TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Crawley Town were robbed by ref

I must admit I feared the worst before the game at Barnet. Not from a football point of view but whether we would actually see the kick-off.

Monday, 21st December 2015, 10:43 am
Crawley Town fans get behind their team at Barnet SUS-151221-112517002

The M25 was running very slowly but the three drivers from Clarkes of London knew their stuff and we travelled via the Dartford Tunnel covering two thirds of the motorway in very good time.

Once at The Hive the largest travelling support of the season enjoyed two excellent spells of viewing.

In the opening quarter of an hour our 323 were considerably louder than the home support that was nearly five times larger.

Simon Walton and Mitch Hancox challenge a Barnet opponent during their 4-2 defeat SUS-151221-112527002

When the comeback was on in the final 20 minutes the excitement was palpable but the rest of the time the Reds’ performance was deeply disappointing.

We were in control and should have had the lead by the break but hardly looked like scoring.

Rhys Murphy struggled to keep his feet in the last appearance of his loan spell.

Barnet looked competent but scarcely threatening and confidence was high. That confidence among the fans ebbed away as the players appeared to lose direction.

Crawley Town players Sonny Bradley and Darryl Flahavan walk off the pitch at the end of their 4-2 defeat at Barnet SUS-151221-112538002

Bira Dembele put Barnet two-up with unchallenged headers and we all wondered why Mark Yates continued to allow Lewis Young to be tortured when he had two full-backs on the bench.

The manager caused further puzzlement with an odd double substitution leaving the fans very downbeat.

But even bad things can come to an end and Mitch Hancox’s marvellous strike would have been even better had he intended to shoot.

Still he had easily been our best player and thoroughly deserved the reward.

Jimmy Smith promptly followed up with a spectacular volley to equalise and the Bees were no longer buzzing.

Then the match imploded. The referee was conned as Curtis Weston fell over Josh Yorwerth’s leg which was outstretched as he had just played the ball into touch.

Darryl Flahavan should have saved John Akinde’s very soft penalty but committed himself and was left on his right knee as the ball rolled past his left hand.

Then Lewis Young combined with the hapless Simon Walton to concede a comical but totally unfunny own goal.

Both players had frustrated the fans with poor performances so perhaps the own goal was rough justice.

Still that’s football, as they say, and I expect most of us will still look forward to playing Stevenage on Boxing Day.

I wish a Happy Christmas to all at Crawley Town and all their supporters.

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