Fuelled by the finest cuisine that McDonalds could offer, the 2’s rocked up in Worthing to face a team nailed on for promotion.
Crawley always save their best performances for Worthing, and today was no different. From the start the game was fiercely contested, this was no better demonstrated by Gary “Chopper” Marlowe, put in his usual robust (occasionally mistimed) tackles.
Crawley seemed to naturally play on the counter, soaking up Worthing pressure and then putting balls into the channels for the Crawley forwards and wingers to run onto. All were privileged to watch Justin Renwick produce a moment of magic as he ghosted past 3 Worthing e his own “D” to launch another counterattack. As a result of good pressure the best chance of the first half for Crawley fell to Alex Coote, who put it wide, when maybe a better option was to square.
The Crawley defence was just immense. Simon Teale put his body on the line for one challenge and had to take a rest. Then Oliver Robinson showed great bravery to get this stick down to block a shot. Whilst Priyesh Patel just broke up any Worthing attack that came near him. Worthing gave up trying to go round Justin Renwick as he was just too good for them. Kane Paterson, Liam Mulcahy and William Doherty were tireless in their running, giving the defence the support when needed and joining attacks. Thomas Mackintosh was a calming influence, keeping the distribution simple, and with Chris Rockingham making a couple of good saves when called on. Worthing could not find a way through. 0-0 at half time.
Crawley felt victory was there for the taking but were rocked by a Worthing goal that came within 2 minutes of the start. A goalmouth scramble that despite Crawleys best efforts couldn’t keep out. 1-0 Worthing.
Crawley didn’t let their heads go down. Keeping the counter attack plays going, the ball got through to Scott Gibbons, who surged past one defender, saw the run of Gary Marlow, fed him, and Gary took the shot first time and buried it. This was quickly followed by a 2nd. A neat pass from Scott to Kane Paterson, who beat one, then unleashed a fearsome reverse stick strike from the penalty spot.
A third came after Scott Gibbons won a short corner (he did scream a little though as he was about to unleash a shot!) and form from a well worked routine, Alex Coote fed the ball in, with Scott feeding it back to him to sweep home, 3-1. Crawley then lost their discipline a bit, with Will Doherty getting a green card after exacting revenge with a naughty stick tackle, and Liam Mulcahy earning a green card of his own for dropping his shoulder into a challenge (the umpire had warned him twice already!).
It became backs to the wall stuff for Crawley as Worthing tried to get back into the match. They managed to pull one back with 4 minutes to go, but Crawley held the line and got a fantastic win!!!!
Chris Rockingham, Olly Robinson, Tom Macintosh, Simon Teale, Alex Coote, Kane Paterson, Liam Mulcahy , Will Doherty, Scott Gibbons, Gary Marlow, Priyesh Patel, Justin Renwick
Gary Marlow, Kane Paterson, Alex Coote