Crawley Town Verdict: Brilliant second half at Carlisle is massive contrast to miserable first

Crawley Town columnist Alain Harper
Crawley Town columnist Alain Harper

It was an early start for all supporters travelling to Carlisle, whether travelling by coach, train or Car – a 700 round trip – the longest of the season for our final away game.

All 23 away matches have now been completed, we started out full of hope and optimistic for the season, and Saturday’s game summed up our away form.

Four mistakes in the first 20 minutes were pounced on and Carlisle made no mistake with any of them, racing to a 4–0 advantage before half-time.

It so easily could have been six as the hosts failed to capitalise on two more easy chances.

Late in the first half and against the run of play Crawley produced at bit of quality and Ashley Nathaniel-George fired home from a neat pass by Ollie Palmer – with the 76 away fans singing: “we gonna win 5–4”- were still in good voice which had started from the first whistle.

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The second half started in total contrast to the first, Crawley played some of the best attacking football seen by fans on their travels this season, it so could have been at least 4–4 as chance after chance went begging.

Morais fired over the bar from just a few yards, Joe McNerney’s header was cleared off the line, Tom Dallison’s header went straight at the ‘keeper – all so close – our second came from an own goal as Lewis Young’s cross was again heading for Reece Grego-Cox, only for the defender Anthony Gerrard to beat him to the ball and put it passed the ‘keeper.

Still chances were being created, with substitutes Luke Gambin and Matty Willock causing all sort of problems for the now ragged Carlisle United.

In the end it was a 4–2 defeat but at least the fans saw a brilliant second half performance – if only these silly errors could have been avoided we could have come away with another away win.

With one final game to play next Saturday when play-off hopefuls Tranmere Rovers visit the PP stadium – let’s hope that they can repeat the second half performance, if they do, you are in for a treat – but as we know its Crawley we are talking about – nothing is ever the same two weeks running.

Finally – I would like to thank everyone who has travelled with us this season, it’s been difficult at times as many of the games haven’t been the best, and some were pretty dire at times.

But we have survived in league two and all we can hope is that during the summer we will see some significant changes made, so that we can look forward to a more fruit full season of travelling around the country from August following the Red Devils.