Crawley Town dig deep against Macclesfield - opinion

The league table suggested this was likely to be a closely contested affair and so it turned out.

Sunday, 8th September 2019, 12:24 pm
Gabriele Cioffi

The sides ground out a midfield battle with limited opportunities or excitement but Crawley raised their game after a disappointing first forty five minutes and came away with a well deserved point.

In his short spell as manager Sol Campbell worked wonders with Macclesfield Town and despite quitting (as he wasn’t getting paid) the relegation fodder he inherited are now looking decent bets for the play offs this season.

SEE ALSO Macclesfield Town 1 Crawley Town 1: Reds come from behind to take point at Silkmen | Crawley Town head coach left 'half-happy' after 'strong reaction' in second half at Macclesfield Town | Crawley Town's Bez Lubala wins League Two Player of the Month awardAs Gabriele Cioffi has achieved a similar improvement with the Reds the match was certain to be close. Crawley had the best of the possession but struggled to find the guile to break through a massed defence. Their best opportunities were mostly set up by left back Josh Doherty but the strikers were not on their ‘A’ game.

Gabriele Cioffi

The defence also took their time to find the groove and as a result The Silkmen took the lead in the first half in rather messy fashion through centre half Theo Vassell. In the second period Reds played a whole lot better.

League Two Player of the Month Bez Lubala earned the plaudits and the point with a stunning 25 yard free kick. Other chances came and went in a furious closing spell but the draw was definitely the fairest result.

The EFL Trophy has not proved kind to Crawley Town who ended up in the same group as League One Portsmouth for the third season running. Furthermore Pompey are the current holders. It was no surprise, then, that we returned from Fratton Park last Tuesday with no points following a single goal defeat.

The season’s progress had been maintained in a tightly contested match that was settled by Brett Pitman’s sharp near post volley following a corner. The defence, most notably keeper Michael Luyambula, had resisted everything else Pompey threw at them. Several Reds’ players put in decent goal attempts going close to changing the outcome.

It was a creditable effort so why did I find last Tuesday most unsatisfactory? The final day of the transfer window left me feeling absolutely livid with news of the departure on loan of Filipe Morais. He will finish the season playing for Oldham Athletic whilst under contract to us.

The decision rekindles the sour taste of the James Collins affair when the club allowed personal preference to take precedence over the club’s wider interests. At times Crawley Town’s senior management have shown themselves to be a soft touch to the benefit other their rivals.

We are not strong enough at present to allow players of the calibre of Morais to leave without a sizeable cheque in recognition. I may be a lone voice in thinking this way but I honestly feel, to use an appropriate cliché, that the decision was a major own goal.