Can Crawley Town find the form of 2011 and surge up the League Two table? - Steve Leake

New Year's Day 10am: Just a month ago, I gave up drinking beer because of medical reasons to do with my Parkinson’s medication.

Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 9:59 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 10:04 am

I have to say I have not really missed it, thanks to the multitude of nonalcoholic ales on the market. However, the same cannot be said for going without football.

Yes, there have been a multitude of televised games over Christmas, some of which I have watched, but to be quite honest I would rather be playing Obama Llama or Herd Mentality with the family than listening to how hard it is to play football at the highest level over the Christmas period.

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Life at our level is somewhat different, firstly our players play eight more league games than the Premier league do, on a tiny fraction of their wages whilst, at even lower levels, semi-professional players also have their day jobs to fit in as well. Going without watching Crawley Town over Christmas has been far harder than giving up beer, especially when the games are scheduled to be played and then are postponed just as you are getting prepared for the event.

I would have missed Stevenage because of no trains on Boxing Day, so at least that cloud has a silver lining as now I will be able to attend, but I would have loved to see Crawley beat Joey Barton’s Gasmen on the Wednesday evening under the lights at the PPS, not just for the football but also to meet up with friends and family to do what we love doing together. Supporting the Mighty Red Devils, the only Football League team in West Sussex.

In the calendar year 2021 we have played 45 games, winning 15, drawing 10 and losing 20. This would mean 55 points which would just about mean survival, if across one season.

However, with 26 games left to play and the sort of form we showed in 2010/11, I am looking forward to a march up the table starting on Saturday against Colchester United.

Like us, they haven’t played since December the 11th but they come in to today’s clash on the back of a defeat.

Wounded tiger syndrome? I hope not, for a win today for the Red Devils would see us leap frog them in the league and begin the much-desired climb up the league. Little kid syndrome kicking in here, lucky pants on, let’s do this!

New Year's Day 6pm

Writing on a Saturday night can only mean one thing.

A Crawley Town victory. Three matches unbeaten now, back to winning ways at home and the first time this season we have won a league game by more than one goal. In the first ten minutes it looked like our delivery and shooting was completely off but, when Tom Nichols crossed for Ashley Nadesan to head home the first in the fifteenth minute, everything started to click and Will Ferry almost provided a second, followed by a training ground free kick routine involving slick inter passing which, if it had been successful, would have produced a most memorable goal.

As it was, we had to wait for the “ten minutes before half time exodus to the bar” move before Crawley extended their lead when Tilley and Appiah combined, with the ball eventually falling to Joel Lynch who calmly slotted it home.

The inevitable pressure from the visitors came in the first fifteen minutes of the second half, but Ashley Nadesan found the silver lining to that moderate storm cloud by heading home his second of the match in the 59th minute, from a Qwesi Appiah cross, to put the Red Devils three up.

Indeed, when Will Ferry’s left wing low cross found Joel Lynch unmarked in front of goal, it should really have been four nil, but somehow, he managed to put the ball over when it looked easier to score.

A Jack Powell free kick hit the bar a few minutes later and when Freddie Sears scored for Colchester with eleven minutes to go, the more nervously disposed Reds’ fans might have started to get a little nervous, but when the Cat is on form there really is no need to worry.