Another instance of Crawley Town failing to prove just how good they could be - opinion

After racking up six goals in the FA Cup tie at Torquay United it was the strikers who let down Crawley Town in their first ever fixture at newly promoted Harrogate Town.

Sunday, 15th November 2020, 1:44 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th November 2020, 1:52 pm

In the first half they dominated the play and had numerous scoring opportunities that they failed to take. It was a combination of poor finishing, poor decision making and (as always) woeful passing. Perhaps understandably it was a case of “after the Lord Mayor’s Show”.

The talismanic Max Watters opened the scoring after 27 minutes converting a clever pull back by Tom Nichols but otherwise his display lacked polish. He played with Nichols and Ashley Nadesan in close attendance and they all gave the home side’s defence the jitters but none of them showed the quality needed in front of goal.

Goalscorer Max Watters

Despite the missed opportunities upfront as the game progressed Crawley looked strong going forward from the back but the Suphurites knuckled down and in the second half produced their secret weapon in the long throws of substitute Dan Jones.

More than once the Reds’ defence struggled to clear the threat and with five minutes left on the clock another superb throw baffled everyone bar Jack Muldoon who headed the equaliser. My thoughts were “come back David Hunt, all is forgiven”.

It was another instance of Crawley failing to prove just how good they could be. Maybe there is a lack of self belief which leads to hesitation in front of goal. Maybe it is a fear of failure if the chance is missed but I am quite sure that the fans would prefer to see them shoot and miss rather than ignoring the opportunity.

That the result disappointed everybody shows how far the club has come this season. Players, management and supporters now realise that fulfilment of the club’s efforts is close at hand. No longer is there a weary acceptance of poor performances and results. Those reactions show recognition of that improvement.

Last week Crawley Town exited the EFL trophy but at least they did it with a bang and not a whimper. The starting line up showed 11 changes but the youngsters and fringe players were too good for an undeniably youthful Ipswich Town squad and won 2-0. Paul Lambert thus became the second illustrious manager of the Tractor Boys (joining Mick McCarthy) to leave Broadfield empty handed.

Brian Galach scored both goals firstly with a deft downward header and then a fine angled low drive inside the far post from the edge of the box. The Reds including two debutants looked the better side all round and but for Gillingham’s equaliser against Arsenal U21s they would have reached the second stage of the competition. Next season maybe?