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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:57 pm

Crawley 4 Cheltenham 2

Great result for Tubbs-less Crawley especially after the work put in by fans to clear the pitch of snow in the days leading up to this match. Our new signings all made brilliant appearances with Sanchez Watt scoring twice on his home debut. :clap

Unfortunately this was the first home match that I have missed this season. I haven't been that great this week ...man-flu probably, but that and being bent over double after a stint of plastering left me feeling totally unable to go. A triple whammy for me. I was keen to see our new signings in action and it seems that they all played very well, Cheltenham were top of the table and I hate missing football :cry I had to settle for live commentary from the Reds Player instead.

Cheltenham took an early lead against the run of play when in the 4th minute their Luke Garbutt hit a low ball into the bottom of our net from outside the penalty area. We weren't behind for long though - in the 12th minute Sanchez Watt got the equaliser and his first Crawley goal with a long drive from outside the area. By all accounts this goal was class :clap Then, in the 14th minute Barnett was on hand to hit another long one into the top of the goal. Class again! :clap in the 39th minute Barnett was on hand again to hit another one from the edge of the box again into the top of the goal :clap HT 3-1

The second half started with Crawley in control again and Cheltenham adopted the risky strategy of using all three of their substitutions at around the hour mark. It didn't help though as Sanchez Watt hit his second from close-in just after that, in the 64th minute :clap 4-1 with 25 minutes to go is a winning score but Cheltenham weren't having any of that and 10 minutes later their Darryl Duffy got a consolation goal from close range. 4-2 with 15 minutes to go! But we held on!

Karl Hawley was brought on as a substitute for fellow débutante Billy Clarke in the 86th minute and, by all accounts, put in a good show for his first few minutes of action in a Crawley shirt. Final whistle 4-2.

Great result for The Reds and puts us back at the top of the table on goal difference over Cheltenham but we still have a game in hand.

Hopefully by Saturday I will have recovered from this dreadful illness and am looking forward to our next home match against 18th place Aldershot which kicks off at 3:00pm. We played them earlier, away, in the season and won by a single goal. Unless yesterday's match was a one-off, I cannot see anything other than a Crawley win but anything can happen in football.
:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:35 pm

Crawley P - Aldershot P

Sorry folks with Crawley touching -12 degrees overnight, it didn't really stand a chance :cry:

Hoping that our game away at Swindon on Tuesday evening goes ahead... starting to get "football withdrawal symptoms" !!

:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby dub » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:40 pm

steveizy wrote:Crawley P - Aldershot P

Sorry folks with Crawley touching -12 degrees overnight, it didn't really stand a chance :cry:

Hoping that our game away at Swindon on Tuesday evening goes ahead... starting to get "football withdrawal symptoms" !!

:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf


Lets hope the break doesn't break the squads stride (this unscheduled downtime) and they come back stronger.
Will have to source some good footy games for the arcade to help with your withdrawal symptoms at times like these. :-D
:reddevils Even Bigger challenges ahead, for instance Stoke on the 19th of Feb :crawleyscarf I bet you guys are all fired :firey up for the match.
Happy Days
:mz

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:15 pm

Swindon 3 - Crawley 0

Sometimes it is hard to sit down and write about something, particularly when it's not pleasant. This is one of those times.

After a bright start, Crawley were outplayed by a very strong Swindon team. That's it. There isn't much to add except that the Crawley side did not bear any resemblance to the team that beat Cheltenham the week before despite only one change. Scott Shearer was left out, injured, and Kuipers replaced him in goal. Kuipers looked rusty, having not played first team football since our home defeat to Swindon back in September. But it wasn't only Kuipers - the whole team seemed lacking in all departments and Swindon were very good. Enough said.

Crawley now drop to fifth place in league 2 behind Swindon on goal difference but both Crawley and Swindon have two games in hand over the top three and are only a point adrift so there will be plenty of changes in the top places. Crawley, of course, will miss another league game this weekend as we are playing the FA Cup match against Stoke on Sunday while all the other teams are playing so Crawley will probably find themselves in sixth place on Saturday evening.

Next- up in the league is at home to Morecambe on Wednesday 22nd February. We will be keen to win this match, preferably convincingly, so as to get revenge for the 6-0 tonking they gave us at Morecambe last year!

