The Town supporters can be rightfully proud of their team, they put up a terrific away display that deserved the point they eventually won.
Over the full 90 minutes Crawley worked extremely hard closing the opposition down and seemed to adapt better to the conditions with one half of the pitch in shade and solid under foot, whereas the other was in bright sunshine, easier and softer.
At this point, those that travelled to the game should thank the Bury supporters who volunteered to clear the pitch of snow enabling the game to proceed having passed the referee’s inspection.
From our point of view, we didn’t want to travel up again on a Tuesday evening had the match been called off.
Town lined-up with one change from the Swindon game, Josh Payne back from suspension replacing Dannie Bulman, but the pair swapped places on 66 minutes.
As the game kicked-off, on the shaded side you could see that the players were having problems keeping their feet, but it was the assistant referee Helen Byrne – who took an early tumble and you could see she wasn’t as mobile after the fall and on the half hour was replaced by the fourth official.
We were concerned that the game could be called off at half-time as it was getting colder.
Credit to the players who kept going ignoring the conditions.
Both teams created chances, but failed to capitalise on them – both 'keepers doing their best to keep any attempts at bay.
The game came to life really in the last 10 minutes, when Nicky Maynard stabbed the ball home from short-range on 84 minutes giving the quiet home fans something to cheer about, sensing that the three points were now in the bag.
Crawley immediately brought on Ashley Nathaniel-George to replace Filipe Morais and within three minutes of his introduction were on level terms with Ollie Palmer firing home from a very tight angle under 'keeper Murphy after a some good work by the substitute.
The travelling away fans were ecstatic and all Crawley had to do was see-out the final minutes and four minutes added-time.
The home support all of a sudden started to leave the ground not wanting to see the final moments of the game.
Another away point, which many supporters said that was what they would have taken before the game had started.
This was a great unexpected result for the Red Devils who had taken a point from one of the in-form teams in the league and favourite for one of the three promotion places.
So that’s four points taken off Bury this season, last week it was also four points taken off Swindon, which has now certainly eased the prospect of relegation.
On the return journey we were discussing the defence set-up and had to agree that the back-five as it was for both Swindon and Bury are playing extremely well.
The more time they spend playing together the better they will become, it’s taken Gabriele Cioffe some time to sort it but with Tom Dallison and David Sesay coming into the side it has certainly improved the defending.
That’s two difficult away matches completed, now we have a home match against Oldham Athletic next Saturday.
The transfer window has now closed – players have gone with Mark Connolly joining Dundee United and Romain Vincelot to Shrewsbury.
To replace them, Crawley have signed midfielder Matty Willock who is on loan and striker and former loanee Ibrahim Meite on an 18-month contract.
Both signings are from Premier League clubs. Let’s hope that both these players can emulate last season's loanee Karlen Ahearn-Grant, who is now playing in the Premier League for Huddersfield Town having had an offer accepted by Charlton for their leading goalscorer.
Next away game
On Saturday, February 16 we travel to Northampton Town for another league game with a 3pm kick-off.
We depart from the People's Pension Stadium at 10am and have organised a buffet at the Sun Inn, Wingfield another new venue for us – we should arrive there for about midday, if the traffic on the M25 and M1 are running Ok then slightly earlier.
Cost for this trip is £20.00. Again we are taking bookings now for this trip so please contact us on 07771-792346.
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