'All of the boys have been brilliant' - Crawley Town stars proud of team after FA Cup exit
Crawley defender Jordan Tunnicliffe and goalkeeper Glenn Morris spoke after their brilliant and memorable cup run was ended by AFC Bournemouth last night, despite a valiant effort from the Reds.
Jack Wilshire opened the scoring from outside the box, before Tom Nichols levelled in the second-half. However, Crawley’s lead was short-lived, as six minutes later Josh King fired in the eventual winner.
In the absence of George Francomb and Tony Craig due to COVID-19, Tunnicliffe captained his side last night, a moment he was proud of: “It’s a proud moment personally to captain the side, but I thought we had eleven captains out there today, I thought the lads were brilliant. We dug in, we got ourselves back into the game. Unfortunately we conceded about ten minutes afterwards and we just couldn’t get back in but I think the lads put in a great performance.”
SEE ALSO AFC Bournemouth 2, Crawley Town 1 - player ratings: Morris shines again as Reds exit FA Cup | Crawley Town head coach John Yems on the historic FA Cup run, Bournemouth being 'no different to what Leeds United had' and 'arrogance of the officials' | 'Given an entire town hope in a time when we needed it' - Crawley Town fans including Dan Walker react to FA Cup defeat to Bournemouth
Despite the league difference, and a strong starting line up being named by the Cherries, Glenn Morris believed Crawley fought well and gave Bournemouth a good contest: “I think maybe we let ourselves down a little bit in the first-half, but in the second-half that was more us and how we’ve been playing. We had penalty shouts and a couple of chances and maybe on another day it could’ve been different but the boys can definitely be proud of their performances over the whole cup run and today so it’s nothing to worry about, we’ll take it into the league.”
With Tunnicliffe’s usual centre-back partner Craig absent, Joe McNerney was handed a start, and defended well against a classy Bournemouth attack, and Tunnicliffe believes this reflects the vast squad depth at Crawley: “I think we’ve got a brilliant lot, we’ve got five centre-backs here and everyone is pushing to play. All of us can play in the league and competitions like this. Joe McNerney’s got a lot of experience, he’s pushing us all the time and he wants to try and get his place in the team.”
It was an excellent performance from Morris, who produced remarkable saves to keep the Cherries at bay on numerous occasions, but he insists it was a team effort that kept Crawley in the tie until the end: “You’re going to have to make saves when you come to these places in the cup, but luckily I did my job today. All of the boys have been brilliant, in the last few games I’ve hardly had a save to make, so when you do make saves, you’ve got to do your job and concentrate. That’s what I’m paid to do.”
All focus is now on the league for Crawley, as they travel to Cambridge United this Saturday.