TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Geoff Thornton says Crawley's line-up against Birmingham City showed disrespect

Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton
Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton

When Harry met Harry at St Andrew's you might wonder where was Sally.

Well Aunt Sally was there, thinly disguised as keeper Glenn Morris, facing numerous shots from Birmingham City but despite the scoreline most of them were off target.

It is only four days since I mentioned the desperate need for Crawley to strengthen their defence and their line-up on Tuesday evening was interesting.

We were pleased to see Josh Yorwerth looking much more his old self and welcomed back Joe McNerney’s strength in the air. On the deck it was a different matter. In the middle was Josh Payne so following Mark Randall we had a second midfielder in an unaccustomed defensive role.

For a long time Payne was excellent and probably looked the most accomplished player on the park but the decent individual performances were undone by the fact they didn’t play as a unit and furthermore got little support from the full backs in either formation that was employed.

Sadly those defensive frailties were heightened by Harry Kewell’s baffling team selection. The travelling band of supporters had not expected much but following the announcement most saw defeat as a foregone conclusion even before the kick-off.

I simply have to take the manager to task over his approach and the only way I can view matters raises the accusation of disrespect.

That is disrespect to the Carabao Cup where we are used to the top clubs fielding weakened sides but this was League Two away to a Championship club. Or perhaps it was disrespectful to Harry Redknapp and Birmingham City to only use one outfield player who started the League Two campaign just three days earlier.

Maybe he was dissing the long suffering Reds supporters (and most felt we numbered more than the quoted 133) but some of those said they would not have bothered to travel if they had known they were going to be short changed. Unsurprisingly, following Yeovil Town’s experience at Luton, you could hear the merry strains of “We want our money back”.

Nobody could understand why HK gambled with the club’s chances in a money spinning competition especially as the Blues showed from time to time that they were vulnerable. We should have started with a stronger line up that might have had a chance of springing an upset. As it is we have achieved only ridicule.

The few bright spots came via Aryan Tajbaksh’s best showing so far and Panutche Camara’s sparkling late cameo that was topped off by his excellent goal.

I find it quite sad that people are already questioning the wisdom of the club’s choice of manager but if he loses the early support and accompanying optimism it will likely be his own fault.

Sad, too, that Saturday’s trip to Cheltenham already has the air of an end of season six pointer about it.