Well, how good is that feeling – we have actually got through to the second round of the FA Cup for the first time in five years and now await the draw on Monday evening to see who we are playing in the next round.
Manager Gabrielle Cioffi was under immense pressure for this game, a defeat could have seen the club owner and directors seriously considering the manager’s position. But the team did the business and beat Scunthorpe 4-1 with man of the match Reece Grego-Cox scoring twice, his first a screamer from 30 yards.
Ashley Nadeson started up from and fan’s immediately could see what they had been missing, his movement and first touch was excellent and it was his quick thinking that enabled the home side to take the lead in the 35th minute – a great strike by Nathan Ferguson was only parried by the keeper, it went up in the air and Nadeson was the fastest to react to head the ball home. This was just reward for the Red Devils as they had been pressuring the visitor’s goal from the start.
Crawley went into the break with the slender lead, but as we know Crawley can be very brittle at times and the second half again proved that. Scunthorpe started the second half on the front foot, getting more into the game and with some sloppy defending and wayward passing creeping into the by the home side the fans were getting extremely anxious, with 10 minutes remaining the worse happened, a cross from Irons skipper Butler found Colclough in the penalty box and he fired the ball in the net from close range. Was the cup hoo-doo about to strike again, no, Reece Grego-Cox made sure it didn’t and within four minutes the Red Devils had taken the lead again – when he fired a brilliant shot into the top corner of the net to the relief and ecstasy of the home support. The visitors had another chance to level the scoring but with only Morris to beat and two unmarked players fired the ball over the North stand and into the car park beyond.
The fourth official then raised the added time board – 6 minutes was shown, but now the fun started, a mazy run by Panutche Camara at his best drove into the penalty before slipping the ball to Ashley Nathaniel George to put the game to bed making it 3 -1. But the scoring hadn’t finished, straight from their restart, Crawley won the ball and a great pass by Lewis Young found unmarked Grego-Cox who made it 4 and the game was now definitely over.
The team did play well for most of the game in trying conditions, but there are times during the game when they seem to lose concentration and allow opponents to impose themselves and give the supporter some cause for concern. But that’s not going to allow me not to enjoy yesterday and the fact that we are in the draw for the next round, and £32000 in the bank – that’s the club, not me.
On another positive note, despite all the rain, the pitch was absolutely perfect for playing the match and credit must go to the ground staff for that, but spare a thought for the Hartlepool supporters who travelled to Yeovil to have the game called off due to a waterlogged pitch an hour before kick-off.
Next up is the game on Tuesday evening against Oxford United in the final game for the Red Devils in the League Trophy – we have already been eliminated and now only playing for pride and the prize money – would expect to see many changes to the side and another 90 minutes for those squad members who played in the 5-0 win at East Preston last week in the Sussex Senior Cup. The next Saturday the home match against Morecambe in the League.
Up and Away: Our next schedule away league match is to Stevenage on Saturday 7th December with a 3.00pm kick off -
We are running a supporters coach to this game and have seats available if you want to travel – we depart from the stadium at 10.00am and cost for all travelling is £20.00 – please contact Alain 07771-792346 to book on. We have organised a buffet stop at the Sun Inn, Lemsford before the game which is included in the fare.
Overnight trip to Plymouth Argyle – Tuesday 28th January 2020 – Kick off 7.45pm: We are going to do the Plymouth Argyle midweek match on Tuesday 28th January as an overnight trip travelling down on the Tuesday leaving at 10.00am and returning on Wednesday at about 10.00am – we have booked 20 twin rooms at the Travelodge Hotel, Derriford about 3 miles north of the stadium – we have to confirm numbers by the end of December – cost is £65.00 if you are prepared to share a room or £95 for a single occupancy – we will need a £30.00 deposit when booking. We aim to get to the Hotel for about 4.00pm to book in and then make our own way to the ground rather than use the coach. As a last resort, if we don’t get sufficient numbers to run the coach we will use our normal minibus. Please contact us if you would like to join us for this our second overnight trip of the season.