TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Drummy shown there’s a lot to do at Crawley

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

The game at already-relegated Dagenham & Redbridge was Dermot Drummy’s first in charge of Crawley Town.

He could have been forgiven if he had wished it was his last.

Of course nobody expected him to have worked miracles in less than a week but several disgruntled fans thought some players did not have much interest in being retained for next season.

So what did change? For starters the Crawley Town “Ultras” were back and in fine voice.

They were initially enthusiastic, occasionally quite imaginative, progressively more repetitive and, eventually, totally disenchanted and negative just like the rest of us.

At all times, however, they were loud and I wonder why they don’t seem to attend home games anymore.

I’m not complaining as the West Stand has resembled a morgue of late and the club could sell tickets to Dignitas.

Some things were different. Dagenham announced Jimmy Smith as captain, which was not the case, but it may have affected his game as he was unusually quiet.

The kingpin in the midfield in a first half dominated by the Reds was Lee Barnard.

At times he tidied up nicely in front of the back-four and looked a decent player in that role.

As the game turned sour he pushed forward and became progressively less influential.

Older players often drop back from their usual role and I think that’s the way forward for Lee.

Another playing a significant role was Callum Preston who did something completely out of character by cocking up badly, very badly.

I can’t recall a keeper making such a blatant error as he pulled back from fielding Christian Doidge’s speculative effort as he thought it was going wide.

It wasn’t and flew at least a yard inside Callum’s left hand post. As that happened just two minutes after Doidge had opened the scoring we all knew the game was up. Otherwise our keeper’s performance was fine.

Despite the return of fit-again Liam McAlinden, nobody expected a side missing both Matt Harrold and Gwion Edwards to be much of an attacking threat.

If Dermot had hopes of Reds scoring I think the supporters could have put him right before kick-off. Crawley Town have survived and will finish no lower than 21st so people are prepared to wait and see what the summer brings.

Possibly the manager’s request to the owner will be simple – “I need to buy 25 new players.”

There are hopes, probably forlorn, that a decent crowd will attend the final home game against Barnet.

Ziya Eren’s hardest task will be to increase the regular home support as he has already stated.

One factor against that happening next Saturday is the possibility, more likely fear, that John Akinde, the most unsuccessful and derided Red of recent seasons, will win the match for the Bees by scoring a hat-trick.

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