I can’t fathom out why the majority of goals Crawley Town concede appear to be of our own making - Steve Leake

Back in 1965-66, before the 55 years of hurt had started, Crawley Town played Sutton United in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup at Gander Green Lane.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 8:47 am
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 8:48 am
Crawley Town fans at the Sutton United game. Picture by Cory Pickford

My memory, if it can be trusted, tells me that we won through a goal of Tsaroulaesque magnificence from our mercurial winger David Heard, only to go out two rounds later to Gravesend and Northfleet, in a controversial game where we had at least three good goals disallowed before going down to a breakaway goal.

Biased? Moi? Fast forward 30 years to 1995-1996 and once again we were pitted against Sutton United, this time in the fourth qualifying round.

Unfortunately, ex red Jimmy Dack and future red, Mark “the swan catcher” Hynes absolutely tore us apart that day and we went down by four goals to one and our cup adventure was over. I say adventure, but I think we were exempt until that round so went out at the first hurdle. Which brings us up to this weekend's game, and the first time we have met in League competition.

During Walking football on Friday, I played alongside a Sutton United supporter, who lives in Horley, called Trevor. Banter was shared about the upcoming game and, whilst we didn’t go as far as to wish each other good luck, we parted amicably swapping as many footballing platitudes as we could.

Which brings us to Saturday and what proved to be a very tight, tense game which hinged on two moments, within eight minutes of each other towards the end of the game. First, the referee finally gave a free kick for a foul on Nick Tsaroulla, and, as it was in their box, up stepped Tom Nichols to score from the spot and win the game. Only he didn’t, as his shot was saved, and just eight minutes later, a defensive mix up resulted in gifting a goal, and the points, to Sutton.

I, like John Yems, can’t fathom out why the majority of goals we concede appear to be of our own making, but on another day, the penalty goes in and we win one nil playing football.

What a shame though, that we lost at home for the first time this season in front of 3000 home fans.

If you were the person who chose to indulge in this unsavoury behaviour, then I hope you now feel ashamed at your actions and feel sorry for tarnishing the name of Crawley Town Football Club.

Hopefully, Crawley will have bounced back from defeat and beaten the Grecians of Exeter City on Tuesday night putting us right back into the playoff mix. If that isn’t the case, then now is the time for real support.

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Looking at it philosophically, some people would have been happy with two points from these two games i.e. not losing to closely placed rivals, whereas if we have beaten City then we have three points and are better off points wise.

On top of all that we now know that we face Tranmere Rovers at home in the First-round proper of the FA Cup over the weekend of 5th -8th November. One we, most certainly can win!!

In closing I would like to remind you that our next league home game on the 30th October, against Port Vale, sees the official launch of my second book “Noli Semper Cedere”.

I will be in Redz from midday up to kick off, giving out rewards to those people who generously backed the crowdfunding project for this book, but I will also have spare copies available for purchase. Prices, from me, are considerably cheaper than if you buy from Amazon, with Noli Semper Cedere priced at £10 (£3.99 off) and Noli Cedere at £8 (£2.99 off).

Also available will be a piece of stunning artwork, by my talented son. Matthew, priced at just £5 each. All the money raised on the day will be shared between Parkinson's UK and the Crawley Town Foundation. Hope you can support this venture and please bring cash! COYRD