Broadbridge Heath 0 Crawley Down Gatwick 0: Ten-man Anvils brave terrible conditions to gain deserved draw

Crawley Down Gatwick v Pagham. Blair Cooney. Pic Steve Robards SR1702609 SUS-170213-151952001
Crawley Down Gatwick v Pagham. Blair Cooney. Pic Steve Robards SR1702609 SUS-170213-151952001

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this game was that it was played at all.

Even before kick-off the pitch looked decidedly iffy and with incessant driving rain throughout it bore a close resemblance to a ploughed field at the end.

It was to the great credit of both teams that they served up a reasonably enjoyable and skilful game despite the conditions.

Crawley Down had debutants in ‘keeper Pawel Szeleney and left back Billy Wraight and welcomed back Sam Cane after a lengthy absence due to injury.

After a steady start by both sides, the whole game was transformed in the 15th minute when referee King brandished a straight red card to Crawley Down skipper Blair Cooney for a strong challenge in attempting to win the ball.

Opinion was divided in the stands as to whether or not the dismissal was justified and Cooney was adamant that he had played the ball.

After that, the visitors regrouped and the rest of the game consisted of some resolute defending by Crawley Down coupled with a constant stream of attacks by the home side.

In truth despite the balance of possession and territory favouring the Bears they seldom really threatened and ‘keeper Szeleney hardly had a save to make all evening.

The visitors rode their luck on occasions but always looked threatening on the break and could have nicked the win towards the end.

The 0-0 final scoreline seemed a fair enough result given the appalling conditions.