It might have been a whitewash but Crawley Town at least deserve credit for their determination at Morecambe - opinion

This was a thoroughly enjoyable encounter played at pace.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 9:46 pm
Jordan Maguire-Drew. Picture: UK Sports Images Ltd/Jamie Evans

It is what football should be all about. Unfortunately that must be the view of a neutral and Crawley Town fans would have viewed the evening’s proceedings at the Mazuma Stadium as very disappointing if not worrying.

Put simply Morecambe played like a team that is going for promotion whilst the Reds, who were second best in every department, gaze longingly at midtable security.

The major concern was at the back and the defence was torn apart after only five minutes. The goal came from an enterprising ball over the top to Jordan Slew who was totally unmarked. He laid it off to Cole Stockton who had also been ignored by the back line and the match had already become an uphill struggle.

It didn’t have to be that way as the Reds went flying forward and might have scored twice before Ashley Nadesan levelled from close range when the keeper could only parry a shot from Man of the Match Jordan Maguire-Drew. A mere 13 minutes had gone and it was breathtaking stuff.

Although Crawley remained in control until the interval the cracks were showing.

The Shrimps always looked dangerous on the break as the marking remained virtually non-existent whilst our attacking play promised much more than it delivered. Too many moves ended up in blind alleys or broke down through poor ball control. Consistently Reds were not brave enough to shoot on a half chance and so those opportunities went begging.

John Yems rang the changes in the second half but the newcomers fared no better. It was a chastening experience as Carlos Mendes Gomes scored twice but the Reds stuck at it. They simply didn’t have the quality to match the home side’s endeavours. In one way it wasn’t a bad result as it was only 3-1. Morecambe also hit the woodwork twice and finished poorly on a number of occasions when clean through.

It might have been a whitewash and so the Reds at least deserved credit for their determination.

The match was certainly not what the managers needed as preparation for the likely even tougher examination their side will face on Saturday against fourth placed Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. The attacking intent we saw was welcome but I wonder if safety first will be the watchword as we are too close to the drop zone.