TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Crawley implode at Gresty Road

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

I have been inconvenienced of late by the fixture list that has seen unhelpful changes leading to clashing dates.

At least the bad weather last week led to the postponement of Crawley’s Sussex Senior Cup tie with Hastings United and tonight (Monday) I am planning my first ever visit to the Pilot Field.

In previous seasons I have been to Gresty Road, the home of Crewe Alexandra, but this time I decided to give it a miss as I didn’t fancy the coach departure time of 8am.

The timing was a little too close to my expected arrival back in Crawley on Friday evening after spending a few days in Northumberland close to Hadrian’s Wall.

Happily I was still asleep when the supporters’ coach left on Saturday morning.

For that outcome I consider myself extremely lucky as the Reds contrived to gift the 69 plucky fans who did make the trip a most miserable afternoon. It was one in which anything that could go wrong for them did and left the team, doubtless the entire club, highly embarrassed.

It appears that we can rarely play well against other sides that are battling against relegation in the lower reaches of the table. Our performances against Port Vale, Forest Green Rovers and, especially, Chesterfield are cases in point. Perhaps “battle” is the keyword.

On the other hand we seem much happier to take on clubs enjoying some success and a lot of the points gained have been unexpectedly taken from teams in promotion form.

Remember the dismissal of Swindon Town when they topped the table and the excellent display against Luton Town who have established themselves as clear favourites for the League Two title.

But I mentioned “battle” and maybe we did just that against Crewe. Two dismissals and a further four cautions suggests that we both got stuck in and also lost our discipline. It was pointed out on the club website that Crawley have lost every game that has been refereed by Ben Toner so we at least remained consistent.

Jordan Roberts will miss one game following two yellow cards but skipper Jimmy Smith will be suspended for three having picked up a straight red. I would hope that the post match studies of the match video will include close inspection of the disciplinary incidents and that in current popular parlance: lessons will be learnt.

Although the Alex scored two good goals in the first half this was a match that we lost rather than one which they won. Our football was obviously not good enough on the day but it was the lack of discipline that let us down so badly. I have no qualms about the next long trip though as, whether we win, lose or draw, we will certainly play a whole lot better at Accrington Stanley.