At the end of Crawley Town’s game against Blackpool a brilliant half-rainbow appeared over the East Stand.
I was inclined to feel that when the Reds reach the end of the rainbow some poor team is in line for a mighty pasting. At the moment they are a competitive side in League Two, as evidenced by ten points out of twelve and fifth place in the table, but they are tantalisingly close to becoming a very good one indeed.
In the opening quarter of the match the Reds purred in a way I haven’t seen before. The pace was easy but the movement was fluid. The passing was quick and precise and Adi Yussuf’s ability to do the unexpected gave him two chances to grab the lead. His, and James Collins’, finishing didn’t reach the same high standard but they weren’t far off.
Blackpool knuckled down and an enthralling end-to-end game ensued. Five-three might have been a scoreline more representative of the chances created but the result was all-important and Mark Connolly’s brave header proved sufficient to secure the three points.
Four days earlier supporters of Colchester United would not have been impressed that they faced a second Tuesday evening trip to Crawley in a month. At least they would have returned home partly satisfied following the late point they gained with Chris Porter’s 88th minute strike.
Most agreed that the 1-1 draw was the fairest result and the U’s equaliser represented virtually the only difference from the EFL Trophy tie in August that the Reds had won by a single goal. As then Crawley dominated the first half only for Colchester to come back strongly after the interval.
The match was a blend of the new and the old as in the first half Reds called the tune and put the visitors under considerable pressure. They looked to have the edge in every department.
The goal delighted everyone as Kaby Djalo spun inside his own half and hit a first-time crossfield pass 40 yards to the right wing. Nobody expected it except Lewis Young who latched onto the inch-perfect pass and picked out Collins who set up Yussuf to score with the U’s back on their heels.
Crawley did not capitalise as their finishing let them down and in the later stages they simply could not fashion a decent final pass either. In the event it was a case of the ‘same old, same old’ but the promise was there for all to see.
Sixteen attempts on goal was a very worthy effort and their positive play was the best interpretation yet of what Dermot Drummy is trying to achieve. The form of Billy Clifford has much to do with the improvement and he seems to be making the playmaker role his own.
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