TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Harrold’s odd departure paves way for Roberts to excel

Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton.'Picture by Steve Robards
Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton.'Picture by Steve Robards

Crawley Town can no longer use the number nine shirt following the baffling manner in which Matt Harrold’s services had been dispensed with.

Following the cheap sale of James Collins and the injury to Thomas Verheydt it meant that the Reds had to face Yeovil Town without an established striker.

Harry Kewell’s answer was to bring inside both his wide flank men – Roberts and Enzio Boldewijn.

As a strategy it worked well and although the Dutchman had no luck in front of goal, Roberts scored twice from five attempts.

Even the best strikers would be happy if they could be sure of a 40 per cent return.

Crawley’s second league win owed much to a very sound performance overall that evidenced the possibilities that the manager’s attacking thinking could bring.

In the stands there was both relief and much appreciation of the fact that the Reds were prepared to have a go.

We witnessed a satisfying display from back to front. Josh Yorwerth relished the sporadic Glovers’ attacks and was dominant in the air.

Jimmy Smith and Dannie Bulman sealed the middle of the park whilst Yeovil struggled to contain Dean Cox and were completely baffled on occasions by Panutche Camara’s trickery.

As the line-up was the same as the one that started at Swindon, it appeared as though the lads were getting to know each other’s games and importantly are enjoying their football.

It is still very early in the season but the fans are happy to feel positive about the future once again.

The afternoon wasn’t without its problems as the visitors made their mark more as a team of tag wrestlers than footballers.

I don’t think I have ever seen so much grappling and shirt tugging that suggests a team that has little belief in its abilities.

Referee Trevor Kettle awarded Crawley a string of free-kicks but he and his assistants missed many more similar niggly fouls and failed totally to address the situation.

The Glovers should have collected enough yellow cards for persistent infringements to merit an FA disciplinary investigation.

Possibly the best aspect of this win is that came so soon after Charlton Athletic’s 2-0 win at Broadfield in the EFL Trophy.

Crawley’s approach on the night had been in much the same vein but they were totally bereft of good fortune.

That meant they were found out by the shortcomings that have beset them in the past.

Their finishing disappointed and the clever Camara was the big villain with a woeful shot when put clean through moments before Charlton scored.

At the back Reds seemed unwilling to clear their lines without attempting a string of short passes that got them nowhere. Unnecessarily this involved Yusuf Mersin who made his first big mistake of the season with a weak clearance straight to Addicks’ scorer Ben Reeves.