I was quietly confident Crawley Town would get a result against Morecambe - but not quite like that! - opinion
At the risk of sounding like Gypsy Rose Lee (following last week’s foreboding) I was quietly confident Crawley Town would get a good result against table topping Morecambe.
I did not, however, anticipate such a sweeping victory which might easily have been by a six goal margin had George Francomb and Tarryn Allarakhia enjoyed a bit more luck.
The match was evenly contested for 45 minutes and the first goal was going to be key. The Reds scored it, took the game by the scruff of the neck and showed that if Morecambe don’t win by a single goal they get hammered. As ever John Yems refused to get carried away in his post match interview but he must have been inwardly delighted with the outcome.
George Francomb opened the scoring with another unstoppable shot from the edge of the box and he also came close to scoring another from close range.
Then Max Watters headed the second on his league debut before capitalising on a suicidal back pass by Sam Lavelle to make it 3-0. A good shot on the turn by Tyler Frost brought the fourth and due return for the midfielder’s tireless afternoon’s work.
I had been concerned about a lack of invention in the middle of the park but that was forgotten as Frost and Jack Powell oozed quality without ever being quite at their best. Tom Nichols again proved more than a handful for the visitors’ defence and so was regularly fouled and I am sure we have yet to see the best of Sam Matthews.
He is a diamond but one in need of polishing. When more of his bright ideas come off the strikers will enjoy a host of chances. The final proof came from the match statistics which showed how Reds had outclassed Morecambe with both the number and accuracy of their passes.
Crawley’s customary fleeting interest in the EFL Trophy was ended by a 2-1 defeat by Arsenal U21. The youngsters and fringe players involved, however, played a full part in an entertaining encounter that, with a bit of fortune, could have gone their way. The newly signed Max Watters scored a fine goal on his debut while Jack Powell put in an assured midfield display and several others stepped up to the plate.
The club’s ambition was further demonstrated by the signing of Southend United midfielder Henry Burnett and the loan signing of the very promising Jake Hesketh from Southampton on deadline day.
I also watched England versus Denmark in midweek which left me with a thought for John Yems. Another bizarre exhibition of refereeing made me wonder whether Jesus Gil Manzano was a straight translation into Spanish of Trevor Kettle.