That's one ex-Crawley Town player out of the way, now we prepare for three more - opinion
I was dreading Saturday’s game at Rochdale, not because I didn’t think we had it in our capabilities to win, but because of the “old player coming back to haunt you” conundrum.
In this case, not even an old player, as he was only 12 or 13 when he was in our academy, just as it folded under an old regime.
The player concerned Is Danny Cashman, who is on loan at Rochdale from Coventry City, but he is a Crawley boy, who was taken up by the Seagulls after the closure of the academy at Broadfield, who is now making a career for himself in the beautiful game.
An extremely personable young man, who was involved in a film made for Southern Water by the Crawley Town Community Foundation back when I was involved behind the scenes.
Luckily, he only came on for about 30 minutes and only really threatened once, when Tony Craig took one for the team and stopped him in his tracks. Watching the game at home, thanks to the international weekend, I thought we fully deserved the win and really should have won by more.
The inclusion of Kwesi Appiah and Amrit Bansal-McNulty proved to be the catalyst for the performance, which, for once, earned its justifiable reward. Scoring through Appiah early on there were only a few moments of worry after that and the delight shown by the Crawley fans was there for all to see.
At one point in the afternoon, we were up to seventh and in the play-off places, but late winners for Sutton United and Hartlepool saw us having to settle for 9th place, but level on points with the teams above us.
Next weekend, the A217 derby, against Sutton United, should see a large crowd at the People’s pension stadium and it promises to be a humdinger of a game, with three ex-Reds in their side in Rob Milsom, Louis John and Enzio Boldewijn, especially after they came back from 2-0 down to win 4-3 in injury time against Port Vale.
A win for the red devils will see us leap frog them in the league and will almost certainly put us into the play-off positions, albeit with only a quarter of the season played.
However, when you consider the players missing from our team through injury it is nothing short of a miracle that we are so highly placed. Well done to the management and the players for putting us in such a strong position, as surely, we can only get stronger as the injured players return.
Next Saturday will also see supporters from both clubs competing against each other, prior to the big match, in a game of “while the cat’s away” which involves trying to aim a ball through a hole as many times as you can within a certain amount of time.
Pre or post drinks is surely the question which will determine the winners. The CTSA will also be holding this month’s draw of the Reds Rollover with a first prize of £63, a second of £31.50, a third prize of two complimentary tickets and a fourth of a team signed copy of Noli Cedere.
Whilst it is too late to enter for this draw, I will be signing people up for the next one in November, so, bring along a fiver to get yourselves entered and sign up for the rest of the year by pledging £5 a month through your bank.
The more people that enter, the larger the first and second prize fund, and more importantly the larger the contribution to club funds for projects within the ground, specifically chosen by the Reds Rollover participants themselves.
The sequel to my book Noli Cedere, Noli Semper Cedere, is now available on Amazon, £13.99 paperback, £1.99 ebook, with all the people who generously backed its publication receiving their rewards at the Port Vale home game on October 30th. For those people who would like a copy at the bargain price of £10, come and see me at the Sutton United match where I will be taking orders.
All the profits from Noli Semper Cedere are being shared between Parkinson’s UK and the Crawley Town Community Foundation, so please give it serious consideration and relive a momentous Covid season.