Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton gives his view of Reds’ 0-0 draw with Hartlepool
At half-time in the match against Hartlepool I seemed to be surrounded by mutterings of discontent which I didn’t really share.
The visitors had proved to be robust and, like most of our opponents, more direct and pacy than the Reds ever seem to be.
Hartlepool, despite their placing just above the drop zone, will not be relegated.
They are a good side in a false position and I enjoyed 45 minutes of cut and (just a little) thrust between two well-matched teams.
Perhaps the doubters were right as Crawley Town failed to raise their game in the second half and looked less comfortable.
Play was badly affected by a bobbly pitch and there were only few clear-cut chances which were created.
Our goalkeeper Paul Jones tipped a shot from Billy Paynter onto the bar but it was Pool’s only shot on target as they failed to overcome another resilient defensive display and we gained a third clean sheet in four games.
The Reds mustered a few more openings including a splendid break and lay-off by Gwion Edwards to Liam McAlinden but Trevor Carson saved the loanee’s shot.
In truth we should have won the points with the very last action of the game.
Deep into added-time good work by Gavin Tomlin set up Sonny Bradley for a diving header which was just five yards out and with the goal at his mercy.
The crowd rose as one to celebrate the winner only to be left in utter disbelief as the ball soared wide of the upright.
Defeat for Hartlepool would have honestly been undeserved and another point in Reds’ very uneven season should be seen as a fair return.
People seem to be expecting an instant improvement under the new ownership, prompted perhaps by the welcome appearance of a new scoreboard.
The fact that maintenance of the old one seemed beyond the wit and wisdom (and presumably pocket) of the now departed directors was a bone of contention with the fans.
At least Crawley’s new owner Ziya Eren does not seem to want to run before he can walk.
All the recent managers glibly talked about the play-offs and promotion when what the supporters wanted was stability.
Now the Championship is again the aim but in a realistic nine or ten years.
That timescale would increase the chances of finding a new ground as we could never sustain that level at Broadfield even if the ground was full every time.
The new directors should formulate the long-term plan whilst the team managers ensure an encouraging 2016/17 season.
As a tailpiece I have to say I have been very impressed by Frankie Sutherland since he arrived on loan from QPR and he has settled in as the kingpin of the midfield.
I overheard his play and contribution being likened to that of Dannie Bulman.
There is no higher praise from a true Reds supporter.
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