TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Akinde gets rid of his clown shoes

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in  his new column SUS-150216-162649002
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in his new column SUS-150216-162649002

Barnet seem to be Crawley’s nemesis in League Two, especially former Reds’ striker John Akinde.

He bagged three against us last season and scored again as early as the third minute on Saturday.

Conceding those goals is bad enough but what really irks Town fans is that during his time at Broadfield, Akinde’s performances rarely rose above that of a clown.

What a difference in him now and I can only imagine the coaches back then failed to utilise his strengths and abilities.

Akinde’s superbly-taken opener embarrassed Alex Davey and the Crawley defence was under severe pressure for a good while.

That man may well have had a deserved hat-trick by half-time.

So questions were asked at the interval about Dermot Drummy’s team selection.

Why is he reluctant to make use of his goalkeeping options when he so readily rotates his centre-backs?

Yusuf Mersin has been let down by his kicking (a poor one led to Akinde’s goal) while the central pairing has differed in every game since Davey arrived on loan from Chelsea.

As against Exeter, the Reds spent a lot of time on the back foot. Barnet pushed hard and our response was limited by a lack of creativity in midfield where Josh Payne was obliged to play too deep.

Salvation was at hand on the flanks where Enzio Boldewijn and, especially, Jason Banton had their markers on toast. Their efforts counted for little as lonely James Collins was usually surrounded by three or four defenders whenever we put the ball into the penalty area.

The arrival of Matt Harrold made all the difference and the restoration of a twin-pronged attack would help as would the return from injury of Jordan Roberts.

The manager has some interesting selection issues to consider before we welcome Notts County this coming Saturday.

The dog-eat-dog nature of League Two this term has boosted undefeated Crawley Town to second in the table.

This is despite the poor goals return which has seen us score just once in each of our five games in League and Cup.

That failing, despite some spirited attacking play, may be the reason that Saturday’s attendance of 1929 plumbed unwelcome depths. The figure was well down on the meaningless encounter with Barnet that was last season’s final fixture.

The club needs to concern themselves with the lack of support shown in this town and I can vouch for the fact that a number of the absentees have been regulars in recent seasons.

If your core support can’t be bothered to turn out for home games there is a real problem. Initially results may be the key and the appearance of Crawley Town at the top end of the table will register with some. In the longer term though I have no idea what the answer is.

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