Fan's View: Crawley Town never give up on a frustrating night against Walsall

Can there possibly be a more frustrating team to support than Crawley Town?

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 10:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 10:34 pm
Ashley Nadesan gets in a tangle against Walsall. Picture by UK Sports Images Ltd/Jamie Evans

In a match that evoked more déjà vu than James Tilley’s last gasp winning strike against Mansfield Town the Reds failed to show their worth against a Walsall outfit that has been on a dreadful run. It should have come as no surprise as we are always poor when we face the Saddlers. Just don’t ask me why.

The pattern was set when an out of sorts Ashley Nadesan converted a nailed on close range chance into a clearance for the visitors. The first half was generally bereft of entertainment with the Reds unable to control the match. It was disheartening but not necessarily problematic as Walsall had offered very little themselves.

The resumption brought a total change. No doubt on the end of a tongue lashing the Reds moved into top gear. There was pace in their movement and passing and adventure in their thinking. Walsall were on the rack. Had the Reds been prepared to have a pot at goal then success was a probability.

But the best laid plans as they say. Ten minutes in referee Tim Robinson (who obviously loved the sound of his whistle) awarded Walsall a soft penalty against Jordan Tunnicliffe. Emmanuel Osadebe tucked home an assured spot kick for a scoreline that was very much against the run of play in the embryo second half.

Crawley had to start again and a slew of substitutions was obvious but hardly helpful. Individually nobody stood out and the changing line up lacked cohesion. Mind you I don’t know what else John Yems could have done.

The Reds though never give up but as the seconds ticked away salvation remained a distant hope. It came seven minutes into added time courtesy of the Saddlers’ keeper Liam Roberts who crashed through Jordan Tunnicliffe with all the finesse of a bulldozer. Personally I thought the foul merited a straight red card but the penalty proved sufficient.

Tom Nichols, who must have been black and blue from the pummelling he received from the Stags, swept home the late, late equaliser. The Reds deserved the point but it was their own fault that they didn’t win comfortably. Like the clashes with Grimsby Town and Stevenage they struggle against poor sides but luckily their next opponents, Barrow, are in great form having won at league leaders Cheltenham Town.