But before that all eyes are on our biggest match ever to be staged at Broadfield when we entertain Premier League Stoke City in the 5th round of the FA Cup. This is a sellout and will be the biggest gate at Broadfield so far. Stoke suffered a defeat on Thursday to Valencia but they will probably play a completely different side against us. We can win this but it will be tough and it really depends on Crawley raising their game. Win or lose, it will be a great occasion!
:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby wired » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:38 am

:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

Come on Crawley :thunbsup

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Re: FA Cup

Postby steveizy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:53 am

Crawley 0 Stoke 2

The dream is over until next year. This was a much more even match than the score suggests and Crawley had more possession, more corners and more shots on goal than Stoke but they didn't get the goals. Stoke's first was a penalty and the second came from a Peter Crouch header. We had two penalty calls turned down as well as them hitting their own crossbar and, in the closing minutes, a ball cleared off their goal after their keeper was beaten. The referee has been criticised by fans of both teams and Stoke's appeal against the sending-off of one of their players (Delap) has been successful - adding to claims about the referee but I'll leave that to others. The sending-off was debatable as contact was made with the ball in a fierce lunging tackle on David Hunt who later limped off and needed stitches to a 4" gash on his fractured foot. A hard tackle indeed! but this happens in football. Most of the Crowd, both Stoke and Crawley were shocked that after consultation with the 4th official Lee Probert, a straight red card was shown to Delap. A yellow would have been fairer in just about everyone's eyes.

The sending-off worked in Stoke's favour as they seemed to galvanise better as a team and became a better, more fluent side. Stoke came back into the game after an initial barrage from The Reds when Peter Crouch nearly scored an own goal only to be beaten by the woodwork! Then, in the 41st minute another controversial decision! - a penalty for them for an innocuous challenge by McFadzean. Jonathan Walters hammered it home. Half time 0-1.

The second half was more balanced with both teams having chances but Stoke got another goal in the 52nd minute when Peter Crouch rose above everybody and headed home. Barnett, Howell, Torres and Watt all had shots at goal as Crawley got a bit stronger as the half progressed. In injury time another missed penalty for us as their Collins used his elbow to clear the ball from the goal line. Full time 0-2.

Oh well fifth round of the FA Cup two years running is not bad really for a club in it's first year in the League!

Now back to reality. Focus is now 100% on winning automatic promotion to League One... or is it?

Follow my League Two pages for the remainder of the matches this season :scarf

:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:29 pm

Crawley 1 - Morecambe 1

A dreadful first half from Crawley resulted in Morecambe going into the break one up. We started brightly and put them under a bit of pressure but several chances were missed by poor finishing. We were mainly pestering Morecambe when their goal came off a break.

The second half was a bit better with big John Akinde on for Sergio Torres who seemed off form. John made an impression and charged through their defence and this did help. Scott Nielson came on as a substitute for new player Karl Hawley who had not really got into the game at all. This payed off as Scott drove home in the 49th minute off a ball from Billy Clarke. After this we pushed and pushed but, with a few saves, it was mostly our finishing that was lacking. Full time 1-1

This draw sees us in sixth place in the league, five points behind the leaders Swindon but we have a game in hand on them and two or three games in hand over the other teams above us but games in hand are not points on the table.

This match was played without Tyrone Barnett who has gone to Peterborough for £1.4 million and so soon after the departure of Matt Tubbs, it leaves Crawley with what can only be described as an untried front line and it looks like this will have to be worked on if Crawley are serious in their bid for promotion. We didn't get to see new loan signing striker Shaun Batt from Millwall this evening which was a shame.

I hope I'm wrong but with Barnett gone now, I think we will struggle to make automatic promotion but will probably make the playoffs. We as fans understand that key players are sold and in this case for a huge sum by League Two standards and it would be no good trying to stand in a player's way, but the timing of this sucks!

The next few matches are crucial... next we are away to fellow high flyers Shrewsbury on Monday evening . We beat them 2-1 back in October but they are a point ahead of us but we have two games in hand. Off course our team on Monday will be slightly different to the team back then.

