TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Crawley’s better form proved to be shortlived

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

One of the problems when writing a weekly column is the risk of repeating oneself.

In considering the debacle at Accrington I thought more than once of something I had written before.

First to spring to mind was my comment that a good run for Crawley Town lasted only 90 minutes.

At least that was scotched as the Reds added another 45 minutes of decent competitive football. In the second half normal service was resumed.

Sadly, the end of our good spell also marked the end of a very brief honeymoon period following the welcome return of keeper Paul Jones as his weak attempt at preventing the home side’s opener was the stuff of nightmares.

Then came the melee that led to three red cards the actualities of which were hard to discern from the Coppice Terrace where the visiting support was gathered. Whilst the action taken after Shay McCartan’s horrendous tackle seemed straightforward, what followed wasn’t.

If Simon Walton’s dismissal by referee Andy Haines was, as both Mark Yates and Bruce Talbot thought, a case of mistaken identity then the sending-off could well be rescinded at appeal. Video evidence will be crucial.

Yates also considered the aggression of Stanley’s players was disgraceful but was most unhappy at the way his team allowed themselves to be drawn into the altercation.

A point might have been achieved but Crawley conceded a second disappointing goal before reverting to type in the closing stages and combining defensive ineptitude with half-heartedness.

The manager must be thoroughly disenchanted with the turn of events and his only comfort may be that Louis Van Gaal and Steve McClaren must feel a whole lot worse.

It wasn’t all bad and Gwion Edwards’ turn and shot that rifled into the top corner for the opener was of the highest quality. Cue thoughts of one swallow.

We were exposed, as we had been in September’s home game by an Accrington Stanley side that knows very well how to turn tricky circumstances to their advantage.

The long trip north had come without any resolution to the takeover situation.

The uncertainty cannot help with players and staff unsure of how their jobs will be affected.

The fans’ main worry is the suggestion that the new owners wish to draft in a number of Turkish players and that is a fear that I fully understand.

It is widely thought that there are already too many foreign players in British football.

The recruitment of the world’s best players is logical but to draft in others to play League Two makes little sense.

I am sure the new owners would not have considered the adverse effect that such an action would have on the dwindling home support.

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