Taste of the Terrace: In-form Crawley Town show plenty of fight but suffer badly from poor refereeing

My biggest problem with two games a week is that I need twice as many column inches but there were so many talking points after Crawley's two home defeats in four days that 2000 words would still be insufficient.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:44 am
Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002

Crawley Town did not deserve to lose to Wycombe Wanderers.

The football was excellent on occasions and Reds played well – or as well as the opposition allowed.

We tried to keep it on the deck while they played long ball but their manager Gareth Ainsworth was previously at Wimbledon and the Crazy Gang element obviously rubbed off.

Wycombe were very good at what they did as exemplified by Adebayo Akinfenwa, who both scored and assisted.

He showed a remarkable eye for the right pass. Joe McNerney played superbly against him whilst Enzio Boldewijn and Panutche Camara were simply brilliant.

Not so clever though was referee Graham Horwood whose performance was totally inadequate.

Harry Kewell was critical of the referee’s performance in his post match interview and far be it from me to disagree.

My opinion was reinforced by Mark Connolly’s dismissal. His offence was to be fouled by Luke O’Nien. I justify my interpretation of the incident as it occurred right in front of my first row seat in the West Stand so I was closer and had a better view than the official.

He was wrong as were the so-called Crawley fans who stayed away. Just 1,647 turned up and the visitors were right to chant “Is this a library?”

What do the residents of this town expect from their team? Whatever it is I don’t think they deserve it.

The last thing anyone expected on Saturday was such an execrable performance by the officials that it attracted even more vitriol.

Harry Pell’s opener for Cheltenham Town came after he had hooked Lewis Young’s legs from under him.

The third scored by Mohamed Eisa looked arguably offside but it was the Robins’ second that caused the furore.

Mark Randall crazily stabbed the ball at Eisa from the wing and he clearly brought it under control with his arm.

It wasn’t even doubtful but the linesman somehow missed it. A penalty resulted from the breakaway which Glenn Morris saved but Pell scored following up.

Reds could not handle the set-back especially in defence where Josh Yorwerth lost composure making numerous mistakes and McNerney could not put a foot right either.

Later Cedric Evina’s woeful header gave away another goal but Young redeemed himself leading a late revival.

It was carnage at the back but the attack never gave up with KAG and Camara both scoring for the second time in four days.

Young netted the third and should have had another.

We made so many errors that recovery was always unlikely and Kewell’s biggest task will be to get the squad’s heads right before Good Friday’s trip to Cambridge.