Taste of the Terrace: Outstanding display worthy of attracting bigger crowds

Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton.'Picture by Steve Robards
Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton.'Picture by Steve Robards

I will apologise now in case my quest for objectivity fails me this week but Crawley Town’s performance when they beat Newport County was immense.

The only disappointment was that there were not more in Broadfield Stadium to enjoy it.

The attendance edged up to a season’s best of 2,197 but it must surely rise if there are more games like this.

Newport would not have been third in the table if they were not a decent outfit but, apart from staging a comeback early in the second half, they were not only second best but were reduced to an agricultural approach that was too much even for the rather lenient referee Charles Breakspear.

The visitors finished with ten men who arguably could have been fewer and Reds scored four times and might reasonably have got seven or eight.

Such domination of a good side reminded me of our final season in the Conference.

An explosive opening minute saw Glenn Morris pull off a good save from Antoine Semenyo and a first senior goal from Joe Maguire.

The left back later missed a better opportunity and, for all their domination, Reds failed to build on that early lead.

After the break Newport, doubtless having suffered a tongue-lashing from their manager, raised their game and when it looked like a goal was inevitable they did just that courtesy of a neat turn and shot by Jamille Matt.

In the past Crawley might have stumbled but they immediately went onto the attack and Ollie Palmer proved too tricky for them.

He was bundled over by two players and Felipe Morais restored the lead with a well-placed penalty.

A few minutes later Palmer met an excellent cross from the left by George Francomb with a strong far post header to make it 3-1.

I was nonplussed when Luke Gambin was substituted as his performance had made him my man of the match.

I needn’t have worried as his replacement Ashley Nathaniel-George has a penchant for spectacular strikes on the run from distance.

His third goal of the campaign was just as good as his previous two.

The margin of victory might have been bigger but it was the manner of its achievement that led to a lengthy standing ovation after the final whistle.

Our play was invariably good and at times it was very good.

There were also spells when you thought you had come to the wrong ground as one side looked far too good for League Two.

For all the delight and appreciation the pressure is now on the Reds.

By the time this is published Crawley Town will have faced another really tough fixture with last night’s (Tuesday’s) visit by second placed Exeter City.

The fans will be hoping for more of the same but it would be unwise to expect it as we all know football can be very cruel at times.

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