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Taste of the Terrace: I’ve never felt so downright angry at Crawley Town’s performance



If anything encapsulated Gabriele Cioffi’s detachment from reality it was his 75th minute substitution of Reece Grego-Cox for Dominic Poleon.

For the second home game running the Italian chose to take off Crawley’s Man of the Match, no doubt baffling the sponsors as much as the home supporters.

The young striker fully deserved that accolade for his non-stop effort in which no challenge was too great and no chase a step too far.

This was in stark contrast to Ollie Palmer, who is losing legions of fans.

It was a display also worthy of topping that of Dannie Bulman who played as only he can and scored an even better goal than those featuring in the Goal of the Season competition on the club website.

It seems as though the players must have read my words as they once again threw it all away at the death.

The confusion between Filipe Morais and Joe Maguire that led to Christian Doidge’s second goal suggested they never talk to each other.

Certainly Morais seemed to blame his team-mate for not reacting to his own poor pass.

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Crawley Town verdict: Late goal by Forest Green brings threat of relegation

Once again this was a match that the Reds lost and Forest Green really didn’t deserve all three points.

They are a sound enough team but were generally outfought and out-footballed by Crawley Town.

For once we scored when we were on top as Bulman’s powerful drive from better than 30 yards proved unstoppable and showed that reward can come simply from having a go.

In attack we looked better although Grego-Cox was not adequately supported.

The backline was generally excellent although Doidge scored the opener with embarrassing ease.

He must love playing against us. It begs the question, how did we manage to lose? How indeed!

It was not down to the referee, although for a spell Darren Drysdale seemed to be on a totally different planet to everyone else.

Nothing occurred to merit the hugely unbalanced foul count and afterwards one fan, an active referee by the way, described the official’s decisions as “diabolical.”

Although Reds’ display was better on the day the faults and shortcomings appear not to have been addressed, nor do they look likely to be. No matter how hard the lads work in training nothing will improve until the coaches have instilled some cohesion into the set-up.

That means changing the approach (and therefore the incumbents) and, should we survive, testing Paul Hayward’s rumoured generosity and strengthening the squad.

In the meantime the club seems to be sliding inexorably towards a local derby with Sutton United in the National League next season.

I have come away from watching other games feeling disappointed, frustrated, even bemused but I don’t believe I have ever felt so downright angry at the way this fine club’s heritage is being trashed.

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Taste of the Terrace: Morais strike brings Crawley Town salvation



It wasn’t easy to enjoy this tense encounter at Huish Park but this time the 141 intrepid travelling fans were able to celebrate the result.

A basement clash in the relegation dogfight was never going to be pretty but that aspect counted for little as the points were all important.

Not only did Crawley Town take the spoils in this six-pointer but all around them their fellow strugglers crumbled.

Notts County were brushed aside at Crewe and Forest Green Rovers’ win against Macclesfield may well have been more deserved than the three points they had gained against the Reds a week previously.


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In addition Cambridge United lost, allowing the Reds to climb above them in the table, whilst Morecambe and Port Vale joined in with poor results improving chances of a further rise in the rankings.

What an amazing turnaround in the space of seven days.

Some things remained familiar however. Glenn Morris was at his brilliant best and pulled off five vital saves including a brilliant double save in added-time. Ollie Palmer looked sadly out of touch again yet still delivered the crucial pass that led to the winning goal.

Palmer was hugging the left touchline when he produced a deep and precisely weighted cross to the unmarked Filipe Morais.

He struck the ball first time beyond Nathan Baxter to make up for his error the week before that allowed Forest Green Rovers to poach all three points.

The midfield saw a battle royal which neither side able to dominate and as a result goalmouth action was at a premium.

Crawley’s effort was very much a credit to the team ethic.

There was no doubting the lads’ intent to mount a serious attempt at saving their season.

They’ve tried that before without success but this time they were not hamstrung by bad luck or weird refereeing decisions.

They just managed to get the edge over a Yeovil side that is battling equally as hard to avoid the drop.

Crawley Town this season is a team that has lost its way. Underperformance has been common and our true position is, I regret to say, where we are now – just above the relegation places.

With the immediate pressure reduced we can ask again whether this victory heralds a real change of fortune.

The Easter fixtures should provide a better indication as the match at Exeter on Good Friday is winnable.

The Grecians have been inconsistent and we often raise our game against them.

The real crunch may well come on Easter Monday with the visit of Notts County.

They could be in last chance saloon by then and the Reds rarely seem to cut it when facing the Magpies.

All in all I think our campaign remains in the balance but it is a very welcome change that sees us taking on these crunch games with our spirits high.

