Potpourri is a good word to describe a chilly Saturday afternoon at the Peninsula Stadium as Crawley Town ground out a goalless draw against Salford City.
The day was a total mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly to the extent that home-going Crawley fans didn’t really know whether they were happy or not.
To begin with our first visit to the home of the League Two newcomers was a great day out. The prospect was appealing and no less than 290 Reds supporters made the long trek north. That made it sound like our early days in the EFL when we always won the singing. As for Salford’s fans they might not have been there.
A marvellously social occasion was sadly blighted by a football match that was simply dire. Even then it wasn’t a bore draw fought out by two evenly matched sides. Crawley’s injury list is taking its toll and the players who started in a back five were the only defenders available to John Yems. This included the newly signed Manny Adebowale who slotted into the groove very quickly.
When Dannie Bulman forced the home keeper into making a save in the opening minute it was a false dawn. The rest of the match was virtually one way traffic as Salford bossed the game and searched for a goal. They didn’t get it, partly because a lot of their shooting was truly wayward but mostly because Glenn Morris was at his brilliant best and his defensive compatriots simply would not give up.
Salford managed twenty goal attempts to our measly three but two of ours had to be saved and the off target one had most fans prematurely celebrating Adebowale’s headed goal only for it to fly wide of an upright. We might easily have snatched the win then. Such a result would have devastated Salford manager Graham Alexander who thought 4-0 would have been right. So it should but it is up to him to get his team to shoot straight.
Some things never change and post match John Yems was furious about the standard of refereeing. Everything kicked off when Ashley Hunter ploughed through Josh Dacres-Cogley right in front of the dugouts. Desperate referee Leigh Doughty sought the opinions of all and sundry as he obviously hadn’t got a clue himself. Perhaps he had left his much needed red card in the dressing room.
It was an awful game. Take it from me there were no dissenters on that assessment but what a great result. What a tribute to the management team that they have instilled such a never-say-die spirit that we can be totally outplayed and still retain the point that we started with.
Happy or sad afterwards? Nobody seemed to know their own mind. But proud of Crawley Town? Oh yes we were and without a shadow of a doubt.