Karlan Ahearne-Grant – now there’s a name to conjure with and you might need to if the debut showing of our loan signing from Charlton Athletic is anything to go by.
From the opening minute when he dribbled from the halfway line, shaking off three players he gave the impression of enormous potential.
Further intricate work with the ball at his feet as he cut in from the left flank to the penalty spot before firing home simply confirmed that promise, while the winning goal deep into added-time showed that the most experienced players are also delivering their part in Crawley Town’s superb run.
Skipper Jimmy Smith capitalised on a defensive error and broke clear once again. He might have taken a shot but instead craftily back-heeled the ball to Lewis Young who was in hot pursuit and the defender finished in magnificent style.
The travelling fans at the Proact Stadium were ecstatic at the late winning goal, having been on a knife-edge during the final quarter hour as play surged from end-to-end.
Crawley’s players are fit but a number looked shattered at the end of this splendid match. The players and manager Harry Kewell, who crossed the field to the visitors’ enclosure after the match, were left in no doubt as to how much their efforts had been appreciated.
On the homebound coach supporters found it difficult to choose a Man of the Match. Glenn Morris had once again produced some spectacular saves and kept Chesterfield at bay whilst another excellent game evidenced why Wigan Athletic were apparently keen to relieve us of the services of Josh Yorwerth.
Somebody is bound to say at some point during every match that ‘football is a funny game’. This was illustrated by Chesterfield. How could the team that mightily embarrassed the Reds in the home game in October and who played some great football on this occasion be in the bottom-two?
Perhaps that’s a better illustration of how far we have progressed over the past couple of months and it is the progress shown that is most appreciated on the terraces. It is the fans rather than HK and his squad who have the hardest job in keeping their feet on the ground.
Already some are contemplating the play-offs but others would be happy with a top half finish and further progress next season that takes us to that higher level.
Whilst the club was successful in fending off unwelcome interest in our top players, there is now concern that the team’s improvement will mean other clubs taking a close look at what the manager has achieved.
Now comes a problem, although maybe a welcome one. Where do you go from a high point? The risk is downward so we trust that what we actually do is make Grimsby Town wish they had stayed in Lincolnshire.