The only way is Sussex! Gemma Collins, Stacey Solomon, Ollie Murs - your boys took one hell of a beating - Steve Leake
Stacey Solomon, Ollie Murs, Gemma Collins, Rylan Clarke-Neil, Denise Van Outen, Alastair Cook, Fathima Whitbread, we have beaten them all, we have beaten them all. Dermot O’Leary can you hear me? Dermot O’Leary.....your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating! THE ONLY WAY IS SUSSEX.
Paraphrasing Bjorge Lillelien there, with his infamous tirade that he gave after Norway had beaten the Three Lions back in 1981 on the 9th September, but I’m jumping the gun abit as the story of a wonderful day started some 10 hours earlier.
Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Found My way downstairs, ate my overnight oats and drank a cup, made sure I had my printed out ticket to get me into the Colchester Stadium and made Three Bridges Station in 45 minutes, which isn’t that bad for a 70 year old Parkinson’s sufferer with a stick.
At the station I met Matt Jenkins, Steve Herbert and Dan Hyre and soon we were on the 10.10 to Farringdon teaming up with fellow reds Keith Miller and Paul Wakeford. The journey to London , on the advice of our Herbert’s tours rep, was curtailed at London Bridge and we took to the tube exiting at Moorgate for the short walk to Liverpool Street station where we met six more Reds; Dame Carol Bates, Andy Tester, Marilyn Loughton, Dan Palmer, Rob Beeching and Dan Jones.
The last of those, Dan Jones, deserves a special mention. He is from Liverpool, studying politics and economics at Leeds University, and he became a real red after the Old Trafford game in 2011, when just a boy.
He had already seen us play at Hartlepool, and travelled down to London yesterday to join with us for the trip to Camulodunum where venimus, vidimus, vicimus, so to speak.
When we finally got to the stadium, after a lunch time drink or two, we joined another 161 Crawley Town supporters, including my daughter Vicky, her husband Nick and Beth and Oliver, my grandchildren, and settled down for what turned out to be a very memorable match.
Before the game, however, a few words were politely exchanged with the stewards and the catering staff about Colchester’s over zealous ticketing system which was totally negated by their “sit where you like” welcome, and also about the shortage of sustenance provided for a contingent that they knew the numbers of in advance.
On to the game, and understandably an unchanged side from that which defeated Carlisle last Saturday and from the outset it was clear we were in for a good afternoon.
A resolute back four, and the rejuvenated Glen Morris, provided the platform from which our midfield and forwards could advance on the Colchester goal and after a couple of thwarted chances the break through came in the 22nd minute, when Tomm Dallison found Will Ferry on the right, who beat the full back and superbly laid the ball into the path of Jack Payne who stroked it into the net.
The supporters were in good voice throughout and Colchester never really looked like pegging us back. Indeed, with a little bit of luck and a following wind, we really should have scored at least two more which would have been a fairer reflection of the way we had played.
Game over, I chose to get a lift back to Crawley with my family, rather than go for more beer with the lads, I know, I’m getting old, and was pleasantly surprised to experience Colchester fans applauding us in the car park, whether it be for our support or style of play, or both.
The morning after ,the pragmatist in me realises that this result will amount to nothing unless we get something from the next two home games against Harrogate amd Bradford City.
Last season we played two home games in a row on four occasions. On two of those occasions we lost both home games , whilst on the other two we won both.
If you want an omen though, the only time those two home games followed an away victory came in March after our 1-0 win at Tranmere, and we went on to beat Salford and Mansfield by the same score in the following week.