Another Crawley Town win, but it could have and should have been so much easier - opinion
Crawley Town maintained their unbeaten record against Salford City and collected three vital points from their third successive home win as they strive to make the play offs.
But they probably left most of the viewers chewing their nails by the time the final whistle came. The win might have been more comfortable but then again the Reds might otherwise have been chasing the game.
For all the entertainment in midfield a string of scoring opportunities were squandered by both sides with the visitors’ strikers being particularly lamentable. They did create enough chances though to ensure another man of the match display by Glenn Morris.
Crawley’s defending was unconvincing, especially on the flanks, and the only person who might have gained some pleasure from Archie Davies’ discomfort was the watching David Sesay yet when he came on as a second half substitute it was surprisingly in place of the busy Jake Hesketh who had been playing just behind the strikers.
Reds’ front runners offered more than they delivered but Ashley Nadesan was ill-rewarded and his play deserved his headed goal that was chalked offside. Tom Nichols was as canny as ever, scored his 14th of the season at the second time of asking and might have scored more than once had he not played so deep. I may be old fashioned but two upfront should mean just that and not a playmaker in midfield and a willing runner. A closer partnership is needed.
The match was riddled with decision making errors reflecting reluctance by Crawley to do anything directly. Playing the ball forward whenever possible is hardly the same as hoofing it upfield as earlier Reds’ squads have been criticised for. There seems to be no recognition of the possibility that by stepping it up a bit and heading more directly towards the opposition goal might bring much greater reward.
It was another frustrating match (admittedly tempered more than a bit by the three points) but the Reds have enough in their locker to ensure those fingernails grow longer. But if I am a bit disappointed spare a thought for any Salford fans who were watching.
Their favourites showed similar dispiriting shortcomings but failed to score or take a point and also picked up three bookings from the eagle-eyed referee Sam Allison.
Crawley Town beat Salford City: Nichols carries on form but it's Morris who shows his class again - player ratings - Crawley 1-0 Salford RECAP: Tom Nichols continues fine scoring run as Reds win back-to-back league games