If Crawley Town fans needed an antidote to the midweek reversal at league leaders Luton Town then the thumping of promotion hopefuls Lincoln City would have proved the ideal treatment.
What’s more it was a pulsating match as Reds demonstrated their full potential.
From the outset Reds took the game to the muscular, robust Imps and battle royal was quickly enjoined. There was no quarter asked or given and referee Trevor Kettle had his hands full.
In truth he did an excellent job only puzzling the home fans with his decision not to caution Matt Green for his second bad tackle as he had done for the first.
The full blooded encounter ended with eight yellow cards evenly shared although Lincoln boss Danny Cowley was also banished to the stands. That decision and the later substitution of Green and the cumbersome Matt Rhead were greeted unkindly by the West Stand supporters who viewed those players as very much the chief offenders.
Despite the physical nature of the game some good play came to the surface especially from the Reds in the first half. In a way it was a shame that the alert Jimmy Smith opened the scoring with his follow-up as Lewis Young’s blistering rising drive that struck the inside of a goalpost honestly deserved to count in its own right.
We had good chances to consolidate the lead before the interval but nothing quite came off and in the second half Lincoln, obviously having been given a rocket, dug in and Green cleverly equalised. Reds were having none of that and the last half hour had the stadium rocking.
Josh Payne coolly restored the lead from the penalty spot after Enzio Boldewijn was brought down and Mark Connolly put the icing on the cake as he met Jordan Roberts’ free kick at the far post volleying the ball into the roof of the net.
There was no goal for Karlan Ahearne-Grant but he enjoyed another influential game and it would be good to see his pace and skill put to use down the middle. Once again every single player earned his corn and fully deserved his own share of the plaudits at the end of the game from the delighted fans.
It was the perfect riposte to Tuesday’s defeat by Luton Town. Harry Kewell was one who thought we had not brought our ‘A’ game to the party but that’s a tad unfair to the Hatters. When they are on song they are quite simply very, very good and even though the play offs are within sight I do not expect we will have to play them next season.
The pressure is still on as many will expect us to whip Forest Green Rovers next Saturday to prove our credentials and to quote Kevin Keegan “I would just love it if we did that”.