TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Reds fan Geoff Thornton gives his views

Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002
Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002

I had thought I might write mostly about Ziya Eren’s thought-provoking ideas for the future of Crawley Town under his ownership but the bizarre events against Oxford United led me to a total rethink.

To say it was a game of two halves was a mighty understatement.

The new owner’s appearance before the match had drawn generous applause and by half-time it looked as though the new era was already underway.

Our second half collapse had to be seen to be believed.

So what went wrong? The first brickbat went to manager Mark Yates for not selecting left back Charles Dunne.

Sonny Bradley took over his role but was cruelly exposed by Oxford’s speed and agility on the flank.

The skipper’s struggles cost us two goals.

Similarly Simon Walton again looked way off the pace and his replacement by a fit again Jimmy Smith was warmly welcomed.

Surely if we have to deploy a defensive midfielder as cover then Jon Ashton would be a better bet.

From the opening whistle nothing much went wrong and early parity was replaced a very strong Reds display.

When Joe McNerney gave us the lead with his first goal for the club it was the very least that the lads deserved.

Gwion Edwards was in devilish form and Lyle Della Verde was troubling the visitors’ defence just as much on the other flank.

Gavin Tomlin was enjoying one of his best games and if we had taken a reasonable chance for a second first half goal the outcome may have been totally different.

In the second period, however, Crawley’s defence unravelled like an old pullover under attack by a puppy.

In addition to Bradley’s troubles, Josh Yorwerth was involved in a running battle with Danny Hylton who fouled him as early as the third minute.

Their wrestling match just off the pitch in front of the West Stand went unpunished by woefully lenient referee Nick Kinseley but the U’s prudently hooked their striker soon afterwards.

Yorwerth, who did not concede a single foul, may have edged the war but his football suffered as a result of it.

For the second match running we defended appallingly in the second half.

A couple of rival clubs have conceded a few more goals but most of our opponents must surely view Crawley Town as a soft touch.

Jack Rose, who made several excellent saves, will not have enjoyed his first game between the sticks.

When options for next season’s squad are considered, the backline must be the priority.

All that meant my thoughts on future planning had to go onto the back-burner.

The feeling is that the new owner is very genuine although I fear his smile might have finally disappeared after this debacle.

His plans are helped by being both long term and prudent and might just prove successful.