TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Crawley Town fans who missed the Crewe game were the lucky ones!

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in  his new column SUS-150216-162649002
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in his new column SUS-150216-162649002

You had to be there watching in order to believe what happened against Crewe Alexandra as Crawley Town demonstrated their remarkable ability to take one step forward and two steps back.

There were 3,784 fewer spectators in the stadium than for the Portsmouth game and, believe me, they were the lucky ones.

We shouldn’t blame individuals but we did and, with the honourable exceptions of Josh Yorwerth and Rhys Murphy, they probably deserved it and we shouldn’t blame the manager.

Many did though, noting that it is his job to ensure things like this do not happen.

And we shouldn’t blame referee Darren Deadman (although it is in all Crawley fans’ DNA) as it simply wasn’t his fault.

I thought the penalty decision might have been given our way, but the referee was a lot nearer than me. Otherwise we were all gobsmacked at the number of decisions he made in our favour - all correct apart from one laughable incident late-on.

It was suggested to me that the official must have hated Crewe even more than he did Crawley.

No, the 3-0 embarrassment was all down to the players.

They didn’t stint on effort but the quality of the tactical play and delivery was pathetic.

Crawley frequently play up to the standard of the best opposition but they resolutely play down when their opponents are not so hot.

Crewe were distinctly ordinary but we didn’t half make them look good.

They accepted the gifts and, to their credit, didn’t let up on trying to tighten the screw even when they were home and hosed.

Their spirit was highlighted by new manager David Artell who constantly barked instructions and encouragement to his squad, to the amusement of a nearly silent West Stand.

Dermot Drummy inevitably maintained the statuesque position and dignified silence that is beginning to aggravate some supporters who feel he simply does not care enough when things go wrong.

Reds then put in a shift on the visit to Blundell Park to face Grimsby Town.

It wasn’t the most entertaining game of the season with a capricious wind and a bobbly playing surface but the 124 travelling fans were generally pleased with the hard-earned point.

Jimmy Smith had a couple of late chances, but overall it was a fair result.

We had the encouragement of James Collins getting back on the score sheet after seeing his early header hit a post and the prospect of improving fortune with the return of Matt Harrold.

Nobody is expecting a late run to the play-offs but it would be a relief to climb to midtable safety and gain some momentum that could carry us forward next season.

This game at least was one step forward.

The opportunity is there as our next two fixtures against Leyton Orient and Newport County who occupy the bottom-two places in the table.

We must not let this one get away.