Southwick 1 Crawley Down Gatwick 3: Cooper praises ‘superb team performance’

Crawley Down Gatwick V Horsham YMCA 7-2-15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150902-125040002
Crawley Down Gatwick V Horsham YMCA 7-2-15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150902-125040002
Have your say

Crawley Down Gatwick manager Paul Cooper praised his team’s display in coming from behind to beat Southwick 3-1 on Tuesday night.

He said: “It was a superb team performance. We wanted it so much more than the opposition and just didn’t let them in the game at any point. Coming to Old Barn Way on a Tuesday night is always very tricky so I’m delighted with how we applied ourselves.

Coming to Old Barn Way on a Tuesday night is always very tricky so I’m delighted with how we applied ourselves.”

Crawley Down Gatwick manager Paul Cooper

“Every time we pushed forward we looked dangerous and the work rate was second to none.

“It has been a solid start for us but now we need to keep it going, take each game as it comes, not get ahead of ourselves and see where it takes us.”

The Anvils started briskly with Oli Leslie setting up Dave Houlders whose fierce shot had keeper James Hollis shovelling the ball away, then followed Luke Trotter finding Leslie whose shot was turned away for a corner.

For the Wickers striker Richard Hudson then tested Anvil keeper Andy Greaves, followed by a Ross Myers corner headed wide by Kieran Gillard, but on 15 mins the Anvils were undone when from a break down the middle midfielder Geo Rudwick found space to rifle home from outside the box, to give the homesters the lead. 1-0 Wickers

This was perhaps the ‘wake up’ call the Anvils required as they started to go up a gear, with first Houlders corner being headed wide by James Day, followed by Sam Canes long range effort taking a deflection for a corner, on 30 however The Anvils restored parity thro Trotter who out left managed to drive the ball home from an acute angle. 1-1.

The Wickers then had a rare view of the goal, when from a corner striker Tom Donnelly hit his shot over, for the Anvils Houlders continued to use his pace and muscle to test the keeper again, but justice was rewarded when full back Hass Shurmahi made a superb run down the left from full back before pulling back to Luke Trotter who in turn unselfishly set up Dave Houlders to shoot past Southwick keeper Hollis at his near post in the 39th min, thus putting the Anvils in front as halftime approached. HT 1-2 Anvils.

2nd Half: On 46 Leslie set up Trotter who fired wide, just after another chance for Trotter with Hollis pushing his shot away, on 50 a result, as a long ball found Leslie in the box who managed to find a chink and thread the ball home. 1-3 Anvils.

For the rest of the half it was just one-way traffic with Hass Shurhahi joining the party with a freekick straight to the keeper, on the hour the same player with a corner had Day heading over, when it looked easier to score, more attempts at goal followed, with the Wickers defence now hacking the ball away at every opportune moment.

Come 70 and it was ‘change time’ with Leslie being replaced by Ben Brooker who immediately injected pace into the attack and dragged the Wickers defence out of position, himself then having a shot turned away, striker Cane then had two shots at goal, with one striking the upright, on 85 Lee Thomas was replaced by midfielder Tom Agate, as the Anvils played out the final minutes, but not before homesters sub Jack Piner had keeper Greaves having to tip over a thunderous drive. All in all a tremendous performance for the Anvils. FT 1-3 Anvils.

Crawley Down Gatwick: Andy Greaves, Blair Cooney, Hass Shurhahi, Mike Spence, Steve Dixon, James Day, Dave Houlders, Lee Thomas (Tom Agate), Sam Cane, Oli Leslie (Ben Brooker), Luke Trotter.

Man of the Match: Luke Trotter