Taste of the Terrace: New Italian boss gains rapport with the fans
Gabriele Cioffi's debut as manager of Crawley Town was greeted enthusiastically by Reds' supporters as their side overcame an obdurate Morecambe performance securing three points and climbing to tenth in the table.
There was, however, more to the afternoon than the achievement of back-to-back wins.
The new manager struck up an immediate rapport with the home fans that was cemented bizarrely when he was yellow-carded by pedantic referee Alan Young.
His offence was to run onto the pitch celebrating the second goal with his players.
The decision was technically correct but made no allowance for Italian passion and the crowd loved him all the more for it.
After the two-goal win (four or five would not have been unreasonable) Signor Cioffi took the entire playing and coaching staff to the centre circle to link arms and salute three sides of the stadium.
That’s the way to win friends and influence people.
The Italian may have been surprised by the talented players he has in his squad who came from the non- league game.
Ashley Nathaniel-George, who opened the scoring with an impressive solo run and a powerful low drive from the edge of the box, came to us from Southern League Hendon.
Panutche Camara signed last season from Bostik League Dulwich Hamlet and is blossoming this year.
He possesses great skills and the ability to do things that defenders do not expect as Jordan Cranston (a ringer for Crawley comedian Romesh Ranganathan) found out when the striker tied things up with the second goal.
Reds carried no passengers in this match and several players enjoyed a brilliant 90 minutes.
They also had Bondz N’Gala who in the matter of a couple of weeks has attained folk hero status at Broadfield Stadium.
There will be widespread delight at the news of his contract being extended from one month to one year.
For a change Crawley looked good in one of those dreaded “ought to” games.
You know; the fixtures that form suggests they ought to win but in the past they rarely have they done so.
Next Reds have the chance to slay another dragon as they travel to the Forest of Dean.
Forest Green Rovers have followed us into the EFL and in their second season they seem to have found their level.
Our own form rarely appears to count when we play in this part of the West Country.
There will be an added incentive for the lads to play well against the division’s draw specialists.
One of the coaches will be filled with friends of the late Gill Courtnell who tragically passed away in the summer.
A long term Reds fan with a particular appreciation for full back David Hunt she is greatly missed and would surely have been delighted with the way Crawley Town are heading.