Taste of the Terrace: Crawley Town have genuine play-off chance next season

Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton
Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton

They say that the table doesn’t lie and on that basis Coventry City stood a good chance of edging out Crawley Town.

In the event that was exactly how the afternoon panned out.

Manager Harry Kewell was disappointed at the outcome that he put down to a lack of fire in his team and the number of mistakes they made. I don’t think he should beat himself up about it and I reckon most supporters would feel the same.

They haven’t forgotten the previous few seasons of struggle and recognise how much stronger the Reds are under HK’s guidance and also how much improvement has been shown by individual players who were already on the books when he took over.

Facing play-off chasing Coventry was always going to be tough and many conceded that a draw would probably be a good result. Those supporters had it right – it was very hard work and the highly-rated Jordan Ponticelli struck twice to give him the edge over Crawley’s star man ‘keeper Glenn Morris.

We shouldn’t be concerned that Cat (as his team-mates understandably call him) made a number of excellent saves. After all, as he said in interview the other day, that is what he is paid to do. Luckily most of the squad are as self-effacing as Morris and have their feet firmly on the ground.

This season Crawley Town are a work in progress and are living up to that description. The thinking is that if the gameplan doesn’t work they look at it, analyse it, revise it and go again. If we keep that up, a place in next season’s play-offs is genuinely on the cards.

So what was good about the display against the Sky Blues? For starters Lewis Young scored one of our best goals of the campaign with an unerring finish into the bottom far corner, following an intricate four-man move that left the visitors’ defence helpless.

Not so clever were the several occasions when the man with the ball at his feet found no obvious opening for a pass and play stopped while the team appeared to be carrying out a risk assessment.

Similarly Ponticelli’s opener was soft as the defence seemed to have switched off – no marking or cover but no individual blame as it was shared between several of them.

The teenager’s second was well struck and benefited from a deflection but was not unjust as the result was a fair perspective of the game.

Coventry secured a narrow win as befitted the league table and suggested they had just a little bit more to their overall game than we did.

We did OK in a match where, truthfully, we had little to play for. Next season we could and we should do better and that would be good enough for me.