Taste of the Terrace: Crawley spring New Year surprise

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in  his new column SUS-150216-162649002
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in his new column SUS-150216-162649002

Crawley Town are not renowned for springing big surprises and, by and large, what you see is what you get.

With that in mind most of the 90 Reds’ fans who made the journey to Huish Park in Yeovil would have travelled more in hope than expectation.

The Reds’ recent record against Yeovil Town had little to recommend it but the lads chose this occasion to shock everyone by returning with all three points from a match that was packed with the unexpected.

In the first half it seemed as though nothing had changed as Crawley’s bogey side dominated the proceedings which quickly looked quite unpromising and 42 minutes had gone before Jordan Roberts hit the Reds’ first shot of the afternoon. By that time, however, some other statistics had assumed a weird look.

We were a goal down as Olufela Olomola’s drive came back off the crossbar and Glenn Morris was beaten disappointingly easily by Sam Surridge’s follow up. In addition no less than five Reds players were in referee Brett Huxtable’s notebook and Josh Lelan had been substituted because of injury.

If things looked ominous for the visitors the home side’s supporters felt equally concerned as Yeovil began to lose their way – and their players.

After 37 minutes Connor Smith deservedly collected his second yellow card after crudely hacking down Josh Yorwerth. In added time before the interval Omar Sowunmi received a straight red for an offence that puzzled even some Reds fans and the Glovers were down to nine men.

In between the dismissals Crawley had drawn level as Mark Randall turned and classily hooked a precise pass from Roberts over Artur Krysiak. Seven minutes were added and the referee was deeply unpopular but the peculiar afternoon wasn’t even halfway gone.

In the second period Crawley showed more attacking intent but failed to achieve much against the short-handed opposition.

Harry Kewell made two substitutions that brought more attacking players into the fray leaving the most unusual situation of three of the back line having been replaced. The last arrival was Dutch striker Thomas Verheydt after 74 minutes but a few minutes later the afternoon became even more bizarre.

Some childish malcontent who was not attending the game decided that Huish Park would be ideal territory for a drone strike and rather than take any risks from a hovering oversized artificial bee the referee ushered the players off the field until the perceived risks had gone.

After more than ten minutes the match resumed and after six minutes play Jimmy Smith picked out Verheydt who headed a simple goal at the near post and, wonder of wonders, we had beaten Yeovil Town at last.

The match still had nine minutes to run and gained yet another booking but eventually the last 3pm kick-off to finish came to an end. Surely an afternoon like no other.