Opinion: Crawley are hoist by their own petard at Barrow
To echo William Shakespeare, Crawley Town were “hoist by their own petard” at Holker Street as Barrow plundered the winner in the 95th minute.
This outcome followed two games that were also settled in added time including a last-gasp equaliser from the spot by Tom Nichols in a very disappointing midweek game against Walsall. This one finished 3-2 to the home side in a match that provided decent entertainment despite tricky windy conditions.
The late concession of a seemingly hard-won point unsurprisingly infuriated John Yems as the Reds’ defensive display had been poor. True, Barrow are in a rich vein of form at the moment but their goals all came about from poor defending. It seemed to me that the uncertainty stemmed from the player we might least expect it from.
I believe Crawley’s best partnership in central defence features Jordan Tunnicliffe and the injured Tom Dallison, who is probably out for the season following surgery on his foot. Tunnicliffe’s injury and substitution in this match was a real blow. Tony Craig had already made a negative contribution being at fault for both of Barrow’s opening goals. He was out-manoeuvred and out-muscled by Tom Davies for the opener and then felled Bobby Thomas and conceded the penalty that Scott Quigley converted for Barrow’s second.
It would be harsh to blame their winner on Craig alone but he was nowhere near the action as Jason Taylor’s corner kick eluded all and sundry on its way to the far corner of the goal. The irony was that the corner only came about as a result of another top-class save from Glenn Morris whose personal efforts merited better cover from his team mates.
It wasn’t all bad as the Reds’ goals showed. Joe McNerney played a splendid pass over the top to release Tom Nichols wide on the right and his cut back from the goal line put the ball on a plate for George Francomb who swept in the leveller.
Jack Powell’s far post header for Crawley’s second was simple enough but only because he made it so. He had started a four man move just inside the Barrow half and ghosted into their goal area ending up in just the right place to meet a precise cross from Jordan Maguire-Drew.
All in all Crawley were worth a point against League Two’s form side of the moment so perhaps we should give the Bluebirds due credit for their part in two entertaining matches that have brought 11 goals and three points each.