Within an hour of Crawley Town securing all three points from their single-goal defeat of Morecambe at the Globe Arena I was asked whether the welcome result would make writing this week’s column an easier job.
It’s a novel thought, but as yet there are few straws to cling onto.
The second of the Reds’ three consecutive trips to different English coasts matched the first in confirming the squad’s present difficulties whilst hinting at the same areas where promise is shown.
Tuesday evening had seen our early elimination from the Checkatrade Trophy as we returned from Fratton Park on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. The first self- evident truth was that the competition holds no interest for the supporters.
Crawley’s away support is reasonably strong but only 44 made the short trip to Portsmouth.
Pompey would have taken no comfort either from the paltry attendance as they had many more fans who stayed away.
Some expected changes to the line-up took place, sadly with the anticipated results.
Yusuf Mersin was not able to rescue his tarnished reputation as he spoilt two decent attempts to save by twice spilling the ball and Pompey took a two-goal lead thanks to the rebounds.
On the other hand, we got further promise of goals in the future through Moussa Sanoh who tucked away Reds’ consolation in excellent fashion.
His performance ensured he got a start at Morecambe but despite playing a full part in a gritty display he did not add to his personal tally.
So there it was again in a nutshell as Crawley struggled to despatch the ball on target.
Once more their attacking intent was spirited and enterprising but time and again they set-up openings for themselves but squandered the majority;
home ‘keeper Barry Roche will certainly have had busier afternoons.
I have said before that one day everything will click and some team will get a real pounding from Crawley Town, but the continued wastefulness upfront suggests that could be some way in the future.
Hopeless defending allowed Billy Clifford’s winning goal direct from a corner.
At the near post Morecambe’s Kevin Ellison failed clear the kick and he was later sent-off following an off-the-ball incident.
Creativity in midfield was not matched upfront so nothing has changed.
There was also further evidence of the bad luck that seems to have dogged the Reds this term as both Lewis Young and Dannie Bulman were substituted through injury in the first 35 minutes.
We have no doubts about the lads’ desire and will to win but an acceptable end product is still tantalisingly hard to find.
The next long trip to the North Sea coast to face Grimsby Town provides another chance to suggest the corner has been turned. I hope it proves worth getting up early for the journey.