I'm going on the coach and will report back!
:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Crawley 0 Torquay 1

A very poor performance by The Reds where our only real chance came in the first minute and that was saved. Crawley had a few half chances but nothing came of them and according to the match statistics more possession than the Gulls. Torquay had one real chance and they took it. Big John Akinde looked pretty poor as our only striker and the rest of the team with the notable exception of Bulman didn't turn up. Our new on-loan keeper, Gilmartin, is worse than Kuipers and I think it is fair to say that he hasn't made a decent save yet. Some Crawley fans booed the team off at the end - I didn't but I didn't clap either. One word sums us up - Inept.

Shrewsbury 2 Crawley 1

This match took place on Monday last and we travelled to the impressive Greenhous stadium. Crawley started well and after 33 minutes Clarke lobbed the ball to Big John Akinde who thumped it home for his first competitive goal for the Reds. Well done John :clap As the game progressed, the Shrews came into it a bit more but Crawley were in charge. That all changed just before half-time when their Mark Wright levelled the score. The second half saw the Reds in control once more but failing to make anything of the several chances they set up. Same old story recently. Shrewsbury held on and their keeper had to deny John Akinde once but it was them who got the vital goal against the run of play when substitute Marvin Morgan drove home from the edge of the box. The statistics sum it all up - we had 54% of play, 9 shots on target, 17 off target and scored once. The Shrews had 46% play only 4 shots on target and 11 off target but scored twice :scratc We are lacking in attack and our loanee keeper does not inspire confidence. We are lacking in attack because we sold our best strikers.

I apologise for the delay posting but recent events at the club have made being a Crawley supporter a bit less fun than it used to be as the team has been decimated by the sale of Tubbs and Barnett. Yes, two players is not the team but it makes things a lot worse when they were the players who scored virtually all our goals and we really don't have anybody who looks remotely like stepping into their boots. Big John tries his hardest and is loved by the fans but he is a long way short of the natural skill level needed. We don't really have anyone else.

The directors have issued a statement explaining why players have been sold along with other information in a cleverly laid out way that suggests that they have acted entirely reasonably. What they fail to mention is we are now the richest team in our league but we now don't have any strikers. Every fan I have spoken to, accepts that we will lose good players to bigger clubs but all agree that the sale of Tyrone Barnett at this stage of the season was a step too far without a quality replacement lined up. The directors want to increase the attendances, which we all want to see happen of course, but selling your best players thus decimating the team is not going to achieve this :banghead The directors ask to be judged at the end of the season not now - They will be!

Just to make matters even worse, it has been confirmed unofficially that we no longer have a groundsman after he and his assistant walked on Friday, apparently after a disagreement with the CEO Alan Williams. The club have not made an announcement so far but he wasn't at the game on Saturday and at half-time others were treading down divots. By full time the pitch was cut up badly and will need some TLC before the next match. Who is going to do that I wonder?

Tomorrow (Monday) sees us travel to Southend who are currently in third place against our sixth place. Southend won away yesterday at Barnet whilst we lost at home. Unless a miracle happens I don't see us coming away with anything. I hope I'm wrong! I'm booked on the GH Coaches and we depart at 4:00pm. I will report back.
:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:39 am

Southend 0 Crawley 0

Not the trouncing that I and many others feared and we did at least come away with a point. Again, this was a match that we should have won especially as The Shrimpers were down to 10, then 9 men. The Reds had 62% of possession and pro rata more shots on target. We also had a penalty that was saved.

The first half saw us have more chances with our keeper, Gilmartin, only having to make one save which was a blessing! but nothing came of our attempts but their keeper had a lot more to do. The game came alive at around the hour mark when some sustained pressure from Crawley nearly paid off. First, Josh Simpson took a shot which was saved by Belford but not cleared and Shaun Batt's subsequent shot was saved from going in by a handball on the goal line by their Barker who rightly was shown a red card and walked, giving his captain's armband to another player on the way. Billy Clarke took the resultant penalty amid much cheering and encouragement from the 246 Reds fans. The penalty was weak and Belford had dived the right way and actually managed to hold on to the ball and prevent any Crawley player getting there to feed off the scrap. Diabolical penalty, his unusual run-up at 90 degrees to normal, parallel with the goal, in my mind, telegraphed his intention to Belford. Had it been hit harder, it might have gone in or at least rebounded more usefully.

As is often the case, being down to 10 men seemed to spur The Shrimpers on and they upped their game while we seemed to ease off a bit. Southend had used all their substitutions before the 77th minute when one of these substitutes, Dickinson had to be taken off on a stretcher. He came out worse after a fair challenge from our new defender Warren Cummings. They still held on though - now with nine men.

