Taste of the Terrace: Disappointing Crawley Town fail to follow up on promising start

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton

Matty Willock nearly entered Broadfield folklore by scoring just half a minute into his home debut.

His drive from the edge of the box cannoned off the chest of Macclesfield Town’s ‘keeper Kieran O’Hara but Ollie Palmer was unable to profit from the follow up.

Another goal attempt soon followed for the loanee from Manchester United but he was then swallowed up in the general mayhem that followed.

Things looked promising for the Reds early on but it was all illusory and they struggled to impose themselves on a side battling to avoid relegation.

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That’s simply not their forte and their weaknesses against scrappers like Macclesfield were soon exposed.

The few positives from the draw at Northampton disappeared as the backline lacked composure and Glenn Morris showed an unusual nervousness.

Apart from the remarkable Dannie Bulman the midfield offered little and could not provide the creativity needed by the front men.

Nothing seemed to work for Ollie Palmer and Dominic Poleon who scurried about to no effect, failing to register a single goal attempt.

It should have been easier as, although Sol Campbell had a reputation as a silky smooth centre half, the Silkmen’s current defence had an agricultural look about them.

Reds mustered a few chances without ever looking dangerous and the visitors were on a similar level.

Macclesfield took the lead shortly before the interval as Harry Smith effortlessly out-jumped George Francomb to head home Koby Arthur’s deep cross in textbook fashion.

Their lead was just about deserved and the natives were getting restless.

A very disconsolate mood hung over the West Stand as Crawley tried to raise their game in the second half.

They found their opponents obdurate and were further aggrieved by some increasingly bizarre decisions by the referee.

The euphoria that greeted Lewis Young’s deflected equaliser on 84 minutes owed much to feelings of sheer relief and the surprise that there might be a chance of snatching an undeserved win in the closing stages.

That didn’t happen and for the second game running the draw was the right result as neither side merited a win.

All in all it was not good enough and there was certainly no sign of any improvement. The coaches should be able to see where their game plan is falling down and be brave enough to try and put things right before we lose our status.

You might think I enjoy having a whinge about what the team is doing or not doing but I most emphatically do not.

I don’t like writing negatively so often but these gutless, rudderless showings leave me little option and fellow supporters say they are gratified that I try to tell it like it is.

Take it from me, where I sit in the West Stand the last thing I am is a lone voice.