Roarie Deacon brought some festive cheer to Broadfield as he hooked a last minute winner over the line in the Boxing Day game against Stevenage.
He has been one of Crawley’s nearly men this season and this match was in the same vein.
With the game a couple of minutes old Shamir Fenelon chased a massive clearance from keeper Callum Preston and nearly got the ball under control before Chris Day smothered it.
Mitch Hancox played right midfield and once again looked like Reds’ best attacker.
He was another nearly man as he might have had a hat-trick but accuracy deserted him when he had a sight of goal.
At least he was prepared to have a go and again, as too often this season, Crawley’s players have seemed afraid to pull the trigger.
Solid play in midfield was often wasted as the team’s problems with the final ball have not been conquered either.
It’s as if the players do not trust themselves. Gwion Edwards’ passing was inconsistent but his fiercely struck opening goal led to his naming as Man of the Match. Personally I thought that award should have gone to Jimmy Smith.
The combative midfielder has become a great exponent of the never-say-die approach.
He challenged for everything and put in some fearsome tackles, emerging so cleanly with the ball that the Stevenage players never considered claiming a foul. Referee Michael Bull was shrewd enough to recognise that strength does not necessarily imply foul play.
I was not so sure about his interpretation of the incident when Josh Yorwerth conceded the penalty.
He was much closer than me or the TV camera but it still looked a soft decision.
Again the spot-kick should have been saved as Michael Tonge hit it straight down the middle but Preston made his only error of the game by gambling and moving too soon.
I think Yorwerth has been dealt a poor hand by the officials of late.
The holiday period brings games thick and fast and by now we will know how Reds fared in Monday’s daunting visit to Wycombe Wanderers.
If they want to remain in the top half of the table they must not return empty-handed.
If they didn’t then maybe we can look forward to the second half of the season with confidence and we can grow the 2000-plus home support on Boxing Day. Happy New Year to you all.
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