Crawley Town’s run of fixtures against the leading clubs brought its first reward as they held table-toppers Doncaster Rovers to a fiercely contested goalless draw.
This followed the midweek defeat at the hands of Exeter City who proved really tough opposition.
While Donny were good, the Grecians were superb and a great credit to Paul Tisdale who I reckon is the best manager in League Two.
I think the Reds may have done better against Exeter with a more attacking line-up.
Conor Henderson looked uninspired in deep midfield and our game cried out for the guile that Josh Payne or the individuality that Billy Clifford could offer. Happily both arrived as substitutes and both started against Doncaster.
Andre Blackman had a tough time as Exeter exploited his weakness in the air and he lost six out of seven aerial duels in the first half.
Here Josh Yorwerth’s strength would have helped but it was Josh Lelan who got the nod for Doncaster with Lewis Young switching flanks.
One thing that is plain for all to see (and that does not need changing) is that in Glenn Morris we have a goalkeeper par excellence.
His penalty save that denied John Marquis was absolutely superb and he made a number of others that were equally as good.
Doncaster carved out more chances than we did but they are not top of the table without good reason.
The penalty award against Mark Connolly led to furious criticism of referee Michael Salisbury - understandable given the precision of Conns’ challenge as confirmed on TV.
As a former referee I thought it was one of the poorest decisions I have seen in recent seasons.
That call set the tone for the inevitable criticism of the official.
It is my belief that penalties that should not have been awarded are rarely converted.
Possibly even the penalty-takers feel it is wrong.
I think I have seen about one in five scored and this outcome meant that justice was again done.
The closing stages against Doncaster brought entertaining end-to-end play that even raised the voices of another meagre home crowd.
In 20 minutes Rhys Murphy again showed that we need two-up top and that he should play alongside James Collins.
Maybe then there would be a chance of an end product from Enzio Boldewijn’s remarkable pace and close control.
As we anticipate a titanic clash against Portsmouth it is essential for assistant head coach Matt Gray to get to work on the weakest part of Reds’ game.
We concede possession far too easily through poor judgement and waste too many balls whilst in possession by failing to pass accurately or with the right weight on the ball.
It’s a skill that can be taught and hopefully learnt and is the main reason why the side creates so few scoring chances.