TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Festivities start early with Accrington win

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his views in his new column. SUS-150216-162912002
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his views in his new column. SUS-150216-162912002

Recovery from the debacle at Crewe Alexandra commenced a couple of days later as Crawley Town visited Hastings United in the Sussex Senior Cup.

A totally new XI started the tie and quickly made their presence felt.

Their energetic and forceful play set them up with a two-goal advantage although they were unable to build on it.

Although the Reds’ second half performance palled a little as the home side pushed harder the Bostik League South club simply did not have enough about their game to change the outcome.

Crawley’s goals came from Josh Lelan’s neat header and (officially) from Ibrahim Meite.

To be honest it appeared from my position that Meite was set up by some very clever play by Panutche Camara but then laid the ball back to Camara to slot home from close-range.

No matter who deserved the scoring credit it was a fine team performance with Yusuf Mersin making some splendid saves as Hastings pressed strongly in the second period.

Additionally Dannie Bulman’s total control of midfield and Camara’s ability to do the unexpected warmed a chilly evening in the rather ramshackle Pilot Field stand.

I was quite certain that we would play a whole lot better against Accrington Stanley but I was unprepared for the titanic struggle that ensued at the Wham Stadium.

When was the last time that the lads led by two goals inside the first ten minutes?

An inexplicable own goal by Jordan Clark set us on our way after nine minutes as he failed to cope with Lewis Young’s cross but within a minute Randall set up Enzio Boldewijn who doubled the advantage with a slide-rule shot low into the far corner.

A minute later Boldewijn was in again but this time his shot lacked accuracy.

Cedric Evina soon forced a save out of home keeper Aaron Chapman as did Bulman and Billy Clifford later on but Stanley had been stung into action.

The balance of play swung markedly in the home side’s favour and they severely tested both our keeper and the defence although their manager John Coleman would have noted their shooting accuracy did not match ours.

They had seven unsuccessful goal attempts before Boldewijn struck again in similar fashion shortly before the interval scoring from Josh Payne’s pass.

Deep into added-time Accrington’s Billy Kee just beat Glenn Morris with a penalty following a foul by Josh Yorwerth and in the second half the pressure on Crawley increased.

Substitute Ben Richards-Everton reduced the arrears further with his first shot, having only been on the field for eight minutes.

A torrid spell followed as Stanley were in kitchen sink mode but Morris proved unbeatable and a famous victory was won.

I’d hate to say we have turned the corner but I am really looking forward to Boxing Day’s game against Colchester United.