Even with six minutes extra time to allow for the injury and excessive time wasting by their keeper we were unable to make any impression and the score remained 0-0. The referee and the East linesman both had a mare of a game. Apart from the sending off, the ref failed to impose his control on the game and allowed the continuous time wasting by Belford to go unchallenged, apart from adding a bit of time. Worse than that, however, they both missed two definite penalties after the one he did award. One for a clear handball in their box and one where one of our players was physically held back in the box. I hope the ref and lino look carefully at the DVD!

Better than Saturday but, again, an overall poor performance from us. Fortunately our keeper wasn't really tested... But the biggest problem remains in that we have no good strikers left after the sale of Tubbs and Barnett. We are promised that the club are in the market for a striker, but the best we can hope for at this stage of the season is a loan signing, possibly with a view to a permanent transfer once the summer transfer season is under way. Two problems with this... 1) Some of our recent loan signings have been mediocre and seem like knee-jerk reactions rather than quality additions to the squad, and 2) Other clubs are aware that this club is now awash with dosh after our recent big sales and will hike the price when selling to Crawley - who they also know are desperate! We should have had replacements in the squad before disposing of our two best assets. I hope we get someone in who can help to get our squad back to winning ways because we ain't going to score many goals the way things are at the moment!

Saturday sees us masochists travelling up to Macclesfield in Cheshire hopefully to see some sort of Reds revival, but even with Macclesfield languishing in 20th place against our 6th, I don't expect too much from this. I'm going and looking forward to the day out whatever the result and will, of course, report back!

:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:48 pm

Macclesfield 2 Crawley 2

Crawley two goals ahead with ten minutes to go - surely this was going to be a much needed win after recent results... Nope the gritty Silkmen had other ideas, again this wasn't to be our day.

The match started well enough for The Reds with us more or less in control in the early stages. Both our goals came from our defenders, Claude Davis got the first after 36 minutes and we went into half-time one-nil up. The second half started very well for us when Kyle McFadzean hammered home a long range 30 yard strike in the first minute of the second half. Two goals ahead, surely we could hold on for three points but we couldn't.

A lot of hoof-ball was being played by both sides but Macclesfield were gradually getting into the game more, their half time talk had obviously spurred them on. One or two Crawley chances came to nothing before, in the 86th minute, their Mukendi pulled one back. It was going to be a tense last few minutes... then disaster struck! In the first minute of added time Donnelly put them level. Even the last seven minutes of added time saw us unable to really string anything together and the game ended up with a 2-2 draw.

Disappointed of course, our 102 Reds fans still sportingly clapped the team off but this was not reciprocated by our players with the honourable exception of Gilmartin, Bulman and Scott Davies. The others just walked off and did not acknowledge us. Poor that we relied on defenders to score our goals but in fairness our new loan signing striker Alexander did show some promise and maybe just needs to gel with the team. Steve Evans refused to give any reaction, as did our assistant manager to the press afterwards. Unusual for both of them... maybe they were as lost for words as we were!

Apart from the result of course, it was a good day out especially for those of us who travelled with GH Coaches. We enjoyed a superb buffet, the best so far - this was our third visit but they have all been very good at our Northwest 'local' the White Lion near Crewe/Alsager. The long journey home was broken with a stop at Oxford services where most of us ate KFC :yum to cheer us up. No booze is allowed on football coaches, by law, so we couldn't drown our sorrows in that way. Food was the next best thing! Long day, leaving at 08:00 and returning at 22:00... great day except the result :cry

Tuesday 13th sees us at home to Aldershot and this game takes on added importance if we are realistically going to keep our automatic promotion hopes alive. We beat them back in September at their place by a single goal. This is one of our games in hand after being postponed due to winter weather and it is doubly vital that we take three points off this match. The crowd will be fully behind The Reds and, in return, will expect to see something positive back.

:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS! :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:42 am

Two games to report this time. Yes I've been a bit lazy (again) - Sorry folks... recent form hasn't really been much to write about either :indifferent

Crawley 3 Port Vale 2

At last a win and a much needed three points to keep us in contention for automatic promotion or play-off places. Crawley came back from behind twice to clinch this vital result. The first half-hour saw both teams fairly even then in the 32nd minute, their Marc Richards beat Kuipers, who was back in goal in place of Gilmartin, with a shot into the bottom left corner of the goal. Oh dear! 0-1. Instead of bowing our heads, this seemed to wake us up and The Reds started to play with more purpose. Several attempts came to nothing before Sergio Torres put us level with a beautifully executed header from close range. :applause 1-1 just before half-time... just what we needed!

The second half was only a couple of minutes old when their Clayton McDonald was dismissed after a second yellow for a foul against Scott Davies. Against 10 men, surely our chances had improved but they hadn't. Shortly before the hour was up, Louis Dodds beat Kuipers to put Vale ahead once again. This, once more, seemed to give us a bit of fire and we started pressing them. In the 70th minute one of our new players Gary Alexander put us back on level terms with a shot from close range 2-2 :applause Crawley were looking better now and in the 83rd minute it was Gary Alexander again with another shot near the goal that finally subdued Port Vale. 3-2 :applause We managed to hold on to this lead - the first time that we had been ahead in the match until the Referee finally blew for time after a rather tense five minutes of added time. Phew!

I was impressed with our new front line, both Gary Alexander and debutante Leon Clarke had good games and with a bit of practice together and with the team have great potential.

Only 2375 fans watched this match - people voting with their feet after the recent problems but those of us that did attend at least were able to walk away with smiles on our faces :-D

Crawley 2 Aldershot 2

This match was played last Tuesday evening and really the less said about it, the better :indifferent

Crawley came back from behind twice to secure a home draw against a lacklustre Shots team. Goals from Gary Alexander 33' and Billy Clarke 88' saved us from defeat. Otherwise a dreadful performance from The Reds. :thumbsdown

As I said - the less said, the better.

Tuesday coming, 20th March, sees us travel all the way to Kent to face Gillingham who are in 8th place, five points behind us but we do have a game in hand. They turned us over on Boxing Day when they beat us 1-2. We will be keen to reverse this at their place and there is a glimmer of hope that we can after our improved performance on Saturday but the Gills will have other ideas and will want to do the double on us. I think a draw there is about the best we can hope for but it's a funny old game.

:scarf :scarf :scarf COME ON YOU REDS! :scarf :scarf :scarf

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Re: League Two

Postby dub » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:57 pm

New Striker on his Way ?
:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:26 pm

dub wrote:New Striker on his Way ?


Not sure whether we will get another striker as the recent signings Leon Clarke and Gary Alexander look promising and are strikers. Having said that - we are, arguably, another striker down after we loaned Big John Akinde to Dagenham & Redbridge earlier this week. Hasty, rash, signings have been made recently, so any additions, hopefully, only would be quality players.

We really could do with a better keeper as well :therethere

Any new signings will have to be concluded quickly as the loan "window" closes this Thursday.

:reddevils COYR! :reddevils

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:49 pm

Gillingham 0 Crawley 1

A very much needed win against expectations last night at Priestfields! A very valuable three points keep us in contention for the automatic promotion spots and Gillingham have been denied the double over us. Quite an entertaining match too. All in all - a good night :thunbsup

The match started with both teams looking equal but as the first half progressed, Crawley came into the game more. We had several chances, the best being at about 30mins into the game when Kyle McFadzean hit the underside of the crossbar with a powerful header off a corner. But the ball rebounded out although it looked like it was a very close call from my vantage point at the other end of the pitch. We continued to push until half time.

The second half saw The Reds still in control and the breakthrough came in the 50th minute when Bulman ran past their defenders and connected with a cross from Gary Alexander. A simple but effective tap in. :applause We continued after that in the same vein... keep them under pressure and it was working but apart from a goal that was ruled offside we were unable to increase the score. The Gills were playing hoof ball in a hope to spring a surprise on us but their attempts were mainly ineffective. The final few minutes were tense as The Gills had corner after corner which, somehow, we defended against... by giving another corner. Finally full time and three points!

There were 322 of us Reds fans out of 5,204, sitting in open air in their makeshift "temporary" stand that consists of a forest of scaffold poles. OK last night but horrible if it rains when seated. Priestfields is a pretty poor stadium all round and the burger was horrible - worse than most!

