TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Kewell wins over the fans as Crawley Town deserve two shock wins

As footballing shocks go this result registered high on the list.

Monday, 29th January 2018, 11:42 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:09 am
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in his new column SUS-150216-162649002

Crawley Town had a dismal record at Notts County and the home side sat second in the table.

An away win would have garnered good odds from the bookies.

That the Reds travelled back with three points safely tucked away may have been a big surprise but the 2-1 win was in no way undeserved.

“Some things change and some things stay the same” may correctly recall a once popular song but if I’m wrong I’m sure you’ll get the drift.

The big change came with the vital contribution made by Thomas Verheydt.

He did not score but he tested home ‘keeper Rob Fitzsimons and kept the County defence busy especially in the first half.

Jimmy Smith weighed in with another goal, so no change there, and in an amazing end to the match Josh Payne also maintained consistency as he ensured the win with a stoppage-time penalty.

The end of the fiercely contested and often feisty game saw Matty Virtue dismissed on 90 minutes following a second caution.

As Crawley pressed trying to take advantage of their extra man Fitzsimons took out Mark Connolly off the ball but in full view of the referee. Straight red and Notts County were down to nine men.

County were able to bring on their substitute goalkeeper but nearly three minutes elapsed before the nerveless Payne made certain the change would make no difference and Crawley recorded a famous win.

With the runners-up defeated, Reds set themselves up nicely for the visit of third-placed Accrington Stanley four days later.

That game brought another well merited three points and a feast of entertainment the like of which has been rarely seen this campaign.

The match was a credit to both sides and also to the invariably maligned referee Gavin Ward who got the big decisions right.

The gospel according to Kewell is gaining an increasing number of adherents thanks to the way his 11 disciples on the pitch are following his guidance.

The Reds’ attempts to play good football start from the back as Glenn Morris passes rather than hoofs the ball away from goal although many supporters were concerned at the number of times the defence passed back to the custodian instead of upfield.

Morris is in superb form and forceful Stanley ensured he added to his repertoire of saves.

Enzio Boldewijn is also on top of his game and scored with a clever 16-yard glancing header from Connolly’s cross before setting up Mark Randall’s goal.

Accrington only scored through a bizarre own goal as Payne’s clearance hit Smith in the face, otherwise being denied by superb goalkeeping and defending.

This wasn’t a game for individuals as the contribution of every player meant it was very much a team effort and one of the highest order.