Fan’s View: Falling home support misses creditable display

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in  his new column SUS-150216-162649002
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in his new column SUS-150216-162649002

Two things that epitomise the belief and the never-say-die approach that Mark Yates has introduced this season are shown by three consecutive clean sheets.

The tough opening was recognised pre-season but the Reds have risen magnificently to the challenge.

Many supporters responded with their feet to the rising dissatisfaction with the Board of Directors over the club’s management off the field.”

Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton

It makes it all the sadder that so many Reds fans are missing out.

Whilst the away support remains solid, the attendance at home games is already drifting.

Despite the splendid win at Cambridge United and the appeal of a first ever league game against second placed Wycombe Wanderers many supporters responded with their feet to the rising dissatisfaction with the Board of Directors over the club’s management off the field.

Surely the lack of funding means they cannot afford to alienate the fan base any further.

Mind you, alienation is no new thing for the West Stand season ticket holders and the edge was really taken off the exciting tussle with Wycombe by the match officials. Referee Lee Swabey set a new low for the combination of bias and sheer inadequacy.

The Wycombe tough guys started with a succession of fouls that did not attract adequate censure and I was told that as soon as Crawley responded likewise it would earn a caution. It did.

Luke Rooney was the unfortunate player to be punished unfairly just three minutes after his arrival as substitute.

The West Stand howled its discontent as they could see the referee had been conned and the reaction of so-called victim Jason Banton to the cat calls showed that he knew it too.

It is rare for the fairly sedate West Stand to be quite so incensed by the appointed officials. Over the years I have seen many examples of more competent refereeing in the Sussex County League.

Crawley Town had the edge over a very tough side that could be well set for another Wembley appearance in the play-offs.

They could not, however, match their midfield play with precision in the final third. Too many vital passes went astray causing promising moves to break down and the finishing lacked the cutting edge shown at Cambridge United. More worrying though is the Reds’ lack of cover.

With such a small squad to call on it was unbelievable that two players were allowed to move to Whitehawk last week leaving Mark Yates with only a single full back to select for this match.

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