To quote the infamous Scottish Poet Thomas Mackintosh, it was “pissin it doon” at Fortress Hazelwick as Crawley welcomed St Francis for the 8th v 9th clash. It looked like Crawley would only have 10 players as Matt Park decided the push back time was the meet time and Gary Marlow was parked on the M23, but they made it just in time.
Crawley were slow out the blocks and struggled to put a string of passes together, and St Francis took advantage of that fact and bagged themselves an early goal, breaking through the back line at speed and converting. Rightly Crawley were upset at this and switched on, and managed to exert some pressure, but the St Francis goal keeper, who had clearly had his Weetabix in the morning was equal to whatever Crawley seemed to throw at him. The pressure had to eventually tell and Alex Coote broke forward, passed to Gary Marlow who cooly squared it to James Fuller who swept it home from the PF spot.
Crawley tried to kick on, but St Francis fought hard and made it difficult for Crawley. They managed to create the odd chance of their own but Ian Berry was winning his physical battle with the St Francis forward. Crawley were undone sadly by a ball squared across the “D”, that was a bobbler, Oliver Robinson, manfully committed to the ball but was beaten all ends up like most the England Ashes team and the swing and miss meant the ball fell to the St Francis player behind him who converted with ease.
Half time talk tried to be positive but given how Crawley had played in the first half, it didn’t have the usual good news message. But the words got through and it was pretty much one way traffic for the whole of the 2nd half. Crawley just couldn’t find that final pass, accuracy of shot. Kane Paterson departed for a brief two minute rest courtesy of the umpires green card (fully deserved and 4th time this season ;p). Then the goal came, a short corner routine saw the ball slipped back to Alex Coote who converted from a few yards out, 2-2.
After the goal, Crawley were all over St Francis, whose centre forward got a yellow card after his frustration got the better of him and he got too physical with Ian Berry (there was only going to be one winner). Despite pretty much throwing the kitchen sink at the St Francis team, Crawley sadly couldn’t get through and despite gaining a point, it feels like 2 points dropped.
Chris Rockingham, O Robinson, I Berry, T Macintosh, S Teale, M Park, A Coote, K Paterson, L Mulcalhy , J Fuller, G Marlow, Scott Mansfield