The only consistent thing with Crawley Town is their inconsistency and following the highly creditable showing against Plymouth Argyle, you could bet your boots they wouldn’t repeat it against struggling Cheltenham Town. They didn’t.
Dermot Drummy said post-match that Crawley didn’t deserve anymore than a point but many fans would feel that neither side actually deserved anything whatsoever from this one.
Of all Reds’ disappointing showings this season this match was probably the worst.
Nobody had a half decent game and, despite having 59 per cent possession, we mustered only four goal attempts.
Jimmy Smith’s half volley on the run was the only one on target.
Even then the accuracy shown by slightly more ambitious Cheltenham was even poorer than our 25 per cent.
The players and management should be asking themselves serious questions about their input and effort and there were increasing calls for the manager to be sacked.
I don’t agree with that as the last the last thing the club needs is another start from scratch but there has been no progress whatsoever from last season’s dismal performance.
There was no comfort either in witnessing yet another abysmal display by the referee – one that attracted even more vehement criticism from the fans.
Charles Breakspear erred regularly, not so much by what he did but rather for the decisions he failed to make.
He ignored three clear fouls in the first half, one in the penalty area, but as they were all committed by Crawley players, we’ll forgive him.
Not so his failure to award us a penalty when Joe McNerney was hauled down. He was not even persuaded by the rip in Joe’s shirt which I think highlighted his failings.
More than 30 players, management and officials were responsible for this farce and I include the fourth official who added the minutes that extended the agony for us all, bar those who had already beaten a hasty retreat.
Despite the long journey to Accrington Stanley on Easter Monday the Reds put in a decent shift matching a good footballing side with the spirit and quality of their play. Sadly that was by no means enough as they suffered a single goal defeat. The result gave a good indication of Crawley’s shortcomings.
Although Reds showed attacking intent in an evenly matched encounter, only Josh Payne managed to bring a save out of the Stanley keeper and so they did not add to their sad tally of just eight goals, bringing one win, in the past 11 games.
With a record like that one might wonder whether we deserve to escape relegation as I still believe we will.
Wins for Cheltenham Town and Yeovil Town on Monday made our position even more precarious especially with three tough games in prospect to finish the campaign.
Reds have had some bad luck along the way but basically this mess is all their own fault.