With the calendar close to notching up five blank months, Crawley Town finally won an away match – their first since shocking League Two leaders Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on September 8.
In a results based business their 1-0 win at Swindon Town was worth more to them than the obvious three points.
Despite an uncomfortable level of inconsistency Reds have produced a number of recent performances that have been ill-rewarded.
This time it is the Wiltshire club that will probably feel they have been short changed.
Not so the hardy 145 travelling fans for whom the win would at last have provided some return for their and the team’s efforts.
It was not an easy game to watch and also enjoy.
For the second away game running the foul count far outstripped the tally of shots.
Under pressure a lot of the time the Reds conceded most fouls and, rather worryingly, collected another three cautions.
The defence, missing the indomitable Mark Connolly, was kept at full stretch but Swindon’s attacking play was blunted and they created few chances, only coming close with a Jak McCourt free-kick that grazed a post.
They also found Glenn Morris in top form and his recognition as one of the very best ‘keepers in the division was enhanced when he intuitively saved a 90th minute penalty from Keshi Anderson.
Crawley’s own attacking threat was limited, with Ollie Palmer unable to make much impression, and they managed a mere five goal attempts in the 98 minutes the game took.
Three came from the brilliant Filipe Morais including the only shot on target and that won the game.
From a short corner George Francomb played the ball to the far post where Joe McNerney headed back and Morais struck from ten yards.
The ball took a deflection and spun into the net.
At a minute into first half added-time the goal could not have come at a more opportune moment.
As a game of football this match won’t live long in the memory, but that won’t worry the fans.
Not many would disagree with the viewpoint that to win is most important while producing good football can come second.
That is why most of us will accept defeat by a better team as long as that second requirement has been met.
The recent coupling of poor displays with poor results is what upsets so many.
The big question is whether Reds can go forward from this point and move themselves up towards midtable safety.
That will not be easy as they next face an onerous trip to high-flying Bury.
That’s a big enough task to mean that even if we went down fighting the signs would be good.
Somehow I can’t see the lads letting themselves down at Gigg Lane so you just don’t know what will happen.
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Swindon Town 0 Crawley Town 1 - Reds win on the road for first time since September