Crawley Town have shown what they can do, now let's hope they carry it on - opinion
One of Crawley Town’s problems in this campaign has been inconsistency but there are two sides to that factor.
Sometimes they can be good – very good, and against high-flying Tranmere Rovers they were just that – very good indeed.
The 1-0 scoreline was an inadequate reward for the Reds’ performance but more significantly it represented their first ever win at Prenton Park and completed the double over Rovers who they trounced 4-0 back in October.
Once again good quality opposition brought out the best in them showing that they are a better side than their league position suggests.
Tom Nichols scored the vital goal with a deft, almost casual, back heel from George Francomb’s precise pass although several players had been involved in an intricate build up that Tranmere simply couldn’t handle. The records will show the scorer as Nichols but this was very much a team goal.
With any justice the margin would have been doubled at least. Following a free kick Joe McNerney hit a thunderous far post volley (think Van Basten if you are old enough) only for keeper Scott Davies to produce an equally remarkable save.
Rovers’ defence could not clear the ball as another sinuous move set up Jake Hessenthaler. His header beat the keeper but sadly hit the crossbar.
It was one of those games where it seems invidious to single out individuals as not a single player looked below par.
Even without the injured James Vaughan, Tranmere were good enough to ensure Glenn Morris was required to make a couple of top drawer saves. Archie Davies staked his claim for another start against Salford City on Tuesday with an assured performance. Jake Hesketh was everywhere as the pivot in a very sound midfield set up whilst Ashley Nadesan put in the hard yards upfront.
The home side obviously recognised his value and gave him a battering that referee Christopher Pollard was reticent to censure.
Nadesan is always prepared to accept punishment as part of the striker’s role but it would be nice if the officials made a better job of judging what is acceptable. Now we all need to see is whether the management can instil consistency into their squad at the level they have shown against Exeter and Tranmere.
They have the opportunity as the next fixture is against Salford City who themselves have that quality. They have also conceded fewer goals than anyone in the division so the game will not be a cakewalk.
John Yems’ message to his team could be “You’ve shown what you can do now carry on in the same fashion.”