TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Crawley allow opponents to dictate play too much

Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002
Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002

Crawley Town seem to have found their level. The reality of another season in League Two is assured bar the mathematics.

Whilst a draw against Hartlepool was not enough to concern the improving north eastern club about their own future, a similar result against York City may well have ensured the Minstermen’s loss of league status.

We are not established in the role of kingmakers rather, such matches show there is still much work to be done closer to home.

I may be old fashioned but I always think a fixture against a club lower in the table should bring a decent chance of a win.

We are all aware that is a false premise where Crawley Town are concerned.

At Bootham Crescent we had the bonus of taking the lead early in both halves, yet failed to take any advantage.

True, York City were battling to retain their status but all too often we have seen the Reds struggling to contain an ostensibly weaker team.

We can take comfort from Matt Harrold’s consistent scoring form and hope that Liam McAlinden’s first goal for the club will presage an improvement in the goals difference column.

We can also wonder as to how and why York were allowed to make the running through so much of the game.

That said they only gained a point when Callum Preston moved too early (don’t they all) inviting Luke Summerfield to slot his penalty into the empty corner and Michael Coulson produced an absolute stunner for the second equaliser.

Crawley’s biggest shortcoming at present is the way they allow themselves to be dictated to by the opposition.

That was exactly what happened in the Easter Monday game against Exeter City.

The visitors showed themselves to be very competent but did little more than absolutely necessary to control the game.

Mark Yates kept his team selection options open and then made some changes. They did not work.

Callum Preston was excellent, otherwise the margin of victory would have been wider.

Liam McAlinden and Shamir Fenelon promised more than they could deliver and needed the ball-winning skills of the absent Matt Harrold to produce some openings.

The real disappointment was that none of the successful recent signings – Charles Dunne, Andy Bond and Frankie Sutherland played anything like as well as they have done.

It is not the role of this columnist to pick the team but the manager must listen to the supporters or he will alienate many of them.

There is a massive reaction to his continued selection of Simon Walton who gave the impression of having overdosed on chocolate eggs and his substitution was greeted with a ringing endorsement.

Personally I think he lacks the pace, skill and awareness needed at this level.

What worries me is that he is not the only one.

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