TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Christmas spirit soon forgotten during away-day nightmares

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his views in his new column SUS-150216-163154002
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his views in his new column SUS-150216-163154002

The journey to Adams Park should take just over the hour but the state of the post Christmas roads was evidenced by ours of 155 minutes on a round trip that included the Olympic Stadium, White Hart Lane and Wembley.

The kick-off was delayed and at times we wondered whether the team bus had turned up at all.

Certainly it appeared the defence had suffered as they produced a collective disaster.

Jon Ashton saved his reputation with a remarkable goalline clearance but otherwise our lack of awareness and failure to mark was cruelly exposed.

Coupled with an impotent attack, with Matt Harrold on the bench until the final 20 minutes, Reds were on a hiding to nothing.

Grit and determination was the only reason Wycombe were restricted to two goals.

Then we had the contribution of referee Darren Drysdale who attracted chants that would not look good in print.

He awarded us numerous free-kicks whilst missing the worst offences. Lee Barnard was flattened by their keeper’s challenge and required lengthy treatment.

As last man Ingram should have walked but was not even chided as the home side were given a nonsensical free-kick.

I wonder if the official collected his match fee in three bob notes.

By the time we got to Fratton Park it was plain to see that it was Crawley who were two-bob.

Portsmouth should gain promotion. They were good, but not that good. We simply let them play and suffered dreadfully from defensive frailties.

It’s all very well for the manager to praise them but he needs to concentrate on his own side’s shortcomings.

Two goals were conceded as Pompey showed they knew what they were doing but Reds were not on the same wavelength.

The late third goal was a disgrace. Every schoolboy knows you have to clear the first defender when taking a corner. Gwion Edwards didn’t and we never touched the ball again until the restart.

No less than 567 boisterous Reds fans occupied the Milton End – not many will be brave enough to make the trip to Yeovil.

I think it is time for Mark Yates and Jimmy Dack to own up. Whatever they are doing with regard to match preparation and coaching it isn’t working. If the players are not doing what they are told they had better move on. If they are then we know who is to blame. What a way to start the year!