BOWMAN ON THE ROAD: Rooney brings Crawley fans unexpected joy

Crawley Town fans celebrate earning a 2-2 draw at Exeter City SUS-151116-101644002
Crawley Town fans celebrate earning a 2-2 draw at Exeter City SUS-151116-101644002

As Burgess Hill lad Dean Griffin said after the game ‘I couldn’t see where a goal was coming from!’ That same thought must of been on every one of the 155 travelling Reds fans minds as the game the game at Exeter went into overtime. Up stepped Luke Rooney to rescue a joyous point!

That same thought must of been on every one of the 155 travelling Reds fans minds as the game the game at Exeter went into overtime.

92 mins  Luke Rooney grabs a point. SUS-151116-101632002

92 mins Luke Rooney grabs a point. SUS-151116-101632002

Up stepped Luke Rooney to rescue a joyous point!

It had been a little while since I last checked in with Crawley Town FC but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching their results with keen interest. After the disappointment of Mansfield, Plymouth and Morecambe things have been on the improve at the Broadfield, Town now sit in the middle of League two instead of dangling close to the relegation spots.

The trip to Exeter was always on the agenda for yours truly as St James’ Park was needed for the 92 club.

The main feature of the day was heavy rain which accompanied us all the way down and all the way back.

Keen CTFC and BHTFC fan Dean Griffin from Burgess Hill. SUS-151116-101618002

Keen CTFC and BHTFC fan Dean Griffin from Burgess Hill. SUS-151116-101618002

GH Coaches driver Kevin Giles has probably seen it all before many times in his career but a huge thanks to him for getting us back safely in some awful conditions.

On the way back a stray owl flew onto the windscreen with a resounding bang, Kevin didn’t even flinch!

We were back in Crawley for around 9pm.

That rain lifted for most of the game which was very lucky as most of the away contingent chose the £16 open terrace option rather than the £25 main stand. It soon became apparent why there was such a price discrepancy. St James’ Park is your typical town centre football ground hemmed in by busy residential streets, the shopping mall a stones through away.

Grabbing a late point on the road Priceless.  Smiles all around among the Crawley Town fans SUS-151116-101656002

Grabbing a late point on the road Priceless. Smiles all around among the Crawley Town fans SUS-151116-101656002

The WTS main stand and the covered home terrace (The Big Bank) are both excellent modern facilities for home fans. However the James Road Terrace is only be described a desolate 1970’s throw back. With fans getting used to a certain standard of accommodation in the modern game this was horrible to be honest. About 4 steps of crumbling concrete, terrible view, no cover and very basic facilities. On the opening day Yeovil Town took 1250 fans to Exeter one can only imagine what cramped conditions they must of endured, especially as they lost.

A high tempo entertaining first period ensued with the hosts nudging in front on six minutes, a thumping shot from the left winger. Exeter always seemed a little more measured with the ball making more passes through the middle. Crawley rather hurried in comparison always ready to hit long. That worked on 28 mins when a corner was forced. Man of the match Sonny Bradley met the cross with a towering header one one. Just as half time loomed Crawley were caught napping as a stunning 20 pass movement fell to Nichols who stuck a neat shot into the corner. The second half become a lot more frenetic as both sides failed to make any real passing moves. Sub Luke Rooney perhaps the one player capable of getting it down and making a decent pass.

So with time running out it looked as though the hosts were going to hang on. On 92 minutes Luke seizes the ball in mid field, sweeps forward and then as time stood still he had somehow looped the ball over the keeper and into the net. 2-2. In line with the terrace cue old school celebration by the 100 plus strong Red army.

That goal typifying what Crawley are all about under Mark Yates right now pure effort and durability.

Let’s hope they can continue to good work in front of their own fans on Saturday when Bristol Rovers pay a visit.

This Saturday I will be checking in with local sleeping giants Haywards Heath Town. Experienced manager Shaun Saunders appears to have the Hanbury club buzzing right now. They will be travelling to Tadley Calleva FC in the 2nd round of the FA Vase and I will be hoping to hitch a ride on the supporters coach. Follow that here next week.

Costs travel to Exeter £20, entrance £16 refreshments and programme £15.