A double from Ollie Palmer earned Crawley Town three well deserved points against Grimsby Town but the scoreline scarcely did them justice.
The Reds upped their game superbly and left the Broadfield faithful in an optimistic frame of mind.
For once the Reds got the result they deserved with the 2-1 scoreline matching the pre-match prediction of one long term fan whilst another after the game thought 4-1 would have been more realistic.
I am in full agreement. Furthermore it was a splendid game of football to watch.
Gratifyingly the win came after Grimsby had taken an early lead with an excellent volley by the in-form Wes Thomas, a former Reds favourite.
The match was already enthralling and Reds raised the tempo, if not the optimism, by hitting the crossbar twice in less than a minute shortly after going behind.
Crawley’s younger players again impressed none more so than Matty Willock, who curled a fine strike from the left hand side over the desperate ‘keeper and against the bar.
Moments later Reece Grego-Cox unleashed a venomous rising drive from 22 yards that brought the exact same result.
It wasn’t only the midfield that was on song, as Ollie Palmer was enjoying his best game for weeks and battled for everything. Lewis Young was also on top form and these two combined to bring about Crawley’s equaliser.
The wing-back not only skinned his marker but produced a pinpoint cross from the right that Palmer met with a text book reverse header.
Young was also the provider for Palmer’s second as the striker created enough space for himself to score with a precise low shot five minutes before the interval.
The second half didn’t reach the same levels mainly because Grimsby adopted a stop them at all costs policy.
Quite why they didn’t collect more yellow cards than they did could possibly be explained by referee Brett Huxtable but not by me.
None of the official’s decisions puzzled fans more than the time Palmer was tumbled on the turn just over the halfway line.
The free-kick was awarded but Palmer was booked seemingly for the temerity of having been fouled.
Late in the game Grimsby did their best to rescue a point but the Reds’ backline proved equal to the threat even if the fans had their fingers crossed with the lead being so narrow.
This was very much the stuff to give the troops – energy, commitment and enterprise and, encouragingly, against a side of battlers the likes of whom invariably punish us.
One disappointment was that 200 odd of Crawley’s core support of around 1800 had gone missing and the away terrace was fuller than the home one.
Still that’s their loss as the 1631 who were present would confirm.