The match last night was a bit unusual in that the only substitution we made was before the start of the game when Claude Davis limped off during the warm-up. For once the team on the pitch was left to get on with the job and this may have helped. Often our substitutions have unbalanced us further rather than adding anything extra. Unusual as well in that we had no reserve keeper as Gilmartin has apparently already been shipped back to Watford.

With just today and tomorrow left of the loan window, Steve Evans is going to finalise any further loan deals. A new keeper is a must and it has been strongly hinted that Kuipers (who had an outstanding game last night) will have some competition for the keeper's shirt by Saturday... I hope so! having only one keeper is potentially a recipe for disaster. Whether we will acquire any other loan players is less certain.

We are in 5th place now and with games in hand, still in a very favourable position for the automatics. Gillingham was, on paper, our toughest challenge remaining for the rest of the season but Crewe might have other ideas as they have recently seen an improvement in their form.

This Saturday sees us at home to Rotherham who are in 10th place some 12 points behind us but they have played two more games than us. I hope we play the team of last night against them, maybe with a new keeper if we have one. We played Rotherham back in November at their temporary ground in Sheffield and came out 2-1 winners. If we beat them on Saturday, they will be the first team that we have done the double over so far. But more important than that - every three points is vital now!

The capacity at Broadfield will be reduced to about 3,800 as building work has started on our new East Stand, so be there early!

:scarf :scarf :scarf COME ON YOU REDS! :scarf :scarf :scarf

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Re: League Two

Postby steveizy » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:46 am

Two games to report:

Bradford 1 Crawley 2 Tuesday 27 March.

I was not able to go to this match which was re-arranged after frozen weather earlier this year. Being a Tuesday night, with a return home something like 04:00 AM, it was not economical to run the independent coach. It seems I missed a spectacle, for the wrong reasons, that has resulted in world-wide coverage of the brawl after the game. I had to make do with live audio coverage from the Reds Player.

The first half saw no goals and the teams seemed balanced. Crawley took the lead in the 54th minute from a goal by Leon Clarke with a headed goal. Bradford came back in the 72nd minute when their Chris Dagnall headed home. On 76mins, Gary Alexander headed a goal that was to seal the result. 2-1 to Crawley. :clap

Then, as the players were being applauded after full time, something kicked off and a fight broke out. Not 'handbags' but a real fight. The Referee and officials were unable to stop it and it seems that the police had to intervene to restore order. After all of this, the Referee summoned three Bradford players and two Crawley players into his room and issued Red cards to those five players, Pablo Mills and Claude Davis for Crawley will now have to serve bans that might well be increased by the F.A. Just what we didn't need :no The F.A. will announce any further sanctions later. I hope that points deductions will not be part of those sanctions, it seems unlikely as the last time points were deducted was 22 years ago. What seems likely is hefty fines for both clubs and extensions to the bans already automatically imposed through the Red cards.

I have looked at all the video clips shown on news channels and the internet and whilst they seem to suggest that Bradford were the chief aggressors with us fighting back they are only clips and don't reveal what started it all. The F.A. will have more footage available, and testimony from witnesses to go on. We will have to trust their judgement on this occasion. Any appeal by either club, unless very well founded, would probably result in increased punishment. We will have to, sorry!, take this on the chin and move on.

Crawley 3 Rotherham 0 sat 24th March

For most of the first half, Crawley really didn't look very good at all. Rotherham were poor but so were we. Things started to change just before half time when Billy Clarke put us ahead :applause

There must have been a Steve Evans roasting during the break and Crawley came out firing on all cylinders! In the 51st minute Bulman was fouled in the box and a penalty was awarded. Alexander placed the penalty well 2-0 :applause

In the 68th minute, captain Pablo Mills headed home our third to put it beyond doubt :applause

Although the statistics show that Crawley dominated the match possession wise, the first half except the late goal left a lot to be desired. Still a valuable three points to help us towards the automatic promotion spots :scarf :scarf

Fingers now crossed that any further sanctions imposed by the F.A. are not too crippling for either club...

Next up is our away trip on Saturday to Burton Albion who are in 17th place. I'm booked on the coach and looking forward to the match. Hopefully the events above will not put us off playing well and getting the three points needed to stay in the race! Next at home is against Crewe on 6th April. By then our new East Stand should be erected and in use!

:crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf COME ON YOU REDS :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf :crawleyscarf

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