with Chelsea’s quality, and I thought the players stuck to it well and executed it for most of the game.

“Chelsea are a team that are full of internationals, so we really had to be on our game. The whole team put in a shift today, and I’m very pleased in that sense.”

Albion, who have two points from their opening two matches, are next in league action at reigning champions Arsenal in a fortnight’s time.

“It’s got to give us some confidence heading into the next game,” Powell said. “ We recognise that Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City are above everyone else, but on our day we’ll give it a go and know we’ll have to be at our very best to get a result.

“We have some experience under our belts in this league now, and all the players are putting in the work to do better than last season.

“We’ve still only been in this league for one season, and we have to recognise the demands of what’s required.

“If you’re not at the races, then you will get punished very quickly. We have taken some big knocks already at this level, but the focus is always on the next game.”

Brighton: Walsh, Lundorf Skovsen, Williams, Kerkdijk, Gibbons, Le Garrec (Simpkins 85) Bowman, Connolly, Brazil, Umotong (Green, 65), Whelan.

Chelsea: Berger, Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Reiten, Spence (Bachmannat 65), Ingle (Thorisdottir, 86), Ji, England, Cuthbert (Engman 82)

Referee: Lee Collins

Attendance: 1,352

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