Taste of the Terrace: In-form Crawley Town deserved so much more at Stevenage

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

Supporting Crawley Town can be frustrating although I don’t suppose you needed me to tell you that.

The Reds’ improvement in form since Christmas was maintained at Broadhall Way but their luck remained noticeably absent.

They mounted no less than 21 goal attempts (check the stats if you wish) and nine different players had a go. That’s the sort of enthusiasm the team needs to show every week.

But we don’t see such attacking flair in every game. We played in this fashion against Newport County and enjoyed a good win but this time the effort counted for nothing.

Partly it reflected our reliance on Glenn Morris who would have been disappointed at the goals he conceded. He was good, but we have become used to him being nothing less than brilliant.

Conversely the often maligned Dominic Poleon was the pick of our attack.

A very neat turn as he collected David Sesay’s low cross led to his goal whilst he was unlucky when his header hit the underside of the crossbar following up the home ‘keeper’s parry of a strong shot by Luke Gambin.

A goal then would have levelled the scores with half an hour to play, meaning three points on the road was a distinct possibility.

By the time I moved to Crawley some 45 years ago and saw my first game at Town Mead I had been a Chelsea fan for nearly 20 years.

Sometimes I find it disconcerting that the experience of supporting two disparate clubs brings about the same reactions and emotions.

Maybe it is prompted by two Italian managers. Both Gabriele Cioffi and Maurizio Sarri have firm ideas about attacking play but neither shows much in the way of flexibility.

If it isn’t working they will not change things and rely on like for like substitutions. Saturday’s fixtures emphasised the point.

At both clubs it is difficult for newcomers to break through into the nucleus of players who are first on the manager’s team sheet.

At Stamford Bridge such matters are well publicised (Callum Hudson-Odoi being a case in point) but even the Reds now have a couple of young players out on loan so that they can get some competitive games under their belts.

At least Tom Dallison was on the bench at Stevenage where he stayed although neither of our other left-sided defenders (Joe Maguire and Josh Doherty) is in great form at present.

Prior to the broken toe that limited his earlier loan spell from Brighton to around an hour, he had looked a great prospect. We need to see any improvement sooner rather than later.

A real rarity was Crawley Town being involved in the first transfer of the January window. You’d forgotten the name Ricky German already, hadn’t you? With such an apparent flair for goalscoring you might have thought he’d have been named as a substitute by now.

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