Quite often there is just a thin line between success and failure and Crawley Town moved to the wrong side of it against Accrington Stanley.
Up to that point most agreed that Reds had been marginally the better side and might have been ahead with a rub of the green in front of goal. Then came the penalty and the die was cast.
At the risk of sounding repetitious, Crawley again suffered from some woeful refereeing but the penalty awarded against Luke Rooney and his subsequent dismissal could not be questioned.
Not so the unpunished late tackle on Jon Ashton that reduced the squad to a single fit central defender. Once again the foul count favoured the opposition and perhaps Reds are simply too nice for the rigours of League Two.
The nub of the matter is that we have a thin squad but not a proper team.
Too many newcomers means that players do not know each other’s games and that can only be cured by continuity and time and I am unsure whether enough of the latter remains, even in October.
Furthermore manager Mark Yates’ interviews reveal he knows there is a problem but has scant idea of how to solve it.
A bit of good fortune might help but can’t be relied upon. There is a better chance that the strength of Matt Harrold in the air and the pace of Rhys Murphy might be developed to good advantage but defensive frailties need more urgent attention.
The experienced Jon Ashton should be able to marshal the young players in the back line but that hasn’t happened in recent weeks. Now the midfield is to be deprived of its playmaker.
The visit to Newport County (Tuesday evening) could not have come at a worse time.
Crawley rarely play well against poor sides and presently do not suggest they have the mettle to contest a vital six-pointer. What is more they will travel to Wales bereft of much noisy support.
For once the despondent Crawley fans were able to sing louder than the opposition which would have been of no comfort to Michael Dunford.
The League’s poorest supported club did not boost our coffers as even more Reds fans voted with their feet. The break-even attendance of 2200 looked to be pie in the sky.