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Crawley Town verdict: Fans ecstatic as Reds edge towards safety with vital away win at Yeovil Town



Gutted last week, elated this week – it’s never dull watching the Red Devils – what an all-round performance the team put in.

To a man everyone put 100 per cent effort to get the three points needed to keep the relegation fear at bay – with these points now on the board, it’s highly if not mathematically reason to feel that next season we will again be playing in League Two.

It needs a miracle for the bottom-three sides to get enough points to maintain their League status at the expense of Crawley, two of the bottom-three will go down.

Manager Gabriele Cioffi went with the same line-up as the previous game, but added Matty Willock and Luke Gambin to the subs’ bench.

From the start, the visitors were up for it, closing down, harassing and showing more enterprise than the host – they wanted it more.

But as we know we have all the skill of getting into scoring opportunities but then we fall apart, against Yeovil it was no different.

No-one is prepared to have a go – at least give it a try.


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It wasn’t until the second half that the stalemate was broken, a pin-point centre from Ollie Palmer fell to the feet of Filipe Morais – side stepped the defender and fired past the ‘keeper into the net – that sent the 141 travelling fans into absolute raptures. We had scored, from open play, away from home and there was pandemonium at the side of the pitch with players and supporters hugging each other – to the amusement of the stewards and match officials.

20 minutes remaining, our Achilles Heel time approaching, from the 85th minute, the travelling fans starting to get nervous, biting finger nails, looking at the watches to see the time remaining and I phones for news of the other games.

Everything going our way: teams below us losing, we were winning – into five minutes added time – still time for a killer blow to the visitors – up comes Glenn Morris with three superb saves, one a double save – once again we owe a debt of gratitude to our ‘keeper – time and time again he has produced outstanding performances and it wasn’t a surprise that he was voted man of the match by supporters for those three saves at the end.

Time for everyone now to relax, it is job done – we have Notts County on Easter Monday – we could actually get them relegated if we win, what a turnaround of fortunes – Notts were one of the early season favourites for promotion.

An update on our coaches to the next away matches to Exeter City; there are 30 booked at the moment.

Exeter City on Good Friday, April 19 kick-off 1pm.

The coach departs the stadium at 7am and we have a breakfast stop arranged at the Eagle Tavern on the A303 near Ilminster – the breakfast is not included in the £20 so if you want one please let me know so that we can pre-order – the breakfast is £6 per person.

We still have plenty of seats available and we will only be taking the one coach so please book if you want to travel and please confirm if you want the breakfast.

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Crawley Town verdict: Late mistakes bring worries of relegation



Gutted, I came away from the game feeling completely and utterly down, Crawley had yet again conceded another late goal to send them to another sickening defeat.

I, like many supporters are getting extremely worried about the thought that by the end of the season we will be relegated back to the National League and our Football League status will have evaporated.

I must admit though, the team did actually played well, created but failed to take the chances to put the game and three points on the board.

The only bright spot on the day was the absolute screamer by Dannie Bulman from 30 yards that put the Red Devils ahead in the first half – it was a cracking effort that would have beaten most ‘keepers.

We still try and work the ball into a goal scoring opportunity in the area – rather than have ago – how many goals have we scored from outside the penalty area – you can count them on one hand.

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The Red Devils should have had a penalty when Ollie Palmer shirt was virtually pull off his back only for the obnoxious arbiter to wave it away – it was right in front of him, that led to a breakaway by the visitors and an immediate yellow card for Filipe Morais for doing the same thing.

It was interesting to see that Paul Raynor was sitting in the West Stand on Saturday, although he does live locally. Should we read more into this as speculation is also mounting about Paul Haywood wanting to get involved with the club again.

Many more fans are now calling for the manager Gabriele Cioffe to be removed, but with only five games left it’s possibly too late for anyone to come in and improve the playing side.

We have to hope that the current team and management can get the points that are needed – especially as we have Yeovil and Notts County coming up – two teams scrapping against relegation.

All the teams below us dropped points failing to win, the gap is now six points and closing, but thankfully it’s still in our own hands to keep us in the Football League next season.

I have watched every game this season, and looking back since the New Year we have gifted the opposition late goals in virtually every game, they haven’t had to create, we just make an error of judgement and they pounce – it’s so frustrating because you now expect it to happen.

An update on our coaches to the next two away matches: amazingly our supporters keep travelling and credit to all those who do, it’s not easy to make this commitment to watch our away games week in, week out.

Yeovil Town on Saturday, April 13, we depart from the stadium at 9am and have a lunch stop at the Hunters Lodge Inn near Wincanton. Its then about 30 minutes to the ground. Cost is £20 which includes the buffet.

We are now getting full with only six seats remaining – unfortunately we can only be take one coach to this game, so if you want to travel please let us know as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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