The festive fixtures brought mixed fortune to Crawley Town but following a very poor start on Boxing Day they are now upwardly mobile again.
A disastrous first half display at Leyton Orient saw their defence go AWOL as they conceded three goals and were mightily embarrassed.
The second half brought an improvement but with the score at 3-2 Reds were unable to convert their regained superiority into points.
New Year’s Eve meant a long trip to Plymouth and the home side were surprised by the doggedness of Crawley’s resistance.
The league leaders took 69 minutes to break through and a second goal deep into added-time was flattering to Argyle and scant reward for the much travelled Reds and their enthusiastic supporters.
The first match of 2017 saw the rarity of a home game and the majority of a crowd of 2,304 greatly enjoyed the outcome.
The main thing was that an excellent performance by Crawley brought three valuable points and, importantly, revenge over Yeovil Town following the earlier debacle at Huish Park.
The two-goal margin of victory was less than the lads deserved but the manner of their win was impressive.
The entire squad was up for the occasion and one of the hardest decisions must have been who to select as Man of the Match.
I was unable to separate Josh Yorwerth’s tenacious defending from Josh Payne’s astute governance of the deep midfield.
In the event the sponsors chose Lewis Young, who was outstanding as right wing-back.
He and Enzio Boldewijn decimated the visitors’ defence with their pace and slickness.
Yeovil had their moments and let loose with a number of goalbound efforts that were denied by the spring-heeled Glenn Morris.
At the other end, visiting keeper Artur Krysiak produced a marvellous flying save as James Collins hit a fierce drive from outside the penalty area.
The balance of play suggested Crawley deserved a bigger win but also revealed their weakness on the day.
Once they manage to deliver an accurate final pass they will create a vast number of chances and logically then score more freely.
Yeovil seemed to have been studying Graham Westley’s handbook on unsporting play and showed new standards of play acting that we only expect to see in the Premier League and this takes me to the debut of Dean Cox.
He played very well and deserved more than an hour but he is diminutive in stature.
The Crawley squad is hardly the biggest in League Two and although a couple are prepared to scrap they have to work extra hard against physical opponents.
Such games emphasise the limited abilities of the officials and once again yellow cards rather than succinct decision-making took the edge off the entertainment.
All in all the half-term report says Reds could do better and I think they will.