Crawley Town played as a unit and also played to their strengths as they beat Oldham - opinion
Crawley Town’s dismal recent record in away games was finally jettisoned and for many supporters it couldn’t have happened at a better place than at Boundary Park the home of Oldham Athletic, now managed by former Reds’ boss Harry Kewell who, it has to be said, was not universally acclaimed for his tenure at Broadfield.
Importantly this well earned victory was exactly what should have happened.
The fixture was one of those “ought to win” games in which we often flout the short odds but on this occasion everybody buckled down. Reds played as a unit and also played to their strengths. Determination was to the fore and common sense football meant there was no necessity for individual brilliance to save the day.
SEE ALSO 'Pick that one out' - Crawley Town skipper delighted with stunning strike against OIdham Athletic | 'It's good to get that monkey off your back' - Crawley Town boss reacts to first away win in more than a year | Oldham Athletic 2, Crawley Town 3: Skipper Francomb's thunderbolt helps Reds to rare away victory
The result was enough to ensure that Crawley Town’s threat will not be safely dismissed by their future opponents. We were the only team in the division to score three times and are now occupy an unaccustomed fourth place in the fledgling table.
The Latics were by no means a poor side and they took the lead as Danny Rowe drifted into space to reap the rewards of an unmarked header. Reds had been on top at that point and were stung into renewed action and equalised within a minute. Great work by Tarryn Allarakhia on the left allowed him to pick out Ashley Nadesan who had also moved into an empty space.
You might say the second goal was a brilliant individual effort by George Francomb as he buried a piledriver from 25 yards but it was genuinely a great team goal. The skipper started the move on the right flank and, several crisp passes later, he finished it in great style to notch his first goal since 2016.
Francomb then turned provider adopting an unexpected role as a right winger. His cross found empty space at the far post that Tom Nichols ghosted into and he scored with an impeccably placed reverse header.
Reds’ two close range goals showed predatory strikers at their best and Oldham’s final riposte from Conor McAleny also merited credit to the scorer rather than any criticism of the marking.
All in all Crawley were the better side but the most gratifying aspect was that they showed enough common sense in their play to profit from their advantage.
I imagine that aspect might please manager John Yems the most as so often in the past Crawley sides have squandered their opportunities.
An immediate chance to consolidate their position at the top end of the table comes on Saturday with the visit of struggling Southend United. They are pointless and have been weakened by financial troubles that could yet see them penalised and maybe even follow Macclesfield Town into oblivion.