As the season moved inexorably towards its close Crawley Town forgot steadiness and consistency and demonstrated their remarkable ability to take two steps forward followed by three steps back. You might be able to explain it but I certainly can’t.
It takes a special sort of talent to turn an evenly contested, well-balanced encounter into a comprehensive defeat in little more than a quarter of an hour but the Reds did just that.
And while it is understandable that Gabriele Cioffi should throw all his toys out of the pram I think he should calm down and consider himself fortunate not to be in big trouble for that bottle throwing incident.
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Maybe his problem was finding out that nothing is sacred – just as I had. Not long after I had expressed the opinion to my companion in the West Stand (a Tottenham Hotspur fan) that our goalkeeper doesn’t make as many mistakes as Hugo Lloris he did exactly that.
Glenn Morris cost us the game could have been the headline but you would surely not have believed it.
I could not as he hovered by his left hand post while facing a centrally placed free kick just outside the ‘D’. Johan Branger accepted the offer and swept the ball into the opposite unguarded corner.
Suffice to say that Morris had already made some great saves and continued to play well but the damage was done. His error might not have proved so disastrous if his team mates in attack had actually done some attacking.
Unfortunately shot shy Crawley were back again trying to walk the ball into the net. They must be closet Arsene Wenger fans.
Man of the Match David Sesay was the only player to go for goal more than once and our tepid play left the fans hankering to see Ibrahim Meite provide something different, but our manager doesn’t do different.
That was evident in his predictable like for like substitutions and I believe he and Nathan Rooney are simply out of their depth. If Plan A isn’t working they could try Plan B but they haven’t got one.
For 70 minutes it was dull but nothing like a 3-0 game. A bit of flair might have given Reds the lead but there was no way back after that opening goal. The previously dependable back line started to make mistakes and Oldham took advantage and Zak Dearnley and Gevaro Nepomuceno scored to rub our noses in it.
Paul Scholes won’t get many gifts like that when he takes over management of the Latics but at least he will inherit a solid, workmanlike squad that takes their chances. Crawley are back at square one and the lack of ingenuity shown under the present management may well have troubled the coaches at Monday’s Fans Forum.