The waterlogged pitch at Yeovil Town that led to the postponement of last Tuesday’s match served Crawley Town well as it improved Dermot Drummy’s selection options.
The returning Josh Payne was calmness personified in the middle of a frenetic midfield and he deserved more after his late shot cannoned off the crossbar. He also took some of the load off Jimmy Smith and allowed Billy Clifford to play at his creative best.
Josh Yorwerth’s return at centre half could not have been tougher as he had to mark Grimsby Town’s remarkable Omar Bogle.
The visiting striker added another spectacular brace to take his season’s tally to sixteen and would surely find his level in the Championship. But when he was unable to shake off Yorwerth’s close attention he did not get a lot of change.
Yorwerth did not do it on his own as Mark Connolly was also superb. Look at it this way – Conns was, simply, Conns at his best. Out wide Reds were tight with Andre Blackman again suggesting he could be a very good fullback.
This win was not down to individuals though as there were no passengers and most of the Reds played as well as they have all season while, as a unit, they reached a new peak. James Collins is adopting the mantle held by Matt Tubbs as a really reliable taker of goals and he gave Crawley the lead thanks to Adi Yussuf’s run and pinpoint cross.
Collins turned provider in the second half with a precise cutback to Jordan Roberts and Crawley retook the lead with a delightfully constructed goal. Roberts then doubled Reds’ advantage with a deceptive low corner kick that beat James McKeown on his near post.
Bogle’s late pile driver from well outside the box completed a set of spectacular goals but that was only the half of it. This match had everything and was as exciting as any to have graced Broadfield for a long time.
Believe me, Grimsby Town are a very good side and they played well but Crawley were just that bit better, not just upfront but in every department. If we could play like that every week the sparse terraces would be packed so if half heartedness meant you missed this cracker well that’s your own fault.
None of the squad should lack belief in themselves for the rest of the season and once all our central defenders are available again Drummy will have a selection headache of the right kind. The test for him and Matt Gray is to build on this encouraging display and not allow it to become a false dawn.
The squad need to have breezed through last night’s Sussex Senior Cup tie at Langney Wanderers and, if so, they will face the rescheduled fixture at Yeovil full of confidence. I can’t say more than “Come On You